Sid Singh talks about bringing his show AMERICAN BOT to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Sid Singh
Name of Edinburgh show: American Bot
Venue: Cask Room at The Mash House
Performance time: 6:25pm
Show length: 1 hr
Ticket price: £5 to reserve a seat of Pay What You Want on Exit

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’ve been a stand up comedian for a little over 9 years. My debut comedy album came out last year where it opened at number 3 on iTunes’s comedy chart. I’ve both appeared and written for tv and radio. I’ve also got a law degree, worked in cancer research, and found a way to still be homeless and live outside for a few days. My life is proof that anything is possible and life is weird, long, and if you’re lucky, a lot of fun.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
I spent the last three years of my life living in Silicon Valley immersed in the world of Silicon Valley while going to law school specializing in both start ups and human rights law. Suffice to say, the two don’t mix. That is what the show is about.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Well Silicon Valley is in the news now for swinging elections and shattering the norms of countries and continents, but my show actually deals with how it can shatter lives more immediately as well in their cities, streets, and homes. I know this from personal experience as both the head of UC Hasting’s San Francisco Homeless Legal Services and having lived in Silicon Valley the last three years.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
The more open you are to all that the Fringe can be and the more willing you are to allow yourself to explore, the more fun you will have. The Fringe has some of the most interesting and talented people you’ll ever meet, so you know, go find them.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Two pigeons flew into the rafters of my venue and proceeded to uh make loud and, uh, vigorous love for what felt like half the show. The moment they finished, they flew off and the power in my venue went out immediately. I finished the show being lighted by the audience’s cell phones.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Bill Burr, Michelle Wolf, and Kurt Metzger. I love comedians who are unafraid of trying to make anything funny. The three above succeed in getting laughs from topics that are supposed to make us sad. How cool is that?

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
No. I think they longer you do it, the more such desires go away. The ultimate goal in stand up is to be able to perform no matter what else is happening around you or how you feel internally. In fact, being able to use those things to propel your show to greater heights is the dream.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Ed Night is truly an inspiration and act to watch this year. His ability to get up and make audiences laugh after getting absolutely destroyed by me when we play pool is truly magical. Also, Dan Audritt and Jamie Oliphant are doing their debut hours this year. Both are absolutely worth watching for their quick wit, sharp jokes, and the fact that both of them inexplicably think I’m funny.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
If you really like word play in your comedy, you probably shouldn’t. But heck, I’m a human rights lawyer who worked on cancer research and has done comedy for over 9 years talking incisively about the Silicon Valley he lived in for the last three years. My jokes are smart, personal, and are funny before they are anything else. Where else will you find out more about Apple and Amazon and be horrified and laugh at the same time?

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma


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