My love for comedy developed when I was 5 years old. My mother and grandfather used to watch and listen the great works of P. L. Deshpande. Names of like “Batatyachi Chawl, Apurvai, Me Ani Maza Shatrupaksha” started falling on my ears. I couldn’t understand anything but I found it amusing. I laughed because my mom used to laugh and there was a sense of comfort that I felt in P. L.’s voice. As I grew older I started understanding things. Now I was laughing because I understood the punches. Then “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” started to air on TV and I always wondered how do they write this stuff? Do they in fact write and rehearse or they come up with it on stage? I was amazed and influenced by all this. I “performing” comedy started in 10th std when I used to mimic our teachers in lunch break and it was a big hit. I continued this in college, and my HOD liked it so much that he gave us a lecture off and asked me to perform for half hour mimicking all the teachers including him. I never thought about this as a career but I was hooked about this art form. I started watching more and more standup and quickly found out how different mimicry and standup is. I loved standup. Then in 2015 a tragedy struck, I lost my mom and she was a single mom and this was the moment which changed my life completely. I wanted to vent out but couldn’t find a way and courage to do so. Standup showed me a different way to deal with it and sadness, issues in life. This was big. I felt I had a superpower.
I went to my 1st open mic and before going on stage, I tweeted to Mr. Gabriel Iglesias, my inspiration, to wish me luck and to my surprise he replied saying “All the best” and started following me on Twitter. I was swept off my feet. I was like now I don’t care whatever happens I’m going to do it and it went better than my expectations and that was it, I knew I had to do this professionally. But then for over a year I was not getting a single laugh at all. All my jokes just fell flat. I was on the verge of giving up, but I gave myself sometime and then wrote a completely new set based on myself and it suddenly picked up. Talking about my shortcomings on stage gave me a sense of confidence and things started picking up from there. I wrote more about it. Every time I sat down to write, I visualized 22 years of my life like a movie to pick up the most embarrassing/ funniest part that I can joke about. I found myself when I got lost into the world of Stand-Up Comedy. I have been doing it for 3 years now and every show is a good experience for me irrespective of how the show goes. I remember I was performing a weekend at Canvas Laugh Club with other big comedians and my friends told me they wanted to come. It was sold out show. 300 people laughing and applauding for that 1 line that you said and they related with, is a different feeling. That show was one of the best shows I had done till now.
Not every show is a good show though. Sometimes I question my life choices while going back home but that’s part of the game and its fun because a bad show makes you a good comedian. Following your passion and being an artist is fun but you a sustainability factor which is money. And it’s not difficult but some people don’t understand this. When clients negotiate for the show they say things like “oh you will be on stage just for 30 mins, amount you’re asking is too much for 30 mins” for them I just want to say on behalf of every artist “you are not paying me for those 30 mins, you are paying me for the years that I have invested in perfecting my art and performed for free countless times to test it”.
I have been inspired and changed by standup show much that you can literally say that Standup has given me a new life and I would do this even in the next. In the end I’m pretty sure last words of my life would be “that’s it from my side guys. I was Dhaval Datar and you’ve been a lovely audience”.