Haha... What an act!

Haha... What an act!

Stand-up comedy

Haha... What an act!

Funny man: Russell Peters

With various avenues opening up for stand-up comedy, aspiring artistes have better exposure nowadays.

Even the audience for stand-up comedy shows in the City has only increased over the years. Metrolife spoke to a few people who are in this field to find out more.

Anjaan A J, who is a radio jockey by profession, forayed into this field in 2004. Since then he has seen a lot of change in this sphere be it in the popularity or even the number of people coming forward to take it up as a career. “The acceptance for stand-up comedy in Bangalore is better than ever. A lot of people are opening up to the idea that somebody else can make them laugh. Even corporates are breaking away from the usual options of music bands and such, and getting a lot of stand-up comedians to perform at their corporate parties.”

Says Prithvi V, who does part-time stand-up comedy and is part of a group called ‘The Funny Man,’ “The popularity of stand-up comedy has grown manifold over the years. It is gratifying to know that Bangaloreans are more than willing to witness a stand-up act. Every time there is a show, usually it is houseful indicating that there are a lot of takers for this art.”

What are the reasons for this? Ashvin Mathew, a full time stand-up comedian and a creative consultant for Mudra, says, “Earlier, we didn’t have too many people around. Nowadays, a lot of sponsors are coming forward. They are even bringing down artistes from abroad.” He adds, “There are a lot of platforms at present that provide opportunities to stand-up comedians. Even art theatres are offering theatre space which was a non-existent concept earlier.”

But what are the options one has if he/she wants to take it up as a full time career?

Says Anjaan, “Like any other profession in the entertainment field, you cannot plunge into it if you do not have a strong foothold. So it is always wise to keep this as a supplementary job. You can be a professional compere or scriptwriter and dabble in this arena too.”

However, as easy and relaxed as it looks, it takes a lot of hard work to get your act right. Says Prithvi, “It is a more evolved art than any other. It takes many years of practice to master this art. You need to hone your skills every time.”

Even Ashvin adds, “It differs from one person to another. What you need to have is your own distinct style. You need to know how to keep your audience captivated and also keep your energy high.”

Another aspect what many have a misconception about is that if you are funny, you can make it as a stand-up comedian. But Ashvin says there’s more to it than just the ability to crack jokes.

“There are many other aspects that are important too like your body language, storyline and most importantly, your ability to think on your feet. You may have a script you can follow but if at some point of time, you realise that the joke hasn’t gone too well with the audience, you need to think spontaneously and adapt yourself to the situation without losing the audience’s attention.”