My Strange Love… Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love to Bomb!

Poke Me KK… To all lovers of Standup Comedy & Rahul Dravid.

Karthik Kumar’s first Solo show – #PokeMe opens in Chennai on Sep 6 and Bangalore on Sep 19.

Tickets available on Bookmyshow and Eventjini.

Standup comedy entered into my life in 2009 end, beginning 2010 – all because evam had dates at an intimate theatre, for a solo play, and my actor hadn’t learnt his lines (and was nowhere going to), and I couldn’t step in either! I had to write a piece of Theatre, an autobiographical rant of sorts, and I had the pressure to make it amusing – amusing I say, not funny! Funny isn’t easy – and certainly it wasn’t a challenge I was going to saddle myself with and my debut writing project with…

Long story short – as a piece of solo autobiographical theatre, it was adorable and even an angsty genuine rant… but as a piece of standup comedy – it was everything but funny! It was funny if you weren’t looking for the humour and therefore were happy to find it – it wasn’t funny if all you were looking for was humour…

2011 we entered the standup comedy space as evam (Standup Tamasha), and there continued my journey of bombing for the next 2 ‘Testicle-Crushing, Ab-Crunching, Carb-Avoiding, Kapil-Sharma-Enduring’ years as a Standup comic! 2012-13 saw me move from playing solo, to second fiddle, and then move to the third chorus line and then nearly out of the entire orchestra… At my best I was amusing and charming, at my worst I was offensive and loud! Truth be told.

It was hell! I had been good at everything in my life – not great – but surely damn good at most things… Cricket in my teenage years, academics, amateur and then professional theatre, first generation entrepreneurship… heck even at Engineering when I didn’t have my heart in it. Here I was – in standup comedy – heart and soul, and I was bleeding like a one sided suicidal lover… pledging love to a frigid princess!

I accepted it – not defeat… but the truth – I sucked big time! I wasn’t worth the time and investment for an audience – because I just wasn’t funny.

Why wasn’t I funny? Coz I wasn’t willing to learn… I wasn’t willing to open my heart onto the page… I was in denial at the time of feedback… and most importantly – I was trying desperately to think ‘funny’!

I changed my ways – I stopped – rewrote some – and then some more… threw away pages of material that I loved – loved, because they had come from hours of my net practise. Threw it all out and had to convince myself that that was the best thing to do. Not unlike walking away from a relationship that has died…

2014 I got funny – overnight! Really… Overnight after 3 years of bombing, and learning to love it. Love it as a familiar hell… like the wicked smile of your gym trainer, like the wall you hit if you are a runner, like a blank page for a writer, like a ‘we need to talk’ from a partner…

Today I am the Rahul Dravid of ‘Standup Comedy’. For all Rahul Dravid fans, like myself, I’m not comparing the quantums of talent and achievement – Rahul Dravid is God…

I’m comparing the approach to craft. To Rahul Dravid nothing came easy – he had to work harder, fight longer, face stiffer and younger competition who were naturally more talented – and yet he endured, before he finally shone! I have endured… I hope to shine – in the meanwhile I am… fighting and loving it.

Funny isn’t a way of thinking – it’s a way of expressing a feeling… for that you must feel first. Like all Art begins when you feel – for the human condition, your’s or your brothers’. Empathy towards another, including yourself, is the fountainhead. Then add to that – rechanneling that sadness and anger, towards a more constructive positive resonance through humour… the science of humour and its construction will help here, and hereon only.

Then it’s born – that ‘Voice’! Find your voice we keep saying in ‘Standup Comedy’ – it enrages those who haven’t yet found it, it enrages those who have found it and don’t know how to explain it, it enrages the pretenders who behave as if they have found the ‘voice’ and have to keep searching on Wikipedia to explain what it is. We are all searching for our ‘voice’ – I am as well… finding and losing it and finding it again with each new ‘set’…

We comics are warriors – fighting demons inside and outside… we burn and die on days when we don’t connect – we are humbled when we ‘kill’ ( a term used to describe how ‘another’ comic did when ‘they’ did well)! We are like dyslexic two left footed awkward teenagers when we try ‘new material’ and bitchy spurned lovers when rejected or appreciated condescendingly…

We exist on shaky grounds of Censorship and at the mercy of the easily offended – but to all I say…

Standup Comedy is that art that my country needs – it gives a voice to the silent feelings and angst of my country and its people… like the way we describe the success of Zanjeer and the birth of the angry young man in the 1970s. Standup Comedy is the vent we all need – young and old alike, urban and rural alike – the way to channelise anger and frustration into humour – Humour that makes us laugh and think, and then hopefully assuages the anger, and makes us Act or at least rest assured.

I’m clearly in love… but I hope I’ve made you understand her a little bit more – she stands tall and alone, and speaks to your heart… she is art, be it in the garb of an item number!

About EVAM

Founded in 2003 by Sunil Vishnu K. and Karthik Kumar, ‘evam’ today is a profitable young thriving arts organization making people believe in the power of the Arts.
This entry was posted in Evam Standup Tamasha and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My Strange Love… Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love to Bomb!

  1. You ‘killed’ it :))


  2. Hariharan. V says:

    Thank You for the entertaining times! All the best for your every venture!!!


  3. Sahil Horane says:

    This article gives me hope @Karthik sir..


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