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31 August 2011
Phil Wang: Photograph
by Fred Brewin
Department of Engineering and King ’s College student Phil Wang, recently demonstrated his comedic talents on BBC2's ‘The Rob Brydon Show’. (first shown on Friday 19 August 2011).Twenty-one year old Phil appeared alongside guests Dame Edna Everage and Will Young. His five minute long stand-up routine was well received by the studio audience.
I asked Phil how the experience compared, with performing at his more regular venues, on the Cambridge stand up circuit:
“Well, of course it wasn't a college bar filled with good-willed Cambridge students, but a studio full of tax-paying adults. That made it quite different. I was much more nervous as well. I’m reasonably well known around the Cambridge scene and feel much more confident and relaxed there. I was much more scared of stumbling my lines and not looking in the right direction on Rob Brydon.”
Phil's appearance on the Show was arranged by his agent at the Avalon Management Group. He was signed to the agency after winning the 2010 Chortle Student Comedian of the Year Award. Phil is also the current President of the world famous Cambridge Footlights (Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club) http://footlights.org/committee.html.This long standing institution has in the past helped nurture such talents as John Cleese, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
As well as forging a name for himself in the world of comedy, Phil has also successfully completed his first three years of study at the Department of Engineering. In October he is due to start his 4th year project 'Dynamics and Control in Formula 1' in the Information Engineering Division.
I asked Phil how he manages to find time to study as well as write and perform:
"Not very well. Aside from a few vexing exceptions, it is near impossible at Cambridge to pursue more than one thing at a high level to the best of your abilities. There’s a balance I am constantly having to strike between studying engineering and comedy. For instance, engineering deadlines sometimes mean I have to miss a show or rehearsal, and the comedy has meant that I keep missing out on the firsts I’d obviously otherwise be getting every year."
Phil has just finished performing in 'The Comedy Zone' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and is also involved in 'The Life Doctor', a show that he has co-written and co-directed with Adam Lawrence. http://www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk/events/life-doctor.
I asked Phil which career path he thinks he will be following this time next year; will it be engineering, or will it be comedy?
"At the moment it looks like it will be comedy. However, engineering is a noble (and EMPLOYABLE) degree to have. I also find it quite interesting most of the time, which helps."
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