We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Eshaq and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I love taking risks so long as the risk doesn’t end with me splattered on pavement!
I’m a standup comedian and taking risks is everything in our business. Especially when it comes to trying out a new joke that will more than likely probably not get a laugh, or worse, get the audience to turn on you. But we comedians have to do that every once in a while to see if a joke is going to work or not. Taking risks is exciting and I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy doing stand-up comedy. (Another reason is women will find a short, bald, broke-ish guy like me hot all of sudden!) Because when you get to a point where you make a joke work, especially if it’s a joke that was once something that wasn’t working – the feeling is exhilarating!
I also invest in real estate in Detroit and have been doing it since the market crash in 2008. So if you wanna talk about taking risks, let’s talk about owning rental properties, in Detroit, which was once the murder capital – and still running that business in the height of a pandemic – with an eviction freeze. Yikes!
Also I spent four years in the Marines. Now that’s risky! Lucky for me I served during the Clinton administration so the most dangerous thing I saw was a hurricane in North Carolina. It was a good time to be a Marine when Clinton was president. Because Clinton was a president who wasn’t dropping bombs, he was dropping loads!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well I’m a stand up comedian and one thing that would set me apart is that I am an Arab-American, United States Marine, Muslim who loves to eat bacon.
The way I got to where I am today is I started at the Second City Theatre back when it was in Detroit. While I was learning comedy and improv, I also picked up a camera and taught myself filmmaking and started making movies and short sketches with a bunch of my comedian friends in Detroit, like Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson.
I later created a web series called The Ed and Moe Show which garnered an audience. You can check it out at www.edandmoeshow.com. That Webseries ended up getting me work in reality TV where I ended up producing the show Swamp People on History Channel for four seasons.
Later, I had an intense mushroom trip in Bali, Indonesia – during a full moon beach party on Friday the 13th. I met God. Turns out she’s a beautiful woman. And she told me that I should give up reality TV and go back to Comedy aaaaaaaand I listen to her!
Now I’m doing stand-up comedy, writing a screenplay with my writing partner and Breaking Bad star Mike Batayeh. And my web series The Ed and Moe Show is in the works of being funded to shoot an eight episode block, in the hopes that we can sell it to Netflix or Hulu!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To be honest when I’m in Los Angeles I barely ever go out in Los Angeles. It’s sad to say but I’m always on the grind when I’m here. It’s such a beautiful place and I really barely have time to actually enjoy it.
In a perfect world what I would do is tell my friend ‘fuck this place’ let’s get round-trip tickets to Bangkok. Before the pandemic flights to Bangkok from LA were only $400 round-trip now the prices have gone up to about $700. But it’s still cheap if you think about it. Not to mention when you get to Thailand, because of the exchange rate, you are now Jay Z rich! I mean you are loaded! I’m talking about getting rooms in nice hotels for only $30 a night. There were times where I was in Phuket Thailand and had a beautiful room that sat on top of the water facing nothing but the ocean, with TV, Wi-Fi, air conditioning and it only cost me $35 a night!
You would at least need two weeks though. I would start flying to Bangkok because the tickets are cheaper when you fly into an international hub. I will spend only two nights in Bangkok because that city is intense! I would introduce my friend to my Thai friend Amy, who is great at showing people around Bangkok!
Once you’re inside Thailand you can buy plane tickets to the several airports scattered around the country for next to nothing. Like back in 2015 a plane ticket inside Thailand, one way, would cost you only $50. It cost more for me to get an Uber to the airport in LA!
Then I would buy plane tickets to fly to the northern part of Thailand. And check out the hill tribes people and their beautiful customs. Not to mention the crisp air and beautiful mountain views. I mean it’s stunningly beautiful. One time I got a room that was a cottage that jutted out the side of a mountain! It had Wi-Fi air conditioning and running water! You are so high up that when you wake up in the morning and step out into your balcony you are above the clouds so when you look out into the distance all you see is nothing but clouds below you in the only thing peeking above those clouds are the tallest mountains in Thailand. Guess how much that room cost me? $10 a night!!!
Then with one more week to spare we hop on a plane and fly to the south part of Thailand which Is full beautiful islands. The amount of activities that you can do on these beautiful islands with gorgeous beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling, drinking, eating mushrooms and dancing under a full moon – and possibly, meeting God. And who knows… maybe she too will give you a blueprint for your life 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If anything I would say it would have to be my mother. Growing up Arab and Muslim it’s kind of frowned upon to be dipping your toe into the world of art. Everyone knows I’m supposed to be a lawyer! Many brown comics talk about disappointing their parents by doing something like stand-up comedy. My father was one of those people, always trying to keep me away from art. Except my mother, who is the funniest person on the planet by the way. She was the one who was my cheerleader, always pushing me to do what I want, even I’m the face of my fathers old fashioned views – and to this day, she’s my biggest fan 🙂
Linkedin: Mike Eshaq
Yelp: Mike Eshaq
Other: I have a podcast called Public Yemeni No. 1 which goes live every Wednesday at 2 PM on my YouTube channel MikeFromDetroit
Rey Cabato @RemCreate on IG Frankie Leal @FrankieLealPhotography