CORRECTION: This story originally reported that Malik was born in Pakistan and was an admissions recruiter at the Miller School of Medicine. Malik was born in New York but spent time living in Pakistan, and he is an admissions adviser for the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Coral Gables. The story was updated Wednesday at 7:55 p.m. to reflect this change.
Most people fear being laughed at. Being alone, on stage and under a spotlight while a crowd of people laughs seems like a nightmare for most.
That’s not the case for stand-up comedian Fasil Malik.
“To me, nothing is more addicting than making and hearing people laugh,” said the 32-year-old accountant.
Malik graduated with a degree in accounting in 2004 from Monmouth University, N.J., and moved to Miami in 2008 to work at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Coral Gables.
For two years, Malik has been fully committed to his comedy. He has performed more than 250 shows to date, including some in New Jersey, Colorado, Florida and New York. Malik even opened for famed singer Patti LaBelle in front of 2,000 people in Fort Lauderdale in 2014.
Malik’s comedy covers a wide range of topics, but his acts are usually “very clean.”
“Most of my act is self-deprecating, meaning I just make fun of myself,” he added. “But I also like to poke fun at everyday activities, relationship ups and downs and other things, depending on the crowd sometimes.”
Malik says that the people who seem to enjoy his comedy the most are college students, even though his material is not tailored to a particular demographic.
He stressed the importance of gauging the audience.
“Sometimes I see a crowd of just old white guys,” he said. “I remember one time I opened my act by bringing that up. ‘Wow, what a diverse crowd! We have white, whiter, pale and ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ here tonight! Good to see you all.’”
Malik is inspired by comedians such as Steven Wright, Mitch Hedberg and Jerry Seinfeld. When asked why he chose to pursue stand-up, Malik explained that it is the purest form of comedy there is.
“Acting and improv are limited,” he said. “In stand-up, you’re the writer, performer and star. You have much more freedom.”
Although performing can be daunting, Malik encouraged novice comedians to pursue the craft.
“Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself, that’s how you’ll learn,” he said.
Malik’s next show will take place at 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Open Stage Club in Coral Gables.
IF YOU GO
Where: Open Stage Club, 2325 Galiano St., Coral Gables, Fla. 33134
When: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday