We had the good fortune of connecting with Dalia Malek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dalia, what’s one piece of conventional advice you disagree with?
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Telling someone to do what they love is terrible advice. If you turn doing what you love into work, then you’re ruining the thing you love. If you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life because you’ll be unemployed. Do what makes you money and pays the bills, and worry about your lil’ feelings about it later. You can think about love when you have food in your belly and a roof over your head. Or try not to love dumb things that don’t make money. Try to love banks and stocks and generational wealth. If you love those things, you’ll never work a day in your life. The advice should be “love the right things so you can afford to live, stupid.”
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
First of all, thank you for recognizing that stand-up comedy is art. It is my art. It’s difficult to define the exact moment when doing an impression of mayonnaise and shouting about my butt stops being a profession and starts becoming art, but you’ll know it when you see it. Those important issues are what sets me apart from others. I do important comedy. If you want to see inane observations about how dating is weird and how wives are bad, watch other comedians. If you want to know the evil truths about aioli, potatoes, and the Girl Scouts, come to my shows and watch important comedy.
I am proud of all my accomplishments, which are too numerous to list. I am excited that live comedy is returning after the pandemic and despite the year-long break that we had to reevaluate its structure, process, and hierarchy, the industry and artists have unanimously agreed that sticking to precisely the same status quo that we left behind before lockdown is the best way forward.
I am also excited that my show Interruption Show will return on Saturday, July 10 at 8:00pm at The Comedy Chateau, 4615 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91602. You can buy tickets on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.
I got to where I am today professionally by digging myself so deep into comedy that it became impossible to emerge again. You can’t just “turn off” being an incredibly famous and sought-after comedian like a light switch. That’s something that stays with you for life. It is simultaneously my burden and my gift to the world.
Being a talented artist is very easy. The challenges are staying alive and making sure the people who recognize my great talents also stay alive. I overcome these challenges by encouraging everyone to defy death every chance they get and doing the same myself. If you are a gatekeeper who likes me and you are reading this, it is imperative that you take your daily vitamins and supplements and drink plenty of water.
I want the world to know that I am not a rapper, I have never rapped before, I do not have a mixtape, and I have not dropped, nor will I ever drop any rap singles. If you see someone calling me a rapper, I have gone on record here saying it is a lie.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc. In your view what are some of the most fun, interesting, exciting people, places or things to check out?
I’m grateful to be thinking about this while we as a nation are determining whether or not we think and feel the pandemic is over. If this is truly my best friend, they already know that I hate being a tour guide, I hate crowds, I hate fun, and hanging with me is implicitly accepting a boring time.
That said, we’d start by determining what is left of this shell of a city after the pandemic has ravaged its independent businesses and performing arts.
Since this is my best friend, they know I’m on a plant-based diet and so if we aren’t going somewhere that’s either vegan or has respectfully competent vegan options (French fries aren’t a meal and neither is fucking salad), they’re eating without me. The best restaurants from which I ordered takeout during the pandemic are Mama’s International Tamales, Cruzer Pizza, Souley Vegan, Las Gloras Del Buen Comer, Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant, Lento Market, India’s Restaurant, Green Leaves Vegan, Indian Vegan Café, and Rakkan Ramen so I know they’re fantastic and still standing for now. We might also go to Donut Friend if the owner has recognized the workers’ union by then. Is ordering donuts and suggesting unions to management still solidarity? This might be a conversation we have, and then depending on what we decide we might still get donuts.
I may be willing to walk around some of the easy hikes near Malibu that aren’t close to where the rich people live, but if there are too many people we could find a park that isn’t teeming with children or influencers.
We could go to an art museum, but not a science or natural history museum. Art museums like the Getty or the Broad are cool. Science and natural history museums are where school trips happen, and everything is interactive, tactile, and sticky (because of all the gross kids). It’s a trick because they sound interesting but actually, no thanks.
If my friend is in the mood for comedy and Upright Citizens Brigade Theater has not yet crumbled to the ground, we can catch a show. I have also enjoyed taking visitors to see Roast Battle at the Comedy Store, if the virus has not ended all live performance. Music-wise I recommend live jazz or a concert by any of the Leaving Records or dublab folks, also pending the extent of the post-pandemic destruction of live art.
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
We never met, but Anthony Fantano inspires me every single day and I aspire to be the Anthony Fantano of everything.
David Korman, Steve Best, Shem Pennant, and Dalia Malek’s selfie game.