Meet Devesh Dixit - A standup comedian who left his sales job to make people laugh, one joke at a time
No matter how cool it might seem, making people laugh is one of the toughest things in the world. And opting to do it full-time leaving your corporate job takes more courage, determination, and creativity than one could imagine. We have with us one of the most celebrated Indian standup-comedian Devesh Dixit sharing what it takes to make people laugh and become a successful stand-up comedian in 2021.
Road to Fame
Everybody likes to think they're a bit of a comic - but would you actually dare to get up on stage and try to make people laugh?
No matter how cool it might seem, making people laugh is one of the toughest things in the world. And opting to do it full-time leaving your corporate job takes more courage, determination, and creativity than one could imagine.
We have with us one of the most celebrated Indian standup-comedian Devesh Dixit sharing what it takes to make people laugh and become a successful stand-up comedian in 2021.
Tell us about your childhood. Were you one of those kids who just love to make everyone laugh or is it something that developed later?
My entire life, I've been telling jokes. I've been making people laugh for as long as I can remember. This was always the one skill I possessed. However, in the cities where I lived prior to 2015, there was no live comedy shows. Finally, when I moved to Delhi in 2015, I went to my first open mic and never looked back.
When was that particular instance when you decided to pursue a full-time career as a stand-up comedian?
For about two and a half years, I did stand-up while working full-time. Then I was transferred to a location with no stand-up scene, leaving me with no choice but to quit my job and pursue stand-up full-time. Fortunately, everything worked out for me, and I am absolutely loving the journey.
Tell us about your first official act on the stage as a stand-up comedian. How did that happen?
When I moved to Delhi, I began emailing everyone who ran open mics. I didn't have the guts to call or simply show up. Fortunately, one of them eventually responded, and I got a spot, which went well, and I never stopped going.
More often than not, people fail to see years of struggles that finally lead to that video that makes you viral. Take us through what feeling it was after your first viral standup video
I didn't exactly go "viral." For me, it happened gradually. I've accumulated whatever small audience I have through a combination of things I've put out on various platforms, allowing me to be whoever I want on stage because they don't know me as someone who does that "one thing." I do variations, so I'm always doing different sets on stage.
How supportive your family has been throughout your journey. How did your family react when you first told them about pursuing a career as a standup comedian?
My family has been incredibly supportive of my plan to become a stand-up comedian. Actually, they were a little too supportive. My father kept pushing me to quit my job long before I began making any money from stand-up. I had to convince him to let me keep my job until I could make money doing stand-up comedy. Weird people.
How do people react when you tell them what your job is?
They get pretty excited now. Stand-up is not something people aren't aware of anymore. It has gained a lot of attention as this field is rapidly expanding. Many people now perform stand-up comedy, and the audience follows them. People understand it now because it has grown in popularity over the last few years. So, yes, people are fascinated when I tell them what I do for a living.
Who really makes you laugh? Tell us about your favorite comedians and the ones who inspired you.
Too many people have inspired me to pursue stand-up comedy. Rory Scovel, Norm Macdonald, Eddie Pepitone, Chelsea Perretti, Maria Bamford, and the list goes on.
What's the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I don't think I'll ever forget my first open mic. As a beginner, I performed very well, which is unusual for first-timers. It was so exciting that I couldn't sleep that night. That incident is one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences I've ever had.
How do you practice material?
Open mics and trial shows are where I usually practice my material. It's probably the best way to practice the sets.
How do you deal with hecklers and nasty comments online?
Hecklers are mostly just people who get over-excited and I have found if you let them know what they are doing, they get it. Online comments are best ignored.
Has anything embarrassing ever happened on stage?
What could be more embarrassing than getting bombed and not getting any laughter from the crowds, which has occurred several times.
If you weren't a comedian what job would you do?
If I weren't a comedian, I'd be doing the same thing I was doing before I started doing stand-up as a full-time job. If not in stand-up comedy, I might be in sales.
Is there anything you won't joke about?
No, not at all. I make jokes about anything that I find funny or that my audience finds funny. So, there's nothing I won't make a joke about.
How secure is a career as a stand-up comedian in India?
Nobody becomes a stand-up comedian to be stable. It will have its ups and downs, but it won't matter if you truly love the craft and enjoy being on stage cracking jokes.
What would be your advice to every individual who would want to pursue a career as a standup comedian?
My advice to anyone interested in pursuing stand-up comedy is to write what you think is funny and tell it to a bunch of strangers at an open mic and repeat it every day for five years.
Road to Fame
"Tough times never last, but tough people do." Road to Fame, a Publication by Tealfeed, gives a sneak-peek into the inspiring journeys and struggles of celebrities who made it big with their passion and determination.