You can age as a comedian. The most exciting part of starting a journey as a musical comedian is I don’t live with the fear of aging like I did as a musician. Successful singer/songwriters are found at 19 with incredible voices and perfect bodies. As a musician I lived in fear of time moving forward, now I feel like I can age as a comedian and just get funnier.
As a part of our series called “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian”, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Farideh.
Musician and comedian, Farideh brings a unique perspective to the stage with her relatable and humorous take on parenting, motherhood, and introversion. With a background as a musician who toured internationally and received many awards, Farideh has gained a reputation for crafting catchy tunes and delivering high-energy performances. In December 2022, her song Such a Good Dad went viral, generating over 10 million views in just three weeks and solidifying her status as a rising star in the digital creator community. In addition to her music career, Farideh is known for her personal storytelling and engaging videos that make audiences laugh, nod along in recognition, and even shed a tear. With placements in shows like Workin’ Moms and You, Me & Her as well as commercials for Samantha Bee and Western Canada Co-op, Farideh has proven to be a versatile and in-demand artist. Whether onstage or in her videos, Farideh will leave a lasting impression on any audience.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I came out of the womb with the dream to be a musician. I started by singing on coffee tables at my grandmother’s house to the applause of my family. My dad was a gifted guitar player, I grew up in a house listening to his band jamming in our living room. My mothers family was full of storytellers who loved to roast each other at the dinner table and tell stories full of half-truths and comedic twists.
I didn’t have too many friends or outside interests other than music. It was an obsession for me. I started writing songs at 12 and starting my first band at 14 and just kept expanding from there. On stage between songs I would keep the audience interested by telling jokes or stories. I never considered myself funny because my family was so much more talented than I was in that arena.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path as a comedian?
I thought my music career was over. I had one song writing awards, toured the world, by all accounts I was doing great. But I was almost 40, a mother and I didn’t want to leave my daughter at home while I pursued my dream. So, I quit the band I had been in for the following 9 years and was ready find my next career path.
Two weeks later, COVID hit, and I was suddenly a stay-at-home parent. I was lost and a way forward did not feel clear. I knew from years of being on stage that I could make people laugh and cry. I wondered if I could do the same with social media content. At the time I thought, maybe I’d become an influencer or something.
In 2021, I started filming video content. After a year of sharing content my views were okay, but not great. It was clear I would never make a good influencer because I hate buying things. It was also clear I wasn’t funny enough to consistently do well online as a comedian or content creator.
In the summer of 2022, I remembered that the best way to get better at something is to learn from someone else. So, I enrolled in an online comedy class out of Los Angeles with Gerry Katzman. Not only did I learn more about the fundamentals of comedy, but I also witnessed my fellow classmates integrating their talents of acting, or impressions in their stand-up. I realized I was leaving my greatest talent (music) at the door because I thought my music career was over. Once I started blending my music and comedy, my videos started going viral and my audience started to grow exponentially.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Family therapists message me on Instagram to say: “I just wanted to let you know that your song X has been brought up in multiple therapy sessions by my clients”.
This feels like the big leagues. I’m talked about in therapy??? Hello yes please!
Motherhood is so lonely, and there aren’t many songs or movies that reflect our lives. My whole goal is for a mom to listen to my comedy songs and think “I feel so seen”. I hope she sends these videos to her partner and says “This is how I feel”.
If my work means enough that she’s taking it to her therapist, that’s a career highlight for me.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes as a performer. There’s always something going wrong and often putting my foot in my mouth. On this particular evening, I was performing with my band in a smalltown to an entirely French audience. In small towns Canada, sometimes the best venue is an old church because the acoustics are great and there’s lots of seating.
Sadly, I am not one of those bi-lingual Canadians. I only speak English. I shared with the audience that I only knew one French word. When I said that word, 200 people gasped in unison. Turns out that my friends had taught me the one that word is the equivalent to an F-bomb x 1000. To say it inside of a church was whole nothing level of sacrilege.
In my embarrassment, I fell off the stage and no one even remembered my lude language.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
You’re right. None of us get here alone. It takes far more than even one person to keep a creative person on their career path. My dad being a musician gave me the biggest leg up. Listening to his foot tapping to keep the time, hearing the stories of the road, being forgotten at a gas station accidentally — that mentorship provided me with at least some knowledge of what I was stepping into. Whenever I made a mistake on stage, or I had a gig that I was nervous about, my dad was always there to give me guidance. When I had a baby and wanted to continue performing on tour, my dad came with me and provided childcare while I was on stage.
