Nishant Joke Singh who established a comedy company called Joke Joker Jokest and is the only comedian in India to have toured with his solo special across the country. Read on to know more about this talented standup comic.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
I hail from Haryana, born & raised in Gujarat and moved to Delhi in 2003. I worked with a number of call centers till 2005 before I joined NDTV. I first time went on stage to perform comedy in November 2009 at a open mic organized at Malcha marg, New Delhi. I quit my job in 2012 when My boss at work asked me to choose between the job and comedy. Since then, I’ve established a comedy company called Joke Joker Jokest. I’ve conceptualized and produced many comedy specials like Comedy in Diversity, Two and a laugh men, Improv Premier League to name a few. I have also conceptualized and performed a solo special specifically designed for the corporate audience, called The Clean Corporate Comedy Show. I am the only comedian in India to have toured with his solo special across the country. In January 2015, I performed JUST JOKING in 12 cities, covering North, East, West and South India. Currently I am touring Southeast Asia. I’ve already done shows in Singapore and next on schedule are Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia.
What prompted you to become a stand up comedian ?
I was always the funny guy in school, college and at work. In 2009, a colleague at NDTV told me “You are so funny and you keep making fun of everyone. Why don’t you try stand-up comedy?”. Her name is Prachi Narayan and She was a weather reporter at NDTV. That was it. After that I went for my first open mic.
Tell us about your team, if you have?
I work with a lot of comedians over different projects according to the requirement of the particular special show. Otherwise, I don’t have a core team. More or less I work with every comic in the circuit.
What type of content you prefer when it comes to stand up comedy?
I am not very sure if I can define my content because I almost do everything. Right from stereotypes, ranting, observations, anecdotes, impromptu, crowd work, adult and completely clean routine, depending on the kind of audience am playing for.
What is your dream/ vision?
To be the next Russell Peters.
What difficulties you face as an stand up comedian?
There is competition and politics everywhere, comedy scene is no different. However, after working for a News network for almost 7 years, everything else in life feels like a cake walk. One has to be disciplined because there is no one pushing you to get work done. You are your own boss and you shouldn’t take advantage of that.
What inspires you or keeps you going?
My audience. Making people laugh is the biggest high for me. When I started there was no money in comedy. I did it purely out of passion. Now I make a living out of it but that hasn’t changed anything. I feel as if am blessed with a special power. There are strangers in the audience who are going through tough time or stress in life. They come to me to have a good time and forget everything else for those 60 minutes. They walk up to me after the show and say THANK YOU with a big smile. This included people from all walks of life, Doctors, Pilots, Politicians, Businessmen, Parents with their kids etc. I get my energy from my audience. I’ll be nothing without them.
Any fun/ memorable incident?
Now I have many of them but this one is special. After a show, A guy in his late 60’s walked up to me and asked for an autograph. Everybody else was getting pictures clicked, So I told him that autographs are old school, let’s take a photograph from your phone. He replied “This is for my grandson. Can you please write a message for him.” I was delighted and speechless. That was the first autograph of my life.
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbie in stand up comedian?
A lot of newbies are getting into comedy because its the new thing around and they want to feel like rockstars. The first and foremost thing for comedy is to have a sense of humor. Don’t do it because it’s “COOL” to do stand-up. For people who are serious, Comedy demands discipline and consistency. In India, every year at least 100 people try stand-up comedy and only less than 5% stick around. Don’t give it up easily. Watch other comedians perform but never ever copy material. Being unfunny is acceptable but like other artists, comics also hate plagiarism.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Sure. My FB page and twitter handle – Facebook.com/theJOKEsingh and Twitter @JOKEsingh
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