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An Interview with Comedian Hannah Hart

Last weekend was the first annual Buffer Festival, a multi-day event involving over 100 YouTube Creators. If you, like me, spend at least 30 minutes of your day checking out YouTube videos, this was basically your TIFF.

At the fest, I sat down with Hannah Hart,  known for her popular series My Drunk Kitchen.  I have been watching Hannah Hart for a while now; in grade ten, we would spend our lunches watching Hannah drink and cook. You could hear our laughs from across the hall.

Hart recently completed a tour, and she’s currently writing a book. We talked to her about what it’s like to have people write fan fiction about you, her favourite books, and the importance of volunteering.

SDTC: What is the best meal you have ever cooked drunk?

Hannah Hart: Tacos. I personally don’t like sweets very much, sugar makes my stomach hurt. I have never like sweets, but I like savory things. But I am really good at cooking sweets, when I am drunk all the sweet things I have ever made have been really good. Those are the best things I make, but I personally don’t like them.

SDTC: How do you feel about your fan fiction?

HH: I have been reading fan fiction since I was 10-11 years old, since the Internet came around. I don’t read it anymore, honestly. I read it on and off through out high school and college. So now that there is fan fiction about me I am totally 100 percent not bothered by it or creeped out by it at all, because I was part of the founding fathers of fan fiction. I got it and I get it, I get how people can be totally normal but write incredibly pornographic fan fiction about me.

SDTC: What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

HH: Green Tea. I love all kinds of tea. Earl Grey and all the varieties of green tea.

SDTC: You have a degree in English Literature, what are your top 5 books?

HH: 1. Letters to a Young Poet- Rainer Maria Rilke

2. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris

3. The Glass Castle –Jeannette Walls

4. The Burden of Sympathy- David Karp

5. Good Poems for Hard Times- Garrison Keillor

I love poetry and one of my favourite poets is Mary Oliver. Her poem “The Journey” is great.

SDTC: Where would you be if you didn’t post your first ever My Drunk Kitchen?

HH: It was crux moment in my life when My Drunk Kitchen happened. I had been applying to graduate school in London and literally the same week I got drunk and made that video for my friend. The first My Drunk Kitchen was filmed from London because I had gone on this trip to go to my acceptance interviews, and I just made a choice to make videos instead, honestly. After the first video, I dug deep to try and figure out what YouTube was all about, and I got great advice from people who I value to this day. It seemed like a more immediate outlet to try and start to find my creative voice. If My Drunk Kitchen hadn’t happened I would have gone to all my interviews and probably gone to graduate school.

SDTC: You did a lot of community service work on your recent Hello Harto Tour. How important is community service to you?

HH: This is how I like to convey community service. People feel guilty and obligated and it turns them off when you have a volunteer sign up. It is not a guilt or obligation thing, it is a privilege and lucky thing. You are lucky to go and get a chance to volunteer. It is hard to do, but you know what else is hard to do? Going to the gym. Going to the food banks and doing charity work is exactly the same. I know when I go I feel incredible after, that is what I want to help push. If people are so turned off by the idea of doing something for others out of guilt and obligation, fine, make it a selfish act, you are going to feel awesome after doing the work. I feel so fortunate right now.

SDTC: How has the process been for writing your book?

HH: It is deeply difficult to write because the reason people give a book advance is because they want you to do nothing but write for three months and I completely agree with that. Unfortunately my career is such that if you lose relevance you disappear. I have to do all the things we are currently doing. For me it is about carving out two, or if I am lucky, four, hours in a day to write. Let’s say you write for four hours, you get to 40 pages. 10 or 12 could be good. It has been hard.

SDTC: What inspires you to write?

HH: My routine is that I clear off a very organized space. I used to go and write in cafes but I find now I need to be alone. I clear off the space, have it 90-degree-angles organized. I listen to Ratatat, jazz mix or classical mix, place my phone out of arm’s reach, and sit.

SDTC: How connected is your YouTube community?

HH: I want to be a cool big sister, I want to be that person who is a good role model. I feel when I meet them it is like meeting your boss; they make my life possible. It is strange to me that people feel like they are a celebrity or above their fans, when it’s like, no. The reason you can do what you want to do is because of them. When people say thank you, I want to say back, thank YOU.

Check out Hannah’s Youtube channel, where she posts new videos every Tuesday and Thursday. 

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