Men are usually more dominant in the Arab world over women and the comedy arena is no different, all until a young Jordanian woman decided it was time to step up and portray some of the social aspects in the community in a very humorous and light-hearted way. She is Rawsan Al Hallak paving her path in comedy; she shared with Arab Woman Mag about her passion and future plans.
Ever since I was a little girl I use to love comedy and impersonating characters to make my family and friends laugh. I pursued this passion till I finally made it on stage during my primary and high school years where I earned lots of awards for my talents. This ignited my love further for comedy and acting and led me to many success’ such as acting roles in social and Islamic series in a comedic way not to mention performing stand-up comedy on stage or on YouTube.
Please tell us more about yourself?
I was born in 21/9/1987 in Amman Jordan, and I’ve been raised and lived all my life in Amman, my love towards this city is endless. I am the youngest In my siblings and swear to you I am not spoiled! I love driving, cars, the ocean coffee and adventure, anything other than swimming as I drowned once as a child but I might join in for a suntan, not really for a tan just because I like socializing.
The best years of my life were during my school years where I attended the Islamic Science college I found the simplicity and spontaneity within the walls of my classrooms. Then I went on to earn my degree in Engineering from the University of Jordan, I chose engineering as it is a field filled with social activities and is very energizing (labor, concrete, sun, a mess!)
How did you journey in comedy start? And how do you make the balance between your work as an engineer and your work in comedy?
It all started when I sent a minute long video to Kharabeesh Company as they were in search for new talents and I was chosen from 100 other participants. After that the first episode for stand-up comedy on You Tube was posted on 24/10/2013 under the title of girls and weddings. My profession is engineering but comedy is my hobby and passion that I’ve always dreamt of since childhood and to find a balance between the two was not an easy task taking up a lot of mental and physical strain. But when you don’t give up on what you do and have a passion for a hobby there has to be some sort of sacrifice.
How did you overcome the fear of facing millions of viewers on You Tube? And who gave you a supportive and encouraging hand?
During the first few episodes I had fear of how the audience would react to my performance and if they would like me. But I believed in myself and knew I had something unique to offer and my friends and family’s support kept motivating me to go forward and take a leap believing that God is by my side as long as I do not present anything that degrades my religion or ethics.
What is the message you are trying to portray through your comedy?
In my opinion the best way to convey a message is by using positive criticism in a funny way and my main concern is to put a smile on people’s faces and make them laugh, helping them forget even for a short time the stress’ of everyday life.
What are some of the challenges you faced? And how did your family react to your path in comedy?
My greatest challenge was trying to find the time between my full time job and filming my segments for the stand-up and I was expecting a lot of negative feedback as I am the first Hijabi girl doing this kind of comedy on You Tube, but the response I got was not so bad and I wasn’t attacked by bad criticism…
From the very first day I had my parents’ support they are constant viewers of my work and that makes me proud.
What are your future plans?
I have lots of dreams and ambitions and with God’s will I will make them come true. I hope to have my own series and maybe being part of radio broadcast as I have the ability to change my voice to any other, I would also love to do live stand-up comedy…these are a few of my dreams.
How do you view the Jordanian comedy today? And why do you think You Tube is more successful than regular T.V.?
The Jordanian comedy is witnessing great progress especially with the younger generation, yet there are still untapped resources that need to be channeled in the correct way to see greater success.
YouTube is a window to the whole world and is the easier way to communicate with all ages, myself for example I am not a T.V. person but a YouTube addict and I believe there are many like me.
What advice do you give girls that have a talent for comedy?
My dear don’t be afraid to follow your passion, work on yourself and better yourself and always practice, you will always find a power that will stand by your side; God is always there for you.