5 fears a stand-up comedian conquers before facing the audience
Who says stand-up comedy is easy? Especially when you belong to the Indian comedy world, it gets harder because of all the existing benchmark set up by the global comedy industry.Fear doesn’t spare even the bravest of men. Stand-up comedians definitely fall under this category because they are filled with fear every time they go up on stage. But like true champions, they shoot fear down and make people laugh as if they were born to do it. Listed below are 5 fears every stand-up conquers before facing his / her audience:
What if they don't laugh?
The greatest fear of all: a silent audience. What if they don’t laugh? is a fear every stand-up comedian conquers before going up on stage. The stand-up’s job is to try his best to make people laugh. It is the audience’s job whether to laugh or not - none of his business. So he does it anyway.
What if someone decides to kill me because I made an insensitive joke?
Every good comic has a piece in his set which he thinks is the best. But more often than not, this is a joke which could be perceived as insensitive. Inhumane even. But that doesn’t stop them from telling it. A joke is a joke. If you cannot accept it, too bad. Because they’re going to tell it again and again.
What if they laugh at me instead of laughing with me?
Scenario A: No one’s laughing
Scenario B: Everyone’s laughing. But not at the joke. At you.
Which is a better scenario? ‘B’ would be any stand-up’s spontaneous answer. Because laughter always sounds better than groans. Someone who is true to the art of stand-up comedy doesn’t care if people are laughing at him. If they are laughing, he knows he has done his job.
What if they laugh at the wrong places?
The stand-up comedian tells a joke. No one laughs. He tells another joke. Again, no one laughs. Then he asks the waiter to turn on the air-conditioning because the club’s getting too hot. The audience thinks this is a joke, and the room reverberates with laughter. The stand-up comedian puts on a smile as if it was intentional and walks off-stage. This happens to every stand-up comedian but they do it anyway. Why? Because laughter.
What if they don’t understand my jokes?
Most people - before going up on stage - assume the audience is ignorant. So more often than not the question is: Will they get the Illuminati reference? But they always do. Shedding this fear is to understand that there’s not much difference between you and the general public.
We all know what it feels like when fear stabs us in the back at the most critical moments in life. But stand-up comedians have one superpower that we don’t. They know how to be bold, to switch off their brains, and just go ahead and do it the Royal Challenge way.
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