Come See Sam See
Written by Brendon Tan
Pictures by Sam See
A self proclaimed ‘attention whore’, Sam See was inspired to do stand-up comedy after watching an open mic (a platform for anyone, whether professional or amateur, can perform their jokes) performance by a drag queen.
After watching the show, Sam resolved to get on that very same stage the following week.
That very week, the young man got his first taste of performing stand-up comedy.
An epiphany during a performance in 2013 made Sam realise that being a comedian was a thing he loved. However, the audience at that moment did not love him.
Sam said, “I bombed the performance and went home to cry it out, and even after all that, I still wanted to perform the following week. That was the moment I realised, not even shame and failure could stop me.”
The 22 year old is now an active comedian. He has performed in numerous countries and comedy festivals in Asia, including the Singapore Fringe Comedy Festival, Magner’s International Comedy Festival and Crackhouse Comedy Carnival.
Sam attributes the main reason he gets spots in shows to his young age, however it does have its downside:
Sam said “When it comes to the bigger shows or paid gigs, people would rather watch a 30-year-old that has been doing it for 1 year rather than the 22-year-old that has been doing it for 4. It’s frustrating, but we all have our own problems in this industry, we have just got to find our own way around it I suppose.”
When creating new material, Sam relies mostly on good writing and solid punch lines (based on some truth), which are heavily inspired by real-life events that either makes him laugh or infuriates him.
Comedy programs like Comedy Central’s @Midnight and HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver as well as the works of American Comedian Paul F. Tomkins are some of his favourites.
Adding on, Sam said, “Paul F. Tompkins is a renaissance man of comedy and one of the sources for my inspiration.
Describing his sense of humour as “hopefully good”, the rather modest Sam still panics before a show on and even after the curtains have fell, worrying constantly about his performance.
His friends used to be slightly dismissive of him as a comedian in the beginning, but they are more supportive now and even come to his shows often.
Sam jokingly added that they were there probably there just for the free drinks.
Sam mused, “Surprisingly, my parents were okay with the notion of me being a clown, they still have yet to watch me on stage, and I’m trying desperately to delay that.”
Sam feels that the local stand-up scene in Singapore has grown exponentially, which is evident by the increase of weekly shows and local comedians performing overseas. The only problem, in his opinion, is the lack of new local blood, which is mainly due to the fear of failure or judgment.
Bombing at his very first gig, Sam knows what it feels like to fail. So he encourages people who aspire to do stand-up comedy to try their hands at open mic first and not worry too much about sucking.
He said, “You’ve just got to keep at it and don’t worry, the rest of the scene will be behind you all the way.”
With that, 2016 looks set to be another great year for Sam; he looks forward to more shows and festivals like the upcoming Stop & Laugh and Singapore Comedy Fringe Festival 2016.
When asked about his future plans as a stand-up comedian, he simply replies: “More overseas gigs, perhaps a one-man show by 2017, year end, hopefully get more paid gigs and more free drinks. Definitely, I’d like the free drinks.”
Sam See will be performing later this month at the ‘Friday’s With Fuzz’ show at the Refuge Bar & Club together with local stand up, Fakkah Fuzz on the 26th of February.
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