Before I had the pleasure of meeting a stand-up comedian, I too had the misconception that they would be witty and lively creators both on and off stage. However, during my initial encounter with Sica, she spoke with a candid and cautious demeanor, much quieter than I had anticipated. It became evident that she takes some time to warm up. But when it came time for her to perform her stand-up comedy at the end of the interview, her energy suddenly exploded, revealing a completely different side of her as a performer. This shattered my preconceived notion that stand-up comedians are constantly cracking jokes, both on and off stage.
Despite being a stand-up comedian, Sica leads a typical Hong Kong lifestyle, much like the majority of people. She works as an IT project manager, putting in the typical nine-to-six hours. Her stand-up comedy persona seems worlds apart from her day job: “Even though I work in IT, as a project manager, my profession requires me to speak more. However, when it comes to delivering my jokes, it’s better not to be too funny.”
Like many of us, Sica drew inspiration to pursue stand-up comedy from the “King of Stand-up Comedy” himself, Wong Cho Lam. When she was just nine years old, her father bought her Wong Tze Wah DVD. Reflecting on that experience, she shared, “Even though I was only nine at the time and didn’t fully grasp the underlying meaning behind Wong Tze Wah jokes, witnessing the audience’s reactions made me realize just how funny it was. It gave me a sense of accomplishment to know that one person’s words could bring happiness and laughter to others.”
When asked about Wong Tze Wah unforgettable classic stand-up comedy jokes, Sica mentioned her favorite, the “Fish Ball Theory.” Wong Cho Lam possesses a remarkable skill of making insults amusing even when directed at the audience. Though the joke is concise and to the point, it cleverly uses a metaphor to depict the negative social atmosphere in Hong Kong, where people find joy in others’ failures.
Influenced by Wong Tze Wah’s stand-up comedy , Sica developed a love for watching stand-up comedy and sharing jokes. “I’m someone who easily finds humor in things. Happy moments deserve laughter, and even more so for unhappy ones. I believe that the unhappiest and saddest things can be the funniest. If no one makes you laugh, you have to make yourself laugh.” she said. At this point, I sensed that Sica is a unique individual—resilient, optimistic, and caring.
From Wong Tze Wah stand-up comedy performances to the popular online memes that young people adore, one common thread emerges – a shared love for self-deprecating humor. Self-deprecation serves as a unique outlet for Hong Kongers, aligning with Sica’s belief that “the sadder things are, the funnier they can be.”
In Sica’s perspective and personal experience, Hong Kong’s atmosphere tends to be rather oppressive. However, she firmly believes that in such an environment, there should be an even greater presence of stand-up comedy and artistic creations. There is a wealth of material to draw inspiration from. Just as historical periods of social turmoil have yielded numerous works of art, Sica sees a similar pattern in Hong Kong’s current state. This is why Wong Tze Wah stand-up comedy has resonated so deeply with the audience.
For stand-up comedians, the essence lies not only in performing but also in the art of creation. Sica emphasizes that most of her creative inspiration stems from fragments of everyday life, which she then magnifies and reimagines.
Stand-up comedy revolves around taking seemingly ordinary things and deconstructing them to construct jokes that elicit laughter.
While regular individuals may express unhappiness through outbursts or become indignant when faced with injustice, stand-up comedians have a different approach. They reach for pen and paper, meticulously jotting down their observations and experiences…[omitted]
Can you handle it when your life becomes material for stand-up comedy?
Many people assume that naturally funny individuals are born with a sense of humor, but they fail to realize the amount of time and effort that goes into creating comedy. The content of stand-up comedy performances is like a meticulously crafted gem, honed and polished by stand-up comedians. Just like Sica, who can’t go a day without thinking about stand-up comedy, how do you perceive this drive? Is it a passion or a burden in your eyes?
They say one minute on stage takes ten years of practice, and this holds true for stand-up comedians as well. Sica explains that she finds humor in the smallest of things. Whenever she encounters an amusing situation, she quickly reaches for her phone to jot down the subtle yet absurd details, knowing they may become material for future works.
From being a casual observer to diving headfirst into the world of stand-up comedy, Sica initially underestimated the challenges. “When I first started speaking (doing stand-up comedy), I thought it wasn’t that difficult since I had watched so much of it. But soon enough, I realized it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. If you try too hard, it feels forced; if you’re too casual, it comes across as insincere. So, I continuously refine my script, constantly working on…[omitted]
As one of the few female stand-up comedians in Hong Kong…
Stand-up comedy is not only prevalent in Hong Kong but is mainly dominated by male performers in mainland China and Western countries. Sica adds, “I know many Hong Kong girls who do stand-up comedy. Perhaps we just need time to make our presence known. There was a post on LIHKG asking why there are no stand-up comedians in Hong Kong after Wong Cho Lam disappeared, and my name wasn’t even mentioned. I understand that I’m not famous enough yet, but I believe that more female stand-up comedians will emerge in the future, working hard to make a name for themselves!”
For me, stepping on stage to perform stand-up comedy was an incredibly bold move and the best decision I’ve ever made. As long as you’re willing to give it a try, don’t be afraid of negative reactions or the fear that no one will laugh at your jokes. (Sica)
If you’re curious about Sica’s recommendations for stand-up comedians and want to witness her improvisational skills in action, check out the interview now!