Chengdu-Based Comedian Nico Is Not So Innocent in Beijing Next Weekend

Chengdu Based Comedian Nico is Not So Innocent in Beijing Next Weekend

We truly are being spoilt for visiting comedians in the capital in recent weeks, with Shanghai-based comedians Han Q and Dawn Wong having both paid the old ‘Jing a visit. Well, next weekend the Beijing comedy scene is getting a little injection of Sichuan spice with Chengdu-based comedian Nico TooMuch coming to town.

Nico will be performing her headline show Not So Innocent featuring a number of other comedians including Beijing's own Donnie Fan who will also be celebrating his birthday. Ahead of the show we interviewed Nico to find out more about her comedy journey and what she has in store for us. 

How long have you been doing stand-up comedy?
I started in Chengdu back in 2017. This is my sixth year doing comedy. I think humor is an important factor in life – I will never stop telling jokes.

What made you decide to start doing comedy and how did you get started?
My first year in Chengdu I went to The Bookworm to see a friend do an open mic. That was my first real experience watching stand-up live. That friend of mine is a typical almost-funny guy. He started with good energy, but before he managed to turn it into a joke, he finished. When he walked off stage, the audience felt awkwardly left hanging. I never imagined open mics could be so awkward and dry, but I enjoy awkwardness so that was really fun to watch. Afterwards, I thought I can do that too, so I signed up for the next open mic. 

What was it like doing stand up for the first time?
I was so excited that I could feel all the organs in my belly. I remember having to say these things that previously were always just in my head. I think it was stuff about my mum, haha, but when I saw the audience laughing for the first time I felt like I got struck by lightning. After I finished my set everybody seemed happy, and the rest of night I felt like I was almost floating. I was amazed by how complete and immediate the communication to the audience was. Then, I just kept coming back.

What have been your best and worst moments since doing comedy?
The best moments – apart from fulfilling my vanity – are the differences in people’s faces and attitudes before and after a good show. You can see them become more relaxed and joyful afterwards. The fact that this change happens by sitting in a room listening to words come out from other people’s mouths is magical. I think to me that’s always the best moment.

For the worst moment, one time I travelled to another city to do a show. During the show a guy kept shouting a technical sexual term at me. Apparently, the one I was using on stage was wrong. After the show I found out that he was right. It was very embarrassing, I kind of wish that had never happened. Now I always double check my terms.

What comedians would you say have influenced you most?
I've seen a lot of comics. Some are great acts, some are less famous, but they all have great moments. These brilliant moments that show each comic’s unique perspective allow me to really see them. It builds an empathy bridge between humans that's really touching, and the moment stays with me.

For the comics I've worked with, I’m going to say Rob Brian and Donnie Fan. Rob is the guy who has run Chengdu’s comedy scene from the beginning. When I first started he showed me how the comedy scene works in a clear and simple way. I always enjoy watching him host and how he interacts with the audience. 

Donnie Fan is your Beijing local star! He has a down-to-earth, audience-friendly stage style. With the Covid situation, many cities lost both acts and audience, but for the last year he's brought an impressive amount of much-needed new energy to boost the English comedy scene in China. It's a pleasure to work with him.

Can you tell us a bit more about your upcoming headline show Not So Innocent and where the name came from?
I guess the name “Not So Innocent” comes from when I was younger. Over business dinner conversations, I remember older men always presuming young women's innocence and constantly trying to make us uncomfortable with dirty jokes. None were funny, and I wasn't that innocent. Ironically, now I'm older I also like to make people uncomfortable with my not-so-innocent jokes.

Will this show be your first time performing in Beijing?
This will be my second time in Beijing. Last time I had great fun – the Beijing audience is one of the best crowds I’ve ever had! I can't wait to come back.

Lastly, any words of advice for other budding comedians out there?
Don’t listen to anybody. Do your own thing. Be 100 percent yourself. Nothing is important apart from enjoying the show!

Nico will be perfoming her headline show Not So Innocent, hosted by Comedy Citadel at La Maison Lyonnaise Feb 24 and 25 at 8.30pm. You can purchas tickets by scanning the QR code in the poster above.

La Maison Lyonnaise 
44 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District

READ: Events and Happenings in the ‘Jing This Weekend (Feb 17-19)

Images: courtesy of Nico and Comedy Citadel


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