BENGALURU: A 37-year-old Chartered Accountant from Chennai who has been working in Bengaluru for over a decade now decided to give standup a try when he realised that he was appreciated at my work place and social circles for his wit. “I was glad that I could always end a conversation by putting a smile on the other person's face. So, I suppose it was a natural progression,” Arun Sriram says, ahead of his show Comedy Sahi Hei. The full-time CA and part-time comedian tells City Express about juggling his passion and profession just as he is trying to get a foothold into the standup scene.
1.What’s in store at the show today?
It’s a show that is going to showcase different hues of stand up comedy by comedians from different backgrounds and styles. The theme is going to be around how our lives, as they have turned out, have provided the best material for humour.
I am excited to be hosting comedians who are far younger than me and hopefully will not be intimidating them with my 'greys'. More importantly, through this show, Bangalore Komedians, the producers of this show would like to tell the people in Bengaluru that IPL may be drawing to a close but live entertainment in other forms is here to stay.
2.What’s the Bengaluru crowd like?
I have done three solo shows called 'Unmute' in Bengaluru, and one in Chennai. It feels good to see that I have been able to draw a new set of audience to the stand up comedy scene across cities.
3.Some of your best and not-so-good performances in Bengaluru?
Open mics are a great leveler. There was one such open mic in BTM Layout where I was allotted eight minutes.. and the response was so bleak that I thought the audience were told that they would need to pay if they laughed. Those were my most agonising eight minutes on stage. I duly retired the entire set from any further embarrassment.The best was my first experience at Mic Testing hosted by Evam, where the audience absolutely lapped up every joke of mine and those four minutes gave me the hope that I could pursue comedy further.
4.Has any member of the audience ever gotten offended by your jokes? If yes then how did you deal with it?
I keep my humour clean and non-invasive. It is more wit-driven rather than slapstick, and since I narrate them as my life experiences, and even digs I take are portrayed as my misconceptions, they are taken well.
5.Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I have been doing stand up comedy for close to a year now. This has taught me two things --one can learn a craft at his or her pace and start learning at anytime. Secondly, I have seen the effort put in by fellow comics both in terms of scripting and traveling from one venue to another in pursuit of winning people's smiles. If I were to connect these, apart from touching maximum lives through laughter, would also want to eventually create an infrastructure to promote comedians and help them scale their trade.
6.What are the challenges comedians face?
While the comics fraternity is the biggest strength, the biggest challenge is to get more audiences to watch ticketed shows. The overall journey in performing arts vindicates that likes is not currency, and people like their currency.