Mini Q+A with…Hanna Dickinson

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Hanna Dickinson graduated from USC as a film studies major in 2014. During her senior year, Hanna started standup and, at six months in, made the top four in two college standup competitions. Upon graduation, Hanna hosted for Pauly Shore on his tour in various cities across the U.S. She continues to showcase at festivals and competitions across the country, including Comedy Central’s 2016 and 2017 Comics to Watch L.A. Showcase, and the San Diego Comedy Festival, where she won first place. Currently, Hanna lives in New York City and just wrapped writing on season 3 of Comedy Knockout on truTV. You can hear her album “Lactose Intolerant” on Sirius XM Rawdog Comedy. Follow her!


 

Describe your worst gig.

I drove twelve hours roundtrip to open for a guy in the back of a Hookah lounge. There were maybe 12 people there. I bombed.

On your deathbed, what transcendent advice would you croak at a young (female/LGBTQI) comedian?

Be funny.

What’s your first impulse when someone says “women aren’t funny”?

If someone has the balls to say it around me, I laugh. It’s such an ignorant statement that I don’t feel the need to get defensive. The male comics who have said that are the least funny people I know. (I realize that sounds defensive.)

When you were coming up in comedy, what helped you stick with it?

I love it. I’m still coming up (hopefully) and there are so many nights I want to quit, but I can’t. There’s nothing else I could think of doing with my life. I’ve never even had a wedding Pinterest.

Best comedy advice you ever got?

Don’t focus on other people’s success. In standup, you should be so unique that you can’t compare yourself to anyone else.

Worst comedy advice you ever got?

Wear overalls.

How has being funny helped you in your offstage life, either recently or when you were younger?

I’ve always been extremely anxious and hard on myself. It’s easy to not get worked up about things and see the bigger picture when you’re structuring it as a joke. Especially with dating, the only time I get upset about a guy is when my joke about him doesn’t land.

Was there one person who inspired you to become a comedian? If so, who, why, how?

Molly Shannon in Superstar. I was obsessed with her physical humor. She was such a weirdo in that movie and I really related.

For standups: what advice do you have for how to level up from open mics + bringers to actual SPOT-spots?

Avoid bringers! You’re wasting your friends’ money and they will never want to see you once you get on good shows. Do as many open mics as possible and comics will ask you to do their show. Also, start a show and book comics you like. If you’re funny and easy to work with, you’ll get booked. Instead of bringers, apply to festivals. A lot of festivals are wack but it’s a fun way to meet other comics even if the shows are sh*t.

Feelings about the word “comedienne”?

I don’t mind it, but it’s harder to spell.


Hanna Dickinson graduated from USC as a film studies major in 2014. During her senior year, Hanna started standup and, at six months in, made the top four in two college standup competitions. Upon graduation, Hanna hosted for Pauly Shore on his tour in various cities across the U.S. She continues to showcase at festivals and competitions across the country, including Comedy Central’s 2016 and 2017 Comics to Watch L.A. Showcase, and the San Diego Comedy Festival, where she won first place. Currently, Hanna lives in New York City and just wrapped writing on season 3 of Comedy Knockout on truTV. You can hear her album “Lactose Intolerant” on Sirius XM Rawdog Comedy. Follow her!