Title of Show: Dalia Malek: Another Castle Venue: Just the Tonic – Mash House (Snifter Room) Time: 3.15pm Dates: 4th-28th August 2022 (not 15th) Photographer: David Korman Links: Profile and Social Media
Tell me about your 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, Dalia Malek: Another Castle
“Another Castle” is a reference to the Super Mario Bros. (1985) Nintendo game when Toad tells Mario that the Princess he has been trying to rescue is in another castle. The title is an analogy for searching for things in ill-judged places, barking up wrong trees, unmet expectations, or what professionals in the biz call “pulling a Dalia.” My show is about failed dreams, the surprising weirdness of the immigrant experience, video games, and love. I want us to laugh together at the world burning and maybe find hope in a place we hadn’t been looking.
This is my debut solo hour which I was supposed to do in 2020, but you know what happened. Back then I’d actually said aloud that if I don’t make it in comedy by 2020 I will give up, but then everybody had to give up for a while. I guess my plan to make it in comedy was in another castle.
What are your expectations of this year’s Fringe?
I expect an Edinburgh Stinge Festival. We’re all broke except for the people who are already successful, and we’re participating in the most expensive thing. I’m just hoping to have fun, find my people, and compartmentalize all the intrusive thoughts about swiftly hemorrhaging money while trying to survive this thing. If you’re an industry person reading this, I expect to revolutionize and diversify comedy as we know it while making you oodles of money.
Who inspires you?
Anthony Fantano inspires me every single day and I aspire to be the Anthony Fantano of everything.
What was it like first getting back on stage after the pandemic lockdown?
I frequently did online shows during the lockdown and getting back on stage made me quickly realize that virtual and in-person performances are different animals. One doesn’t make you good at the other. I still had to shake off the cobwebs on stage, but virtual helped me write more and stay connected with comedians and audiences all over the world. Before regaining momentum I felt like a better writer and worse performer.
There have also been numerous false starts in LA since we’ve had variant surges where things closed and reopened multiple times, shows got canceled and rescheduled again, and then we had to start over when they returned. After lockdown ended, I still had to continue having discussions with venues about assessing fear and risk (ours and the audience’s) and the comfort of other performers. Then I got long COVID and physically couldn’t speak, so as things re-opened again I had to stop for ages until I recovered. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend any of it.
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own.
Hey Genius, still think 2020 is “the year of Dalia?”
This question feels like bad journalism, why are you putting me in a corner?
I didn’t have time to do any journalism training for this, just answer the question.
I mean, listen. It was a tough time. You were there. If you’re alluding to my not quitting comedy like I threatened to in 2020, it was out of spite, okay? If my quitting would have satisfied you, keep suffering.
Are you directing that at me/yourself or other people who would enjoy seeing you quit?
I guess all of the above? Dude it was supposed to be one question, you’re embarrassing us.
Tickets: Dalia Malek: Another Castle