About 5 years ago I was in a remote part of Canada called Labrador performing a show and I realized that my music career had surpassed my fathers success. That was a moment for me and I knew my success was because of the sacrifice, mentorship and support my dad had given me my whole life.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
Firstly, know that you can quit. Many times. I have quit my career as a musician at least 5 times and yet I am still here. Getting back up over and over is hard. Sometimes you’ll take a blow that will have you smack on your ass for over a year, even two. That’s fine. Just because you quit, doesn’t mean you can’t start again.
If you keep getting back up, you’ll find rejection and failure are powerful medicine. Once you take all those hits, you don’t even fall down anymore. After a while no rejection or failure is so big that it stops you from doing what you love to do.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
I’ve been excited to start trying writing and performing for television. After years of performing live and now on social media, a few new opportunities to work in television have emerged and I’m very excited to enjoy a new creative frontier.
What do you do to get material to write your jokes? What is that creative process like?
I ask my Instagram followers and myself questions like “what is annoying about being a mom”. That seems to bring up a lot of material. When I’m talking to my friends, I notice themes or ideas and I keep them in a running list on my phone. Comedy and music are very similar in that they’re about telling the truth. If you can listen to what you truly think and feel about a subject, then you’ll have more material than you know what to do with.
Super. Here is our main question. What are your “Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1) You’ve been doing comedy much longer than you think. Pursing musical comedy was a surprise only for me. When I started doing it, my friends and family pointed out that I had been doing stand-up between songs for years and I had even written funny songs. I thought I was doing this brave new thing, when really, without me noticing — I had been learning about comedy for years. Had I known that, I would have started to learning about comedy so much sooner.
2) You aren’t the best judge of what is funny. When I wrote “You Are Such a Good Dad”, (a song that now has over 10million views), I thought the song wasn’t that good. Over and over, I create a video or write a song and think it’s bad — and then share it on social media and its successful. The opposite can happen too. I have a song called “Snacks”; I was sure it would be a hit because who doesn’t like snacks! People liked that song, but it was not the breakout hit I thought it would be.
3) You have to be willing to bomb in order to shine. Its embarrassing to share videos online and have them flop for everyone to see. It’s embarrassing to tell a joke in person and have no one laugh. But you only know what’s funny when you share and learn.
4) Don’t write alone. When I was writing more serious songs, I wrote by myself or with a few collaborators. Now I write with 125,000 moms around the world and its AMAZING! I love asking my Instagram followers for what I should write about, and when I’m stuck on a line, I just ask them. It helped me find what resonates and what is funny much faster than if I was doing it alone.
5) You can age as a comedian. The most exciting part of starting a journey as a musical comedian is I don’t live with the fear of aging like I did as a musician. Successful singer/songwriters are found at 19 with incredible voices and perfect bodies. As a musician I lived in fear of time moving forward, now I feel like I can age as a comedian and just get funnier.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Life is long. This is something I tell myself over and over. I have a habit of feeling like I have to do everything right now. At 40, I’ve already had one successful musical career. Now I’m on this journey in musical comedy, a career I NEVER dreamt for myself. I have so many goals like learning to play the piano, or have a wild and experimental sex life with my husband. But that time isn’t now. Life is long — if we’re lucky.
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
My greatest goal is that my work can make a difference, even if its small. If the work I do contributes to mothers feeling more seen, if she brings my songs to therapy sessions or sends them to her husband to explain how she is feeling — that would be a movement I would be honored to be part of.
In a recent study out of Britain, mothers said that the place they experience the most gender inequality is in their home. Our families are sites of societal transformation. If even one couple had a deeper conversation about the division of labour, or the impossible standards that mothers feel, then my job here is done.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Steve Martin. I read his autobiography long before I thought about pursuing comedy. His techniques for improving laughter on stage were so helpful. started implementing those techniques between songs and they worked. His work is so light and joyful and he’s a well of knowledge and wisdom. I also think we could connect on our love for sandwhiches.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Farideh: Five Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Became A Professional Comedian was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.