A Day Without Laughter Is A Day Wasted! - Be A Stand Up Comedian
Imagine ditching the tried-and-tested engineering route and pursuing something you?re truly passionate about. Sounds like a fun life, doesn?t it? Well, it?s easier to pursue your passion in today?s time as more and more offbeat careers are taking over the professional world. Stand up comedy is one such profession!
The stand up comedy Indian scene had not fully developed a few years ago, but today, several Indian comedians are making their mark and how! If a career in comedy is your calling, you are more than welcome to join the show!
What does stand up comedian do?
As you?re probably aware, a stand up comedian is someone who performs jokes and gags in front of a live audience. They mix wit, satire, parody, and slapstick to entertain and humor a group of people. With more and more Indians embracing the urban nightlife, the stand up comedy Indian scene has emerged as a successful form of entertainment. It is something that requires a good deal of courage and quick wit to turn any situation into material for your jokes. Given the increasingly hectic lives we all lead, stand up comedians give us the chance to relax and see the funny side of life.
How can you become a stand up comedian in India?
- Identify the comic inside you and find the material that fits your comfort zone. Whether it is punch lines only or random collection of jokes, think about what you are comfortable with or enjoy talking about. If nothing comes to mind then I suggest narrate a true incident which you think was funny. We all have sometime or the other narrated a funny incident to friends or family. May be a good idea to start with a nice an simple incident that occured to you with some punch lines and references to current topics.
- Create 3?5 minutes of material and write it down. Read the same material few days later and refine it until you are comfortable with it.
- Find an open mic spot in your city and try out your material to an audience. Atleast try the same material 4?5 times before concluding that it works or not. General trend is when you use the same material the third or fourth time you start understanding what is working and how to improve it. If you bomb the first time then that is just the way it is for every stand up comedian in the world. It's just a part of the process. If no open mics in your area then arrange a small comedy night evening for your friends or do a small bit in a party or a function. Do it in 4?5 different occasions.
- Once you have learnt what is working or not, perform the most refined version of that material in the next open mic and this time have it video recorded.
- Upload the video on YouTube or any other social media network and see how the general population likes it. Share it with your friends and family.
- If response is largely positive, continue the cycle till you have 15?20 minutes of material.
- Host stand up comedy shows by requesting organisers who run these shows. The host has to introduce other more established comics and is also responsible for doing 10?15 minutes of material to warm the audience. If you have been active in the stand up comedy open mic circuit and are reasonably good you will get opportunities to host a show. If not organize your own and invite three comics and host a show.
- India and will start getting more shows, tours, deals with video channels, partners etc.
Work life and opportunities
A comedian?s main purpose is to provide entertainment, but the daily work activities that comedians perform are not all about getting up on stage, telling some hilarious stories, collecting a pay cheque and going home for a well-earned rest.
No, no! Life as a comedian is no laughing matter. To be successful, you have to have serious amounts of confidence, drive, ambition, determination and talent. On top of that, you need to be prepared to put in a lot of hard work.
The daily work activities of a comedian really depend on how dedicated a comedian is to their art form. Almost all comedians are self-employed and make their living based on the jobs that they, or their agents, find.
Consequently, comedians? working days can vary from person to person. Some comedians may spend hours a day writing new material, while others may tour relentlessly on the stand-up circuit. Successful comedians may also be required to make television appearances, attend interviews with members of the press and rehearse for the films and comedy shows that they are currently making.
Becoming a comedian takes much more than a good sense of humor. In fact, successful comedians spend years studying the art of comedy, acting, speech dynamics, artful timing and public speaking. They must also learn the best practices of self-promotion, networking, marketing, and social media influence. Comedians typically spend years honing their craft and building their reputation in order to establish themselves in the comedy circuit. This involves learning to accept rejection, adapting to the reactions of a crowd and improving their skills as a writer.