Anyone can be funny…

Recently, from hey I want to be a stand-up comedian, I’ve met quite a few folks that have the attitude that, Hey! anyone can be a stand-up comedian. True! Anyone can. With that attitude, you can’t.

A comic, a friend of mine who usually hosts really well and is one of the most friendliest of guys, Satish Perumal this past week, hosted the open mic at Prost and was a little annoyed by the condescending tone that a few people had. It took guts and he told the select few, Either stay, respect the art form or Move to another floor in the pub. People do this for a living and it’s announced that there’s a show happening here. I was taken, and so glad that a comic,a  friend of mine stepped up and made it clear that he would want to make people laugh but if you’re not in as an audience he is not going to tolerate you hanging about throwing weight around for no good reason.

1507039_10152475835141635_812021047728132123_n  Satish Perumal, a nice guy, unless you try to outwit him in his own game.

Quite a few times people sit in their chairs at an open mic saying, anyone can do this. It’s a cakewalk. Well you might feel lucky and confident and go up and make a few folks laugh. And they even could chuckle a bit. But doing this day in and day out isn’t really a cakewalk. If you can’t laugh, we’re okay with that but if you don’t respect the guy who’s sweating and nervous on stage, don’t hang about. Get out! Get out now!

I’m not saying an audience should laugh at all jokes. Fact of the matter is, the tougher the crowd, the more the comic learns, and works and on being funny and he’s not just getting laughs because he claims to be a comic. It’s good work for him. If you’ve had a bad day, go home, watch game of thrones, find your friends, if anyone is still willing to hang out with you.

But don’t be condescending. Don’t walk into an open mic thinking, I can do better. If you’d really wanted to you would be giving it a shot. Again, I’d like to point out that people who want to try stand up comedy are not the ones I’m talking to. Get on stage and do your best. But hey, all I’m trying to tell you is, it’s a comedy show.

It’s no place for you to vent out. Sit, don’t laugh. Don’t bring down the standards of good comedy that’s building in the city, but please don’t be the guy everyone wants to punch but no one does.

In conclusion, it’s your call to hang around a comedy show and decide if the person is funny or no, but don’t be a troublemaker. It’s a conscious decision to get on stage and try to be funny. To many people reading this, it might come naturally but for those who tackle stage fright and get on stage, don’t be one guy who they have to put down, cos believe me, every once in a while you’ll come across a comic who’ll make you feel like you shouldn’t have said that

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Adults – Kids who don’t fear getting into trouble

You know the moment when as a child, you’re sitting at the barbers and you’re going to get your hair cut, you know there’s going to be the use of a razor to level the hair on the back of your head. It’s going to involve a tingling feeling. Before I knew what an orgasm was, that was the feeling I would get once every two months for a few seconds. I remember leveling the side locks would not be as ticklish as the back of your head. It’s like licking lime for the first time. You know you squint your eyes and it’s a feeling that comes not too often.

It’s moments like these I miss of childhood. I love being an adult, because it feels like being a child in the big world.
I also miss the fear of being in trouble. Somewhere along the line we come a point where we aren’t scared anymore. What if I lost a hundred rupees? What if I don’t finish the assignment? What if I break something?

As a kid I had this fear. The upside was the afterthought of bliss where you know your parents, or anyone who’s looking after you found out that you broke a vase but they’re not that angry. You feel like running for as long as you can.

I miss running for as long as I can…

Russell’s Brand of Humour

Well, Russell Brand’s show last night was interesting. Here’s how the show went. Sanjay Manaktala came onstage and got the crowd going. You could see him getting the engines on and show started pretty well. Ajay Samson, fellow comic, great guy and a caricature in himself took his 5 minutes on stage well.

Then came on Vir Das. I had never watched him live. I’ve always wanted to, but I never had the chance. He was energetic, he had stage presence, his diction, his command over the language and his style of speech was very engaging. I loved his performance. Observing him perform gave me great Solace that I’m watching one of the finest, if not the finest comedians today in India.

