Monday, 3 December 2012
A Stand-up Comedian recently told me...
A stand-up comedian i worked with recently told me something that made so much sense! His name is Sudesh Lehri and he is one of India's best hindi speaking comedians. As i walked off stage and sat down on the sofa opposite him...
Me : "Being the first act is so difficult isn't it? They laughed but not really..they are warm but not completely."
Sudesh : " The audience will not be ready to laugh until you bring them to the level of where they should laugh..audiences are like little kids..they will believe everything you say and you have to bring them on a journey."
Me : " I understand that..but how does one do that..being the first one..are people really ready to laugh?"
Sudesh : " The mistake most comedians make is the moment they come onto stage..they start cracking jokes immediately..but if the audience doesn't know who you are..they won't form a relationship with you..for example : If you meet somebody for the first time..you tell them.."Nice meeting you!"..do you mean it?...- Mostly you don't! But you try to make someone happy to try to form a relationship in the future. Similarly, you need to make the audience happy...make them feel like you know them and you accept them! Then tell them a truth yourself..and then go straight into it."
That made sense to me! I don't know if other stand-up comedians feel the same but it's been stuck with me ever since i heard it. You know what's amazing.. he said all these things to me in hindi..i have translated it for you in english..cos infact.. Sudesh Lehri has never in his life held a pen to write anything -he told me his parents couldn't afford to send him to school..and then he smiled and then made up a sentence in english with all the words he knew in english- and it made no sense ..but made everybody in the room including myself burst into roaring laughter. And then he smiled again... and although he never said anything.. behind that smile was a lot of sorrow and insecurity..but this man used it to his advantage to make everybody around him laugh. A convincing stand-up comedian can hide his/her sorrow and make others laugh simultaneously.