Statutory Warning: This is a super emo blog, writing it cause this feeling of being overjoyed is very hard to contain.
This November marks 7 years of me doing comedy. Fuck.
November 2011, I went on stage for the first time at this open mic in Bandra at Mocha Mojo. Invited 40 of my friends, cause I had no clue how embarrassing it would be. Noob move. Doesn’t matter now.
*Breakaway thought* Have you ever written something where your words just don’t seem right for what you’re feeling? They make the purity of an experience, sound shallow. This is one of those times. I’ll continue nonetheless. See, nonetheless, who uses that word when they’re feeling ecstatic?
Getting back. I never knew those 4 minutes on stage would become the way I start looking at the world. So much has changed since then. The Indian comedy scene, my idea of what’s funny and more than anything, me. I always say comedy is the best and worst thing to happen to a comic. Worst, cause you become this critic of all things good and best because there are days like these, where you look back and are glad for how blessed you are to have a view of the world that makes the perils of living, marginally less taxing.
The first 5 years of my stint, I did comedy for all the wrong reasons. Money, views, validation and some more things that OML promises you. It was cool being a comic. It still is I guess on dating sites. That last two years however, have been anything but that. New York happened, life happened and I’d never thought I’d be the comic I am now. I never imagined I would get to be me on stage. The real me. Not put on a show, do animated tricks for pity laughs or do any sell-out shit. It’s so liberating. To not give a fuck. To not have the pressure of doing comedy for money or anything stupid that takes away from this feeling of purely having fun on stage.
Feels perfectly fine to not be famous, fill stadiums, or have the pressure to upload videos. Feels good to have realized that art is not a rat race. There’s no coming first here. In fact, the joy of doing better at a famous comedian’s show is bloody great.
I am 7 years in. And after all this while, I finally think I’m doing it right. It took that long. Took a lot of practice and prayers. A lot of letting go in life, so I don’t care on stage. It took getting over bombing, seeing others get ahead and being patient with myself. I’ll say this once again, it’s not a race. People who came after me are doing way better by many definitions, but this feeling of having a great time every time I’m up there with no pressure on comedy to help me have a good life, is so so exciting.
I don’t know the comic I’ll be 2-3 years from now. Probably still be just someone who’s been in the scene long enough and didn’t make it big, or not, who knows. However, this stage of looking back, being glad for the mistakes, learnings and now hopeful, puts a smile on my face.
*Award speech paragraph time* I want to thank every one who’s been a part of this. Ashish Shakya for helping me get on stage, every friend who supported, mostly the ones who didn’t, producers, venue owners and some other comics. Some. Haha.
I think I’m lighter after writing this. I felt more articulately than I could pen. But, that’s cool. It’s back to hitting the stage and having a good time to see what else comes, one show at a time. It’s been fun though. You can now go back to having an average day. I know it’s not going great, you wouldn’t have read till here if you had better things to do.
Much love friends. Come for shows, okay?