We took a break! Here’s where things go wrong. India as a country is not like other cultures where we go take a break and rush back inside to continue the concert. Even in a movie, if there’s curiosity we rush back. If we take an interval where that’s just the end of the first half we go, “FOOD!” Once there is food and especially food that we genrally don’t eat everyday we’re pretty excited. It’s like a wedding. We’re happy for your son or daughter but please where’s the ‘Paneer/chicken kebab/Biryani/Insert-fav-food-item-here’. Once we’ve been given food we know that, we came we saw, we’re already having a good time. The element of excitiment goes down. Now’re quielty waiting ke when will we go back and play Fifa or watch ‘Game of Thrones’.

I’m not saying we don’t look forward to the main act. I’m saying we’re not 100 percent there!

Russell Brand wasn’t welcomed on stage with the warmth that he deserved. I mean he hadn’t even said a word yet and already instead of a rockstar that he was he got the reception of, “Hey! Look, a Firangi!”

He was himself which I liked. You could see the effort he made for reaching out to the culture. I’ll keep it short. His brand of humour isn’t very frequent when it comes to punchlines. Once you’re with him you laugh at him and chuckle at different parts of the story. The audience was waiting like where are the dozen punchlines in a minute, Russell. I loved the first half of his performance and I thought he really got a lukewarm audience, for him to change gears. There was little technical hassle, like the co-ordination between him and the AV guy, that got the show a little weary and you could see it bothered him that he did an effort to gather the crowd in a pocket and someone cut a hole in that pocket.

There was a point where you could see him saying, this is not going to go the way you thought Russell, he spoke for a while and then he wrapped the show by inviting a few people to ask questions.

What I take back from this?

India is not yet ready for Brit humour. You know what I mean when I say Brit humour. Clever, intelligent, witty and not punchline after punchline. Not discrminating but Brit humour is harder to chew through and not everyone wants to do it.

For an Indian audience, you do stereotypes, current affairs, cliches they will be with you but once you lose them they’re like a G-spot.
I just wish Indians would watch Two Ronnies, and more fans of Monthy Python would show up the next time Eddie Izzard comes to town.

Questions…

Have you ever walked into an empty Elevator and sang “Hello” from Lionel Richie for 8 floors at the top of your voice? Have you thought about the time when you first walked into a skyscraper? Do you know 12 floors high is not a skyscraper? Do ever feel like you are weird and none of the people that you know do the things you do? How long ago was it when you ran so hard that you almost fainted and were out of breath for minutes? Do you sometimes understand the joke ahead of others and laugh ahead of time before they join in? Do you look at a stunt that you see on Tv and say “I could really do that”?

Do you smile when you look at an old person still brisk and living with a smile? Don’t you think people who judge are ones who are either insecure or insufficient, incapable or one of those words that have the prefix “in”? Do you ever pick up something with your toes or reach out for something with a scalpel or an umbrella and think you would do better than others around you in survival? Do you ever bad dance? Do you ever dance all by yourself and imagine a huge crowd around you? Do you get teary eyed in the movies?

Do you get afraid of the dark? Don’t you walk sometimes just for the heck of it and come back refreshed? Does it ever occur to you that universal things like, dance, music, culture, love, respect, competition, problems, change, life, death has been going on for centuries and will go on for centuries? Have you ever felt like giving something away and not expect anything in return? Are you intimidated, nervous scared to talk to a girl? Have you ever opened a door for a lady or an elderly person? Have you ever given your own seat to a woman or elderly person, when you are on the bus? Does rain make you smile? Does it make you want to walk with the person you love? Have you thought that your kids will know and see much more than you ever will? Do you see people in different circles of society? Do you sometimes find energy in memories? Do you sometimes fuel yourself with memories and the feelings that is inside you? Have you ever danced with someone and felt comfortable and close? Do you sometimes skip bath on a holiday? Do you keep deadlines for yourself to do a certain something and then let them go by as you wave? Have you ever wanted to have someone to talk all night long? Has it crossed your mind that sometimes just being with someone makes everything so bright? Have you ever felt neglected?

Have you worked harder than you should so that someone you love can take rest? Have you smiled at someone when they offer you something for what you’ve done? Do you play with kids and let them win and see their emphatic reactions? Do you believe deep down, that people come in all shapes and sizes and are all beautiful? Have you ever seen a couple and thought about your future? Are these questions getting out of hand? Did you agree on any one of them? Should I have stopped at the question about the rain making you smile? Could you tell me how many questions are in here?