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Farmer, Computer Geek, Recovery Comedian: An Interview with Hark Dulai
Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy
Recovery Comedian Hark Dulai

Hark Dulai was born on June 12, 1972 in Live Oak, California, a small farm town just north of Sacramento. He grew up a very hard working peach farmer, or actually the lazy son of a very hard working peach farmer.  He has always been a sports fanatic and he watches all sports (watches because he was never good enough to play). He is very competitive or a sore loser depending on how you look at it.  Hark has more love for his favorite sports teams than any woman he has ever met, which explains why he is still single. That’s right he’s single, so ladies feel free to email him so his family will finally get off his back about settling down.

Later, after his farming days, he moved to the Silicon Valley and turned into a bit of a computer geek, a bit of a drinker (actually a lot), and eventually, realized he was also a bit of a comedian. His comedy style can relate to everyone. You don't need to be from a small farm town or be a computer nerd to enjoy his work.  You don’t even need to be a terrorist (ask him to show you his driver's license if you ever meet him). Hark has many stories to tell about his drinking days, well the ones that did not end in a black out. Don't worry though, he will fill in the blacked out spots with things that he has made up!  Spend 10 minutes with Hark and you'll feel like you've known him your entire life, kind of like your next door neighbor, spend another 20 minutes with him and you will wish your next door neighbor would move.

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid? 

Hark Dulai:  I was quiet and shy, never talked much. Many people are shocked I do stand-up now because of that. I was very competitive though, I never liked losing. Sports, games, anything. I also had this fear of dying, it started at an early age, I used tell myself as I got older science, would find a way to make us live forever. I remember thinking that many times probably since I was as young as six or seven.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing? 

Hark Dulai:  It’s something I always wanted to do, but as I got older I started telling myself if you want to do it, you better get to it. You aren't going to live forever, unless of course science advances to where we can live forever. So about 5 years ago I gave it a try and have been having fun since.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery? 

Hark Dulai:  No, actually I have had friends tell me that I should have started doing comedy at an earlier age, but I think everything happens for a reason. I hear stories about drinking and drug use by comedians. Makes me wonder if I had started earlier would be now in recovery, or would I even be here at all.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it? 

Hark Dulai:  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, just depends on the night or where I am performing. If I do recovery shows, I talk about my struggles with drinking and hopefully others can relate. Sometimes I just want to have fun. Whether there is a message or not, most importantly comedy has to be funny.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols? 

Hark Dulai:  Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Richard Pryor. I like there to be a certain amount of sarcasm in comedy, and I think they have that. Richard Pryor, because watching Live on the Sunset Strip made me realize that you can talk about dark things in your life and still make it funny. I think that inspired me to be more honest on stage.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from? 

Hark Dulai:  Mostly past and current experiences. I think I am always observing things to try to find something funny in the situation.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process? 

Hark Dulai:  Probably much different than most people, because I can't read my own hand writing often, so I just keep talking into a recorder and hopefully think of something funny. Of course sometimes when I go back listen to the recordings I think to myself, what the hell were you thinking?

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite? 

Hark Dulai:  Kryptonite is my my kryptonite. I am really Superman, but don’t tell anyone, I have to protect my secret identity. Ok, it was also Johnnie Walker Black Label at one point as well.

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career? 

Hark Dulai:  They have been very supportive. My brothers, and sister, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law hardly ever miss a show when it is close by, which is weird because if they were doing comedy I am sure I would have been bored with going to their shows by now. Of course they also make it difficult to change material around. I do a bit about being in Seattle, but one time I said I was in Tampa, Florida instead. My sister-in-law yelled out no you weren’t, you were in Seattle.

I am not comfortable doing comedy in front of my parents, but they are still supportive. They actually came to a show for the first time last year when I did a show where all ages were welcome. I figure if kids could be there, so could my parents.

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process? 

Hark Dulai:  I think everything I do is a part of my healing process, so comedy is as well.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy? 

Hark Dulai:  Every comedian has bad sets, but the strangest experience I ever had was in Hayward, it was shortly after the kid in Oakland got shot by the BART cop. I have a bit where I talk about getting pulled over by a cop and all of the sudden everyone in the audience starts chanting F#*k the police. And I couldn't get them to shut up. I was thinking great, I am going to start a mini riot. Finally I said. “F#*k the police? I kind of wish they were here right now”.

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy? 

Hark Dulai:  One time after a show where I was telling my real story, how I got into drinking and how I got out, a girl walked up to me after the show, she said “look what you did, look at my make up, you made me laugh and cry at the same time.” Just made me feel like people care about my story. Another good experience was an email I got one time from someone in recovery. It pretty much said that one time she felt like having a drink, and instead watched one of my videos, and realized how messed up I was and it made her go to a meeting. I figure if I helped even one person for one day, it’s worth it, and made me want to keep going with the recovery comedy.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

Hark Dulai:  I really don't have a favorite joke; I pretty much like anything that's funny.  I don't get offended easily which makes it easy for me to find any subject funny.  

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

Hark Dulai:  I just want to always enjoy comedy.  I don't want to be a "star" or be famous.  I just want to always enjoy comedy.  So basically my dream is to enjoy life, not just comedy but everything life has to offer.  

Recovery Comedy:  Thanks so much for taking the time to chat Hark.    

To find out more information about Hark Dulai or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!

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