Ibby Akbar

by the partae

Congratulations on your upcoming Australian national tour, Ibby! What inspired the theme ‘To be honest’ for your new stand-up show, and what can audiences expect from this candid and hilarious journey into your life and musings? 

 The theme of ‘being honest’ is at the core of what this show is. It summarises what was on my mind when writing the show and allows me to firstly, be honest with personal stories In my life and break down any barrier that exists between myself and the audience. But also, giving my honest outlook on all things relevant to society right now. I will give my spin on everything ranging from relationships to vape smokers. There is something for everyone.

 As you kick off the tour in Brisbane on November 29th, what are you most looking forward to in connecting with your Australian audience again, especially after the success of your debut tour in 2022? 

Putting aside the fact, that ill be meeting people with equally as much hair as me, I think above all else, im looking forward to having a laugh with like-minded people. People that can enjoy and appreciate the same topics and jokes I find funny. When first going on tour you get an absolute buzz and feed off the audiences’ enjoyment. I cannot wait to really get back into it with everyone.

The title of your show suggests a deep dive into your mind and experiences. Can you share a sneak peek or a teaser about one particular aspect of your life that you’ll be exploring in ‘To be honest’? 

One of the things I talk about is my experience with the topic of arranged marriages. what they are, how theyre relevant to me and my life. In particular when I was essentially proposed to from a girl overseas! Trust me you don’t want to miss it.

You’ve mentioned that the show will include your unique spin on current events. How do you approach incorporating current events into your comedy, and what makes your perspective stand out? 

When approaching comedy I think the most important thing to remember is the fact that no topic should be ‘out of bounds’. As a comedian, I should be able to look at events, whether previous or present and be able to extract a unique and hilarious take on it. My experiences, my lessons and my life have allowed me to look at life through that lens. So when I look at events that lens lets me see a different and unique perspective which I can then add a little spice to and voila!

Having sold out shows across the country during your debut tour, what lessons did you learn from that experience, and how have you applied them to make this second tour even more exciting for your fans? 

With time comes experience, and although this is my second show there is a lot of knowledge you gain when going out there for the first time. I know to be in the moment, I know that the worst thing that can happen is me forgetting what to say (which happened in my first ever show and it made the show better) but I know its not the end of the world. I saw what the crowd loved and im going to make sure to bring more of that for this show.

Your humor often revolves around stories from your ethnic background and poking fun at society. How do you navigate the balance between relatability and pushing boundaries in your comedy? 

Like I said earlier, The boundary that is comedy needs to constantly be pushed, not just for the sake of “shock” reactions but to give people a different way of looking at what would usually be a conventional topic. I only talk about things that have happened in my life which make gives me the credit to do so. I know I will never say anything for the sake of ‘shock’ which means ill never push that line too far.

From Brisbane to Sydney, the tour covers various cities. How do you tailor your performance to resonate with audiences from different parts of Australia, each with its unique cultural nuances? 

Each city has its own unique way of looking at humour. I am lucky to be able to connect with people that enjoy my comedy across Australia and not just one city. So when they come to me they already know what kind of humour they are in store for. But, its important to keep in mind that each city can resonate and relate to one story more than another. So you need to extend and decrease each one accordingly.

You’ve built a significant following on social media with over 300K followers. How does your online presence influence or inspire the content you create for your live performances, and what role does social media play in engaging with your fans during the tour? 

 Social media is the backbone and the catalyst for me to be able to take on the stage of stand-up comedy. With social media ill sometimes play an overexaggerated character and take the mickey out of the real outliers of society. But with stand up I can expand and do so much more. Social media videos can only last a minute and stand up can go on for over an hour. Social media has given me that platform however. It has allowed me to reach audiences I never thought possible. Without it, I would not be in the position I am today.

The tour is titled ‘To be honest.’ How much of your personal life and experiences can the audience expect to see, and how do you decide which aspects to share in your stand-up?

As you visit different cities, is there a particular venue or city you are especially excited to perform in, and why? 

It’ll be half about my life and some personal stories and half about my spin on society and its funny characters we all know. I go with what feels natural, I never put any limitations on what I can and cant say and allow myself to just brain dump. From it stories become alive, whether they come in the form of personal stories or observations really just depends on that moment of that day.

I’m particularly excited to be playing at Margaret court arena. To be able to put my name alongside such major and key figures in the world of comedy that have also played there is an absolute privelage. And only in my second year!!!

Given your success in 2022 and the growing popularity of your content, how do you stay grounded and authentic in your comedy, ensuring that your unique voice continues to resonate with your audience? 

The reality is, this can all be taken away tomorrow. Nothing in my life has changed so drastically that I can no longer resonate with everyone around me. I have come from humble beginnings and will forever remain that way. I enjoy what I do more than anything but I know it does not last forever and I am grateful for everyday I am given an opportunity to make people laugh. So whilst I have this opportunity I ensure I make the most of it.

Finally, for those who are yet to secure their tickets, why should they grab a seat for ‘To be honest,’ and what message do you have for your fans eagerly anticipating your second national tour this summer?

If they don’t grab a ticket they will miss out on ever seeing this show again! I guarantee anyone can enjoy this show from young to old!

For those that are waiting for this show, I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to pursue my dream continuously! I will make sure I have you all in tears the entire night.

@ibby_a (Instagram)

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