How to be a Stand-up Comedian? (Only If You Want To Be:p)
After Instagram’s provided us with a new job called an influencer, what do you think is the second most popular job today? We believe that it might be stand up comedy in 2018. With everyone trying their hands on this growing types of comedy, only few have been able to mark their positions in the industry. What is it that separates these groups- the best stand up comedians and the amateurs? The How part. To mention in advance, we are not doubting the talents of anyone. We know that art is unique and there is no particular equation to go about it. If we wanted that a majority of us would still like math. But we know how things are. So, yes the how part.
Read More: Top & Best Stand Up Comedians in India
To be a stand up comedian you should first be funny. What’s funny? Who defines what’s funny? To be honest funny has no dimensions. If you can even make kids laugh at a birthday party you are funny to them (probably not funny to us or a stand up comedy material but atleast you get some bucks). If your jokes depend on misogyny or racism, sorry but still not funny. All your ‘no offence’ do not make any sense just like you. If you are funny to get the girls, sorry to burst your bubble but your corporate shows would probably consist of middle aged uncles half listening to you. If you are doing comedy to get famous, haven’t you heard about the FIRs in the last year for stand up comedy in India ? You might go the opposite way. But if you love comedy with all your heart and want to make people laugh, then it is worth giving a try.
For a stand up comedian you need two important things- good stage presence and delivery, and your script. Both of them can come naturally to you or you may have to put in more efforts (just like women competing with male privilege or blacks competing with White privilege). If you do not have the natural stage presence, do not worry. Real world is not like your home where all of a sudden your mother asks you to dance in front of relatives saying ‘beta uncle konaachkedikhao’, it is more like a series of events where you grow as a stage performer and reach a level where you are comfortable with being on stage. However, that comfort isn’t present always. There would be days you feel more nervous than others but that’s okay.
Every performance makes you stronger. So it is important to attend as many open mics you can. Speak out in front of people while socialising. Practice your eloquence at home in front of your mirror. Don’t ask your mother though, the lady loves you and would approve everything you do. The other important part is the script. Script isn’t a one time thing. You can’t just sit and decide that I’ll write the entire script right now. You have to be an observer who observes ordinary things in daily life. Doing stand up comedy in India please do not say that ‘Gujaratis are so stingy’ or ‘punjabis are so loud’ are your own observations. They have been overdone just like the candid posts on Instagram.
Everything you find funny and you think that might be worthy of being in your script- write it down. All the jumbled jokes and anecdotes go in your diary. And then when you finally get ready to write, you have a trunk of jokes to sprinkle in your script. You then decide what format you would like to choose. How many one liners you want, how many anecdotes, how many jokes taken from ordinary life, how many political jokes etc?
This categorisation would depend both on you and the audience you are going to present in front of. If you want to do stand up comedy in India , you would need jokes that would make all Indians go – yess that’s right. Like Kunal Kamra makes more political jokes because of his own beliefs and Vir Das makes more jokes on Trump, racism and Indian life depending on the audience he caters to. So choose what suits you best. On a scale of delivery the meter can go from Biswa to Kenny on the basis of enthusiasm. Do not-and I cannot emphasise this enough-try to copy any other comedian you consider one of the best stand up comedians.
Your audience isn’t a fool like a bhakt and would see it right away. Only Bollywood is allowed to proudly steal stuff and still be celebrated by the audience. This doesn’t happen in comedy. If they wish to get the same style as someone who’s already one of the best stand up comedians , why would they even choose you? Why not go for a comic who has already proven himself? The most popular stand up comedians in 2018 were the ones who had their unique style of delivery like Prashasti Singh or Rahul Dua.
Therefore, it is important to put a face mask, play some light music and think about your life, i mean style because that’s how self introspection looks. You have to then make a rough script. Do not let your fingers tremble during the rough script. Write anything you want to in the format you have chosen. This isn’t final. You’ll have to make 3-4 more scripts before you reach the final and you improve with every script. So go on. Think of it like your college exams and write whatever you feel like. But unlike college exams, you will get chances to improve it and passing is more important in this case.
When you have your script and a platform to perform it, the last step is to deliver it with confidence. For men – think of it like your girlfriend’s ex- you are better than that dumb boy at least. For everyone else- have the confidence of an average man. That’s it. You are ready to go folks. Make stand up comedy in 2019 better than stand up comedy in 2018 or any earlier years.