Ace the business of comedy - here's how
Vikram Poddar, corporate stand-up comedian and founding member of BoredRoom, suggests some tips for those starting out in the field or hoping to make it big
If you want to be in the business of stand-up comedy, play the game right, say experts. Vikram Poddar, corporate stand-up comedian and founding member of BoredRoom, suggests some tips for those starting out in the field or hoping to make it big:
- A lot of comics chase YouTube fame but it is just a means and not an end. Also contrary to what a lot of people may say, it is also not the only means. You can make a sustainable comedy career without being a YouTube Star and being one does not guarantee it either.
- On Comedy and social activism: Please try to be funny first before you try to transform society. Likewise, just because you are funny doesn't mean you are capable of transforming society.
- Please remember the rules of life and business apply to all art forms as well including comedy. Diversifying your revenue streams and identifying a niche is crucial. Comedy is like marketing. Identifying and satisfying your unique audience's needs.
- There is no space for complacency. You have never 'made it'. Making it is the lifetime journey.
- There is no substitute for hard work or building the craft. After hitting the stage more than 1000 times, a lot of it just becomes muscle memory.
- If you create the right proposition, you won't have to chase people for work. They will come to you.
- The outcome is not absolute. You will always think something that could have been done better. Whether you see that as endless self-doubt or a relentless pursuit of excellence will define you as an artist, a professional and perhaps at some level... a person.
- On Corporate comedy, there have always been two schools of thought -- a) It is not appropriate in this environment, and b) Corporate life is a comedy in itself.
- Primary sources of revenue are corporate amd college shows, public shows and private shows. Each has its own uniques commercial principles, audiences and challenges. It is important to find where you fit in the best.
- The more unique intersecting circles you have, the stronger is your positioning. There are people with corporate experience, there are leadership trainers and there are standup comedians as well. But nobody was combining all three to make unique offerings.
Stand-up comedian Puneet Pania also has some words of wisdom to share:
- One night does not make or break anything in stand-up. Talent counts but perseverance delivers.
- Music and acting are learned for years before people start considering themselves professionally. You've only been doing stand-up for a couple of years, give it time.
- The best feedback is the audience's laughter. Never blame them for not understanding your art, you can't be a rebel in the wilderness.
- Never burden your art with your EMIs.
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