Empire state of mind

Updated: May 09, 2019, 07:23 IST | Dalreen Ramos

Ahead of this week's gig, Deep Chhabria talks to us about performing stand-up in New York and documenting the experience

Empire state of mind
Deep Chhabria in a still from Figuring the Scene

We aren't strangers to strange subject lines. So, when we get an email titled "Eye of the Tiger ft Indian Comic," we decide to give it a speed-read — what's the worst that can happen? Our parents would definitely say, "virus."

The email has been drafted by Mumbai-based comedian Deep Chhabria who introduces himself and says that "It's tough to be modest in these write-ups". Below, there's a link to a YouTube series he's made called Figuring the Scene where he explores the comedy circuit in New York for a year. We click and watch the set of five, three-minute clips featuring him and made by his friend Manish Khushalani, from New York Film Academy. And on learning that he will be performing in the city this week, we decide to call Chhabria to learn the full story.

"In 2016, I was pursuing a course at the Miami Ad School, and headed to New York for a year. I would do my internship during the day and go for gigs afterwards. I also blogged about my experience but by the seventh month, I decided to document my experience," Chabbria tells us, elaborating on how the series was conceptualised. He also highlights the broad differences between the "scene" in India versus the US. "I learnt that there, comedians end up being themselves, and don't turn into stereotypical pop culture icons; maybe because we're so star-struck as a nation. Here a good comedian means a viral comedian."

Chhabria hopes to pitch the series to streaming platforms, so he can try this out in more countries. This week at a comedy club in Bandra, he will delve into a wide range of content. "I'll be talking about everything from Indian parents to mental health. As a comedian, I don't put myself in a box."

On May 10 to 12, 8 pm onwards
At That Comedy Club, Pali Hill, Bandra West.
Log on to bookmyshow.com
Cost Rs 499

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