CHENNAI: City youth and humour enthusiasts had a rollicking time at Bay 146, Savera with a hilarious comedy show by Evam Entertainment led by stand-up comic Praveen Kumar from Bengaluru. Born and raised in Kancheepuram district, Praveen graduated from BITS, Pilani. “I got on to stage by joining a mime team in my college,” he said. Six years after passing out from the college, “I wanted to do something funny, so I got married,” he laughs.
How did he become a comedian all of a sudden? Praveen Kumar met Vir Das, the actor and founder of stand-up comedy scene in India and won a completion certificate in Bengaluru. His journey in comedy began from there. In 2010 Praveen, tagged along two more, Sundeep Rao and Sanjay Manektala along with him and began to stage stand-up comedy across many cities. “I quit my marketing job in 2014 and began to concentrate fully on stand-up comedy. My wife was a great support when I quit my job,” he recalls. The trio first performed in Mumbai after they formed a team.
What is his work schedule? “I try to work every morning. But most of the times it doesn’t turn out to be fruitful. Yes, there are a few mornings where I script a lot, it’s all to do with the mind,” he smiled. Praveen had spent four years to script his first solo performance. However, with experience, he is now able to do it in just 3-4 months (for a solo). Praveen says script writing for stand-up comedy is not as easy as any other art. “For before it is performed live, the artist has to test it on audience and see if they like it and then go for it,” he explains. Is language a barrier while performing across cities? “Language can never be a barrier for stand-up comedians like us. We have our own home-based language, which will help us do a great job,” he beams.
Praveen Kumar proudly states that Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune are the ones where people welcome stand-up comedians. “People here are open to come out and laugh. they want a break from monotony like movies, pubs and stand-up comedy bridges this gap.” What’s the scope of stand-up comedy? The number of comics, number of shows that there are coming up is increasing and the opportunities are widening, he prides. He shares a small message for all those who are finding their way to enter this field, “Keep at it! Done lose hope, I didn’t and that has got me here.”