18 months back, we at evam were “Bell Ring”ing when evam Standup Tamasha hit 2000 likes. Bell Ring is an office custom where we ring the bell and announce good news to others in the company. Evam Standup Tamasha (our standup comedy wing, as our title subtly suggests) was growing and coming into its own. We worked as a repertory of artists – 6 of us programming across Chennai, Bangalore, Singapore and we’d just finished our tour of the USA.
But the standup scene – the proverbial “standup movement” – has been growing exponentially in India over the last 18 months. And if there’s one thing we at eST are most proud of – it’s how much we’ve adapted to change and learnt to evolve as we learn new things and get new learnings.
Our standup division started as a logical progression of our theatre roots – we worked as a group of artists, had a director curating each piece, and travelled to cities as a group performing together. We, of course were quick to grasp what the scene outside was though. We ramped up our operations and evolved. We moved from a repertory to a lot more. Right now, we program into spaces, curate festivals, take care of branding and marketing, manage artists, hunt for sponsors and partners, pitch and run corporate shows and develop comedy properties and try to have fun while doing it.
The definition of what we do has been constantly changing. What was true 6 months back no longer works. What worked 10 months back is ancient ritual now. And no one has an idea where things are headed over the next year. We’ve moved from 2000 likes on Facebook to 50,000. We did over 175 shows last year. We did a few milestone solo shows we are incredibly proud of, we’ve added new artists we are excited to work more with and we have our next comedy stars coming up. Working with some of the best talent across India, we are already planning our tours of USA, Singapore and more. We’ve changed and not been satisfied with not constantly evolving. And that’s what I’m most proud of – our commitment to learn and grow. Onward!
By Rabhinder Kannan – for Evam Standup Tamasha