Name: Daniel Fernandes
Profession: Stand-Up Comic
Company: Microphone Entertainment
1. Did you plan on becoming a stand-up comedian or did stand-up comedy just happen along the way?
It happened by chance while I was studying for an MBA. I was asked to perform for a college event but I didn’t want to do the same old song/dance routine, so thought of giving Stand-Up a shot. It went well. Then I moved to Mumbai and as the scene was steadily growing I joined the bandwagon, while I still held on to my regular day job.
2. How do you come up with your jokes/material? Real events, observations, experiences, etc.?
Stand-Up is a very personal art form. All of my material is based on a life experience or an observation. You first jot down an idea and start writing about it. You run it by an audience, see how they respond, get back and keep editing till you get the order and delivery of the words just right and then you have a joke, gag or a bit that becomes part of your set-list. The entire process to get a single joke right can take anywhere from 9 months to years, depending on how deep you go with it.
3. What are the qualities required to be a stand-up comedian? A funny bone, discipline, diplomacy, etc.
A unique sense of humour, a never say die attitude, ability to write, quick wit on stage, honesty, discipline and a sound understanding of business.
4. Where do you see the stand-up industry in the next couple of years?
The industry is growing slowly and steadily but it is still a long way off from being established. We need more youngsters to look at Stand-Up as a viable career option (which it can be) and as more comics join the fray, supply will meet demand. The future is bright for sure.
5. The venue you love performing at is? The venue you aspire to perform at is?
The venue I love performing at is The Comedy Store Mumbai. There are many venues I hope to play some day like the The Comedy Cellar (New York), The Apollo Theatre (London) and stages at Comedy festivals across the world. All of this of course is many years down the line.
6. How easy/difficult is it for new artists to get a chance early on to perform? One piece of advice you’d like to give them would be?
Getting spots to try out Stand-Up for the first time is easy. Sticking it out and doing it till you get really good and are able to make a living out of it is the hard part. There are lots of open mic nights around the city where newbies can test the waters. My advice is to have a goal in mind when you start out and keep adding to it. If you’re doing it for the money or fame you’re not going to get very far, but if it’s for the sheer joy of the art form there is so much you can do with it. There are many elements of Stand-Up that must be developed. The best advice I could give is to get on stage as often as you can and watch as much live comedy as possible. Eventually you will get the hang of it and if you’re smart about it, you might be able to make a decent living out of it.
Have some questions for the interviewee above? Wish to get some of your doubts cleared? Or want to just say a simple ‘Hi?’ Feel free to add your thoughts and questions as comments and we will try and have them answered for you!