Stand-up Comedy as a Career Option

The stand-up comedy is the performance using comedy & humour to entertain audiences.

It is not a new but an age old custom where the comedians or maskhare used to entertain audience especially in circuses. Today comedic performance could be based on acute observation, satire and funny public life statements and behaviour of politicians & film stars. Some comedy performers even progress to become household names. Who does not know Kapil Sharma or Shekhar Suman? But it takes years of struggle and continuous effort to reach those levels.

Though there is no requirement of any formal education to perform comedy, an inherent talent with comic sense and strong communicational skills and improvisation, an adaptive personality with eye for observation and bold expressionon life experience; it is not for the faint-hearted or the publicity-shy. Most comedians learn the art and develop their own style by studying successful comics in various forms; live stand-up shows, movies and TV comedy programs. Very few get into this career after studying for a performing arts academic qualification.

A comedian need to evolve constantly and perform afresh even if show is 100th repeat. An urgent talent is to engage even the most boring audience and establish a close contact in the moment. As laughter is said to be a contagious bug sothe more the merrier but a comedy artist has adapt as per the mood of the crowd, big or small. The comic timing is a thing of perfection and improvisation is expected to continue.

This is a career where the whole purpose is to entertain, so the comedian must be happy standing in the spotlight with dozens of eyes staring back. Also longer the time spent gigging and rehearsing, the more chance the talent being spotted. One should have a basic knowledge of self-promotion and the ability to network in order to secure a reputation. The initial returns are just encouragement but once you are established, though it takes some time to develop into a recognisable and likeable personality, there is no dearth of good money.

Finally it is career for a gifted few who have a knack for standing up on stage and being themselves with detailed homework and a thorough understanding what makes people laugh.

Tanvi Goyal
XI E, AISG 46

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