Praveen Kumar is a Bangalore based stand up comedian, whose first love is Biryani and then comes everything else. He is here, talking about his next solo special, in this blog.
India, as a country has been witnessing lot of famous foreign stand up comedy acts for the past few years, latest in the list being Eddie Izzard at the beginning of 2017. The whole of stand up comedian fraternity was so excited and all of them were discussing only about the visiting comic. I usually feel really really lost during all these conversations. The main reason being I don’t find any of the foreign comics relatable. Probably I should blame the way I was brought up. But lot of fellow comics would advice me to watch them… I tried… a lot many times… but failed miserably. But I would watch Tamizh comedians like Goundamani, Vadivelu, Vivek and Santhanam a million times, listen to the same jokes, still laugh hysterically. Probably its the connect, probably its the relatability or probably its the language.
Yes I feel more connected to the jokes if it was in my mother tongue. I thought, if I feel more connected to Tamizh jokes, what if I do my jokes in Tamizh and establish a better connect with my audience? Thats exactly what my friends and fellow comics Biswa and Sundeep told me. “Why are you thinking in Tamizh and translating into English and performing? Instead, perform directly in Tamizh..” Golden words.. I thought about it for a few days and decided to give it a shot. But I ll have to give my best.
As soon as I decided to give this a shot, I spoke to Rabhinder and checked if evam would be willing to produce the show if I come up with a one hour special in Tamizh. He was very happy and said “Lets do it bro!!” Thats it. And so came to be my fourth special. I usually like to work backwards so I am motivated enough. So I booked dates for the show first and started working towards it. I would probably be the first person to come up with a Tamizh solo stand up comedy special. I felt special.
Then I started writing Tamizh jokes, for which I have been waiting for so long. I enjoyed writing jokes in my mother tongue. I didn’t decide on the theme of the show yet. But I started writing. Eventually I came up with the name of the show “36 Vayathinile” which means “At the age of 36”. So I decided to talk about things from a 36 year old man’s perspective. About the responsibilities, the pains, the likes, dislikes etc. Basically I belong to the generation which is like a sandwich between the extremely conservative older generation and extremely modern newer generation. So I thought I can talk about that on stage.
But where do I practice? Where do I hit open mics? I cannot try Tamizh jokes in Bangalore open mic. I had to travel to Chennai to try open mic. Probably thats the only downside of the whole project. But I was telling myself that if I have to give my best, I have to be ready to work hard. So I decided to travel to Chennai frequently to try my jokes, whatever I have written. I started writing around March end and I would have travelled to Chennai for open mics and other shows where I performed in Tamizh at least some 15 times. I hereby take this opportunity to thank evam, Chennai Comedy and Tanglish Comedy in Chennai for giving me guest spots whenever I asked for. Really means a lot guys. Also special thanks to Rabhinder and Sowpernika from evam for creating some shows just for me to try out material.
I am still travelling and still trying out jokes in Chennai open mics. For all you know, I will be travelling when you are reading this blog. As of now I have about 32 minutes and I have to finish writing the remaining half an hour, try that, practice in open mics and open spots, try a longer spot, do a run through (secret show) everything before August 5th as thats when I am launching the show in Bangalore.
Ok guys, if you have read this blog, please try coming to the show. Aug 5th in Bangalore and Aug 27th in Chennai.
Ok. I have to go book my Chennai bus tickets. See you guys soon.
Thanks and Regards,