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Hilarapy co-founder Lizzie Allan TEDx talk online

White Rock comedian discusses turning past shame into fodder for her act

Those who missed Lizzie Allan’s recent TEDx talk now have a chance to watch it online.

The White Rock-based comedian and Hilarapy co-founder’s talk, Transform Your Shame into Comedy, can now be seen on the TEDx YouTube channel.

In her talk, pre-recorded at Surrey Arts Centre’s stage for an initial broadcast on March 27, Allan draws on her own life experiences, identifying some of the things she believed had brought shame to her, but which she has subsequently used as raw material for her own comedy.

Hilarapy, created by Allan and life and business partner Elain Cheung, conducts courses and workshops to help others use the same process of developing stand-up comedy as therapy.

In a recent blog on the topic on the Hilarapy website (, Allan said that among things holding her back in the past were experiences with “mental illness, internalized homophobia, drug addiction, and sex work.”

Turning them into comedy material “was liberating for several reasons,” she wrote.

“People accepted me. Then, unexpectedly, they shared what they were ashamed of with me. I wasn’t so different after all; we are all human.”

About the Author: Alex Browne

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