When you are speaking to a stand up comic, the conversation does not end without you laughing. Akshay BD, who shot to fame after he won Vir Das’ Hamateur Nights in Blue Frog, Delhi, fits the category well as he is always looking for a reason to make you laugh. The graduate from National Law University, Delhi, started to notice people laugh at his jokes when he was pursuing his final year of law. “That is when I realised that I want to take it outside,” he recalls.
Talking about the challenges of the job, Akshay says, “It is just as difficult to talk to the pretty girl at the bar. All kinds of insecurities, nervousness and inadequacies come to mind. It is kind of same feeling when you get on to the stage,” he grins and he enjoys it as it lets him take some time off from the monotonous routine. “There are times when you succeed and times when you don’t. It is the time when you don’t succeed that pushes you to do something completely worthwhile,” he beams.
He had tough time when he started off and used to get drunk before he got on the stage. “But I don’t do it anymore,” he clarifies.
So what does he do when people don’t laugh at his jokes?
“Some people don’t find the subject funny. At that time its awesome to see how awkward they feel when they don’t get the joke when everyone else around them is enjoying it,” he laughs.
A Business Lead at Uber, India, he picks jokes from things around him. “The is so much about India that we don’t question and we just take it as written. When we start questioning it, then they realise what we are doing is wrong. That sometimes forms the origin of the joke,” he shares adding “Comedy is honestly describing the situation.” Stand-up comedy has also taught him humility.
“Indian men develop a personality very late. Comfort comes to us on a platter. When you go in front of an audience, you can’t be entitled. What I learnt is you have to start from scratch and win them over. It teaches me that kind of humility and the ability to read people. Be accommodative of everybody. You have to make an effort to learn about what they care. Being a stand up comedian gives you that kind of larger skill-set,” he elaborates
Being a law graduate has taught him to take a situation and critically deconstruct it for what is. Its pretty same even in this profession. “In the court room you are trying to convince the judge, here you are trying to convince the drunk audience,” he grins.
His profession also gives him the opportunity to feel equal to the audience. “It is the time when I can say whatever I want to. It is a great way of interacting with them, even though you are not exactly talking to them,” Akshay says.
Comedians have their own embarrassing moments too. “I went to a wedding of an accomplished businessman where I had to perform. I got on to the stage and everyone was at the bar. When you are competing with the bar serving grade one cocktails, you will definitely end up losing. I had to get off the stage in 15 minutes. I got to stay in a nice hotel though,” he grins.
After learning about the residents in the city and culture of Hyderabad, he is excited about his performance and will look forward to learn more about the city during his stay.
Akshay will be performing tonight as part of Trip Tease at Vivanta by Taj.