Laughter Zone 101 is running BC’s Funniest New Female competition at Lafflines Comedy Club on July 16 & 17, and we’re rooting for South Asian female comedian, Ash Dhawan. Not only is this gal hilarious, she’s also smart. Working as a civil engineer tech by day and a stand-up comedian by night. Happily single, this Indian girl keeps her audiences enthralled with her crude humour. Listener discretion is advised…

Give us your “Elevator Pitch” – A snap shot of who you are, what you do, and what we should know about you?

I am a seriously deranged south asian female who who spends days in school and engineering things and evenings offending people on stage. In other words, I’m a civil engineer tech and a stand-up comedian. It’s a unique combination which allows me to not only be a logical problem solver but also a problem creator. I’m happily single, no bratty children, awesome family and friends and a career I love. On stage I say a lot of things that a proper Indian girl probably shouldn’t say, but it’s a whole lot of fun and I get great support from the south asian community.


Tell us about the path you took to get to where you are today.

I took stand up comedy classes because I was an absolute horrifyingly bad public speaker. I figured if I wanted to learn how to swim I better jump in the deep end. So I performed and was very good at it and I started getting gigs, by my sixth show I was named Vancouver’s Funniest Comedian with a day job. I fell in love with being on stage and now I perform regularly all over the city. It’s hard and it takes a lot of courage and a lot of bad shows, but you improve and become better with every minute on stage. My comedy has gone from being blue to more witty and involved.

What advice would you give young South Asian women wanting to do what you do?

Just do it! Don’t worry about what other people think. There’s such a big fear about how people view you, that I believe a lot of South Asian women shy away from things outside the norm. Try it, just once. The feeling you get when you’re on stage and are making people laugh is the most unbelieavable feeling in the world.

How important is it to you to make South Asian women feel empowered?

It’s very important. I think the modern day South Asian woman is constantly bombarded with roles they should fill…mother, wife, daughter. By empowering them, I hope we can encourage them to do what they love, and do it well.

What do you do to help South Asian women feel empowered?

I stared at this question for like 17 minutes (give or take 16 minutes) and I think the answer is, I try and set an example. I go out there and I do what I do, I bring a South Asian female voice to the comedy scene and I take any chance available to support womens groups and encourage other ladies to give comedy a shot. Best case scenario I’m inspiring other women to try it. 


What is your personal motto or mission statement?

I think the greatest tragedy would be to live an ordinary life. I want to do something extraordinary, I want to show the world how incredible women can be. Whether that’s through comedy or some other avenue its all I want. Its about waking up in the morning and loving what you do.

Besides your work, what are you passionate about?

I love learning and I’m very passionate about education. I’m also passionate about electrical fires, not causing them but preventing them. It’s more like an irrational fear, I think about it a lot. There may be something wrong with me.

Where can one find you on your days off?

I spend a lot of time writing jokes, things that I think are funny. About 99% of them are not, so I spend a whole lot more time ripping pages out of my book. I’m also on a weight loss journey so I have been more active and spend a lot of time counting calories and walking really fast.


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