We had the good fortune of connecting with James Mane and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi James, how do you define success?
I have friends that range from those who have a lot of money and own a few properties to friends that rent and are making payments on their car. What I have learned was that the ones that seem to be happiest are the ones who are content with what they have. They spend time with their family and friends and live within their means. Whether that’s rich or poor, it didn’t matter to them. The main thing was the satisfaction with what they have, happiness with their family and loved ones, and being okay with who they are as a person. That’s how I see success.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a stand-up comedian and I love the challenges that I come across every time I take the stage. I have a unique point of view because I am probably one of a handful of Samoans that do stand-up professionally. I know of two others but they are half Samoan so I guess that makes them one other…

I am proud of the fact that I am the first full Samoan to do a featured stand-up comedy act on national television when I was featured in FNX First Nation’s Comedy Experience that aired across the nation and can now be seen on Amazon Prime.

I have been blessed with meeting many supportive comics along the way that have helped me with great advice, connections, and have vouched for me to other comics, bookers, or venue owners. Doing stand-up isn’t easy and almost as equally as difficult is getting opportunities to perform in bigger shows.

The biggest thing I have learned in this business is to be nice to others. You ever know who will or can help you in the future. Building up that network is as important as be funny. But, what I’ve learned is that most comics are nice because they have all been through the tough parts of starting out and doing the work. This is an on the job training art that we have chosen. You have to get on stage and see what works and what doesn’t. Bombing on stage is part of the work.

Other comics respect what each other have gone through so are usually accepting of other comics when they meet each other at shows. Especially if they are funny. Andy Bumatai, a comic that I have looked up to for decades, who has been doing stand-up since the 70’s shared an awesome quote that I share with new comics that I have met along the way. I apologize but I forget who Andy got the phrase from, but it goes like this:

“The most difficult thing to do in show business is comedy. The most difficult thing to do in comedy is stand-up comedy.”

So you really have to respect those that are doing stand-up comedy. One of the biggest fears that people have is public speaking and that’s something that we do all the time.

Although I get up to tell my story on stage. My goal has always been to entertain people with laughter. I have always been the class clown, the wise guy, and/or the life of the party. I find it so interesting that my thoughts and actions on stage or in conversation can spring up and involuntary reaction from someone, usually it’s laughter. But, I have found that my favorite laughter starts out with a groan. It’s like the person finds what I have said to be either gross or almost crossing the line but it’s still so funny that they can’t not laugh.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, living in Hawaii it’s pretty easy to come up with things to do. I live on the island of Oahu which has the biggest city in the state, Honolulu. So there’s definitely a lot of night life that I could take visitors to. Usually people come here for 5 days and nights so if someone was to come and visit it would probably go something like this:

MONDAY – After a long flight we would probably just have a nice comfortably dinner before allowing my friend to settle in for the night. Assuming they’re staying in Waikiki, which is loaded with tourist traps, I would take them to a local diner type chain called Zippy’s which has a variety of dishes ranging from local, Asian, and American foods.

TUESDAY – We will start out with a relaxing day since it’s the first day after traveling. Drive around to see the sights and stopping to take pictures and visit food spots along the way. The drive around the island of Oahu can take about 2 to 3 hours depending on the time of day. With all the stops it will probably take us about 8 to 10 hours. I’ll list some places we will stop at below.

*PALI LOOKOUT – known for its beautiful scenery and location of a pivotal battle for the great King Kamehameha who united all of the islands of Hawaii.
*LAIE POINT – beautiful and natural corner on the Northeast end of the island where one can jump off of a short cliff into the ocean.
*NORTH SHORE – labeled the surf capital of the world that is riddled with beautiful beaches such as Pipeline, Waimea, and Haleiwa
*MATSUMOTO SHAVE ICE – made famous by numerous TV shows and movies that have stopped by there and of course their delicious shaved ice (snow cone).
*DOLE PLANTATION – historic location and site of one of the most famous pineapple farms.
*PEARL HARBOR – visit the Arizona Memorial to pay respects to the brave souls that are still buried underwater after the Japanese surprise attack that launched us into World War 2. Also, visit the Mighty Mo, the USS Missouri, which is the site where Japan signed their surrender officially ending the war.
LILIHA BAKERY – we would end with dinner at Liliha Bakery which has a variety of delicious local dishes such as Loco Moco which is a homemade hamburger patty laid on a bowl of rice. On top of that burger is two over easy fried eggs covered in brown gravy. With a side of macaroni salad.

That’s a full day!

WEDNESDAY – is beach day. I would go to the West side of Oahu and visit the Ko Olina lagoons. The waters are safe for tourists, as in there aren’t any large waves or channels that would make it difficult for tourists to swim in. Then we would pick up some real Hawaii Poke and plate lunch from Foodland and Yummy’s BBQ. Then catch a comedy show at Blue Note Hawaii in Waikiki to rap up the night.

THURSDAY – would be at The Polynesian Cultural Center teaches you the many different cultures that make up Polynesia. It’s full of little villages that represent a few of the countries in the South Pacific as well as Hawaii. You learn how to make fire with sticks and how to climb coconut trees in the Samoan village, how to dance the hula in the Hawaiian village, how to use a shield and make music in the Fijian village, you watch how the Aotearoa people of New Zealand perform a welcoming ritual, you witness a Marquesas wedding, learn a few dance moves from Tahitians, and then how to play the drums in the Tongan village. After that you have a dinner followed by the big show where all the cultures you visited perform in a giant finale of a show.

FRIDAY – would start really early at 5 AM to hike up Koko Head to watch the sunrise in the East end of Oahu. Then have breakfast acai bowls at and/or smoothies from Lanikai Juice in Kahala. The rest of the day can be used to shop for souvenirs for families and friends back home. Then hang out at Mai Tai’s in Ala Moana Shopping Center for live local Hawaiian reggae music and drinks. If you drink.

SATURDAY – we will have breakfast at my favorite place, Eggs And Things in Waikiki before I take my friend back to the airport with a lei and some Aloha.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My sister, Dorothy Mane, deserves the biggest shoutout. Because of her support I was able to quit my job and pursue comedy full time. She carries the responsibilities of taking care of our elderly mother and helps so much with my college bound daughter. Others that deserve recognition is my motivation, my daughter, Tyla Reese Mane, my comedy buddies, Graham Elwood and Tumua Tuinei, and a really awesome person, Brook Lee.

Website: https://comedianjamesmane.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comedianjamesmane/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-mane-558b366a/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/James_Mane

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/comedianjamesmane

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JamesMane

Other: Link to my podcast called Hawaii Comedy with James Mane – https://anchor.fm/james-mane/support

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