BENGALURU: Other than bringing together some of country’s best stand up comedians to the city, the second edition of the Bengaluru comedy festival is also turning into a skill and talent honing platform for aspiring artistes and students in the city.
Students from National Institute of Fashion Technology, St Joseph’s College and Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath among others have taken up individual projects in the production and operational management of the festival.
“A lot of college students are interning with us. They have taken up projects with us and are helping with the production and operations part of the festival. Ours is a young team of close to 40 people, with the youngest being of 23. These are all young people who are interested in comedy and love what they are doing,” says Sumendra Singh, conceptuliser, producer, Bengaluru Comedy Festival.
Even aspiring stand up comedians in the city see this as a great platform to further a career in comedy.
“I have been doing comedy profesionally from over three years now. I host a lot of such comedy events mainly to interact with good comedians. You get to exchange ideas with comedians who have close to 10 years of experience in the business. Where else do you find such an exposure?,” asks Satish Perumal.
Satish, who recently quit his job to pursue standup comedy has so far hosted close to 500 shows in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi among other cities.
Another Bengalurean Rupen Paul agrees. “Hosting helps me interact with comedians across the country. Honestly, hosting is the toughest job. You open the show - warm up the audience for the upcoming artiste and then again after a break you are back again, picking up the momentum for the next artiste,” says the 24-year-old.
Rupen has been doing comedy professionally for over two years now and also works for an IT firm in the city as a software professional. “I don’t know if you can call me a professional there though,” he laughs.
Like Satish, Rupen too will be hosting at the festival and so will another aspiring Bengulean artist Ajay Samson.
“Step - one for any aspiring comedian is open mic, then comes hosting and then you move on to becoming a stand up artiste. A standup comedy set requires an hour worth of material. The festival is one space, where with hosting I get to interact and learn about different styles of experienced comedians,” says Ajay.
The Indian comedy scene is still a new one with all first generation stand up comedians.
“You’ll hardly find a second generation standup comedian,” says Ajay.
Sumendra agrees. “We just have a handful of comics in the country today. As a producer, I have pretty much covered every comic. This is where the need for new comic artistes arises. Someone like a Satish hosting the show expands his exposure. Someone from Mumbai could see and like his act during the hosting and pick him up for a show in Mumbai. The festival is also a great learning experience for comedians in the city,” he says.
The Bengaluru Comedy Festival 2016 will be held from November 9 - 13 at UB City.