Deadpan, understated and intellectual are the terms the audiences use to describe Shamik Chakrabarti’s stand-up comedy. Bengaluru-based Shamik acknowledges and says he is “trying to add more variety to his performance while staying true to his natural rhythm. I am a nerd who is trying to be creative.” Shamik will be performing in Hyderabad on October 9 at Aaromale, Jubilee Hills. This marks a new gig tour and he will be performing in Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune in the following weeks.
Shamik became a familiar name through live gigs and his participation in Comicstaan, streamed on Amazon Prime Video. “The aim of participating in a show like Comicstaan was to find an audience in front of whom I can perform. They found me rather than me going out to scout for an audience. It was a great place to start growing.”
Shamik comes from a family of engineers. “My grandfathers and my father are engineers and being the only child, my parents wanted me to have a stable career option,” he says. He agrees with the common joke that when one does not know what he or she wants, they study engineering: “Engineers pop up in every other household in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Post engineering, a lot of people drop out. I worked as an electrical engineer for a few years until an open mic event changed everything for me.”
The interest in comedy had been there since college, but Shamik never thought it could be a career option. He was hooked to stand-up shows of Russel Peters and George Carlin. When he was pursuing his masters in the US, he attended live and online stand up gigs frequently. Returning to Bengaluru, he took the plunge.
Currently a screenwriter for VOOT’s Sports Over the Top series that presents news and views about the top sports stories, he also travels for live stand-up comic shows.
He performed in Hyderabad earlier this year and says the show was “a breeze”, thanks to the warm response from the audience. He is keen to see the reactions among a new audience that hasn’t attended his earlier show but is also keen to offer something new to repeat audiences. “Some of the repeat audience often say that the experience is like watching a movie the second time. You notice the points that you had missed the first time. Since most stand-up shows follow a pre-written script, some jokes stay the same, with new additions based on something that happened recently.”
One of his popular jokes is a keen observation of Bengaluru autos that refuse to ply to a requested destination. Shamik says when travelling, he tries to reach a destination a little ahead and takes public transport, to get a sense of the place and its people. He looks at travel as a method to destress, declutter the mind and observe people.
As a stand-up comic, Shamik is aware of having to play safe in times of social media trolling. However, he points out that those who like a show may not be vocal on public forums, while those who want to post negative comments go ahead and air their views: “It is similar to the comments in app reviews. Those who have complaints will voice their thoughts more often than those who are happy with the app experience. I would urge people who enjoy a stand up show to go ahead and tell others about it; nothing works like word-of-mouth appreciation.”
(Shamik Chakrabarti will be performing at Aaromale, Jubilee Hills, on October 9; bookmyshow, October 9, 6pm)