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Comedian to perform at downtown art center

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Malcolm Hatchett

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BY PAIGE MINSHEW
Special to the Telegram

Friday, November 8, 2019

Winston-Salem native Malcolm Hatchett has not had it easy in pursuit of becoming a stand-up comedian and telling the world exactly what is on his mind.

Although he now has made his temporary home in a city that claims the dreams of thousands of stand-up comedians, actors, singers and other artists every year, Hatchett, 25, is determined to not become a victim of the cut-throat entertainment world.

Longtime friend and sometimes collaborator Matt Dameron, one of the founding members of The Mount Collective, a group of comedians and spoken word artists based in Rocky Mount, could not be more proud to travel with Hatchett during his North Carolina tour and play host to many of the comedian’s road shows.

The Mount Collective will end 2019 with Hatchett’s stand-up routine at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Bel Air Art Center at 115 S. Church St. in downtown Rocky Mount. Tickets are $20.

Dameron said that Hatchett’s story is “truly inspiring and the upcoming events in North Carolina will be a great way for people to see that he is a very credible stand-up comedian.”

Hatchett is what you definitely would call a “starving artist.” As with many grand plans made, his venture into Los Angeles did not go as planned.

He ended up sleeping in his car for several weeks and filled his back seat with notebooks and notebooks of material. He parked outside of a Planet Fitness in order to stay hygienically respectable, but after being evicted and told to move his house-on-wheels elsewhere, things did not look so good for him or his dream.

But several months after leaving that parking lot, Hatchett got a lucky break. One of the biggest and most respected talent agencies in the country, Creative Artists Agency, better known as CAA, wanted to represent him. CAA also represents many big names, which include Bill Maher, Carlos Mencia, Jordan Peele and North Carolina-raised Ken Jeong.

Things finally were starting to look up for him.

Although competition is fierce for all artists alike on the West Coast, Hatchett has had the opportunity to perform for audiences at coveted comedy nightclubs such as The Hollywood Improv Comedy Club, The Laugh Factory and The World Famous Comedy Store. In addition to performing in L.A., he also has graced the stages in cities such as Las Vegas and New York City.

During a recent interview with the Telegram, Hatchett remained positive about his future no matter the curveballs life threw at him. In January, he was mugged by gang members in L.A. and suffered an injury that required his jaw to be wired shut for several weeks. Hatchett said that the thought of not being able to perform comedy for weeks was heartbreaking.

Against the advice of doctors and friends, Hatchett took to the stage again just three days after the incident. As he likes to say, “Trust the process.”

While he wants to travel the world performing stand-up comedy and becoming a household name like his comedy heroes Chris Tucker, Mike Epps, Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle, Hatchett said he hopes to return to North Carolina.

When asked how he felt being back home this week, he replied, “Man, I feel like a little kid in a candy store.”

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