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We all love to make people laugh, it makes us feel good, so how nice would it be if you get paid for making people laugh…??
Yes, Do not get surprised
we are going to talk about comedy as a profession.
In India, comedy has been recognized as a profession quite late.
Even career counselling platforms also do not tell you about this as a career. You hardly get any career guidance on how to choose a career as a comedian.
Even two decades ago movies were the only option for comedians and had very little scope in India. Movie makers recognized the power of comedy in the late 1950s and gave a lot of hit comedy movies like Chalti ka Naam Gaadi, Miss Marry etc. It was after the boom of the internet in India that other types of comedy were also recognized like stand-up comedy, mimicking, comic script writing etc. The Internet has opened the scope of comedy and reduced the dependence on others to get a chance to come in the limelight. There are a lot of examples of solo ventures in comedies which are built from the scratch e.g. East India comedy, All India Bakchod and much more. Basically, in this blog, we will discuss how you can make your hobby a successful career and all that you might want to know about it.
We will start this discussion by dividing comedy into various scopes.
A) Stand-up comedy and stage performance
B) Theatre and television
C) Comic scriptwriter
D) Webcomic writer
Stand-up comedy- It is one of the most difficult types of comedy where one has to directly interact with a live audience and which requires you to be witty, fearless and extremely hilarious on your feet. This kind of performance can be scripted or spontaneous. But mostly it is both. If you feel that you can be a good stand-up comic then you have a lot of opportunities to showcase your talent because there are a lot of corporates colleges and events where you can be invited and well paid.
Theatre and Television- Yes, theater and television are different in many aspects. In theater, you have a live audience to address and on television, you get many takes and re-takes that can help you perfect your act. Basically, we can still merge these two into one: Acting. We have a lot of examples in the form of comedy actors; Kadar Khan, Tun Tun, Johnny Walker to name a few. To become a comedy actor you require perfect timing, ability to mimic and above all your own personalized style of comedy. So it’s is not as easy as it appears.
Comic script writers- it is possible that you are a good comic but you have stage fear or you are not an actor. So you can try writing…!! “An actor is as funny as the script is written” quoted by me!! Thus, make a hobby of comic writing, improve your skills and don’t forget the ABC (Always be Creative) of comic writing. You can always improve your writing using various platform available for free or you can join courses to improve your writing skills. (Discussion bellow)
Webcomic writer- Why to wait for others to recognize your talent, you can start your own venture in webcomic writing and if given a good try it does not cost much too. For writing a webcomic it takes more than just writing, “It’s actually creating”, you have to create a whole character, a background, a scene, a story and everything else. For being completely independent, you would require drawing skills and have to learn various software to draw on computers.
So these are the scopes and prerequisite if you see comedy as a profession but the biggest question remains unanswered…
Which approach is the best?
Stand-up comedy- for stand-up comedy you can start with performing in different comedy clubs. Remember there is never a good time so if you have any presentable skills start performing. If it is difficult to start as stand-up comic then start to sing or play guitar or perform anything which will help you face the live audience and when you are ready with your script, just go ahead and give a mind blowing performance.
Stand-up comedy is not as difficult as promoting yourself as a stand-up comic. But in today’s time YouTube has made it a little easier. You require a YouTube channel, record a mind-blowing stand –up performance and upload it. Then start promoting via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and everywhere else. Sometimes this would not be enough you would be required to use some online paid ads, email promotions and word of mouth will be required to get some work. But in all this do not stop producing new stand-ups, it is required to retain the fan following you have earned.
Theatre and Television- comic acting cannot be learned, it is mostly inbuilt in you but it can still be sharpened. There are various acting school and theater where you can sharpen your skills. To name a few
1) The Barry John Acting studio
2) Anupam Kher’s, Actor Prepares
3) National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi
4) Subhash Ghai’s, Whistling Woods International
5) Delhi Film Institute
7) FTII, Pune Film and Television Institute of India
These are some acting schools and theaters where you can learn Acting or comic acting. Though there are no entrance tests for getting into these schools but still there certain eligibility criterion is set. For example, NSD has set criteria like Maximum and minimum age limits, one should have participated in at least of 6 theater production etc.
If you do not get your break from there then you have to follow the path discussed for the promotion of Stand-up comic and moreover start your struggle in the acting field. You can promote yourself by emailing, start approaching different theaters and my suggestion would be done not wait for a big thing to happen, work in any role, this will help you to come in lime light and make contacts in industries.
Comic scriptwriter- comic script writing is not a vast scope, so it would be difficult to make it as a full-time profession. So if you have good writing skills then venture into script writing. For showcasing your talent you can use various online platforms like screen craft, made to help and improve script writers. Blogs can also help you to become a good writer. for getting into industry promote yourself as much as you can by blogging, posting your work wherever possible, emailing your favorite producers and all that is required. There are online platforms also which gives online scriptwriting work, so work there and improve until you get a big break.
Webcomic writing- As discussed earlier, webcomic writing is not only about writing, it is much more than that. For webcomic writing you are not only a writer, you are actually a creator. Plotting, writing and giving life to the characters is all up to you. There are various successful ventures in India for webcomic writing which are built from scratch and with very less investment. For example Garbage bin comics. For starting such a venture you are required to be a free hand drawing artist but nowadays you are required to use free hand drawing software. This software makes your work easy, attractive and easily presentable. For starting a venture in webcomic writing you can use different social network pages to showcase your work and after getting a following you can launch your printed comic books as well. There is a lot of scope in this field in India, you get work for creating characters for different companies, magazines, newspaper etc.
Some software for free hand drawings are
2) Google Sketchup
Check them out and I hope you liked this blog. The article is contributed by Himanshu Jaiswal who is pursuing MBA from BIMTECH, Greater Noida.
Comedy is the one of the most difficult profession but if you love to make people laugh then go for it. Do your best to make someone laugh. Try to interact with Comedians and get more insights about this career.
Edu4Sure role is to make you aware about education and believe me "How to be a Comedian" seems funny but one must explore this as a career option because it is always great to follow your heart. If you believe this can be a right career then go for it. Let us know if you want to share your story ( If you are a comedian & we would try to publish it).