The year 2018 has been phenomenal for Lebanese comedian Esther Manito. She had the opportunity to perform at the United Arab Emirates’ largest theatre, the Dubai Opera, and was a contributor to the book “Donʹt Panic, Iʹm Islamic.”
The UK-based comedian spoke exclusively with Lebanese Examiner about her career and the challenges she faced to achieve her success.
How did you get started in comedy, and how did you grow so fast?
I started doing comedy when my son was 7-months-old. I did a comedy course, I had no idea I would continue to do stand up. The last two years has been a whirlwind. I have worked incredibly hard to take as many opportunities as possible.
What are some obstacles you think you have faced in the industry, both personally and professionally?
Well, doing stand-up comedy when you are a mother to two very small children is physically demanding. However, I feel I am more fulfilled which has made me a better mom. In terms of comedy you will always find you are battling stereotypes as female comic, but especially as a female comic that talks about her Arab roots.
As you travel all across the world, what do you think of the Lebanese diaspora?
There are Lebanese wherever you go! We are EVERYWHERE! We are Lebanon. I have Lebanese women approach me after most gigs. They are so supportive and love seeing a woman talk about being Lebanese.
What are some future projects you are working on that your fans should look forward to?
I am writing a book, its an observational look at how comedy can be used to challenge sociological expectations of motherhood.
What would you like to say to the younger generation who are thinking of pursuing a career in entertainment?
Girls! Get out there and take pride in your inner funny. Nothing is more wonderful than realizing you can own a stage.