ArtKhoj is a unique platform for identifying talent and catering to the needs of both the artists and hosts, by collaborating with institutes and vendors. It’s a one-stop destination for Artists, Hosts and those aspiring individuals looking to chase their passions. Here’s Humour Sapiens in a tête-à-tête with ArtKhoj’s Co-Founders, Puneet & Aditya, wherein they talk about how stand-up comedy is different from other art forms they have offered stage for.
1. How did the idea of ArtKhoj crop up? What was the thought behind?
The idea originated while we were working in the corporate world, hosting events for employee engagement. It was quite hard to find the right artists, at the right time and being sure of what their actual charges were. The whole thing seemed unstructured and we realised, there is a simpler solution to it – a platform where hosts and artists would collaborate for better event experiences. From there on, it grew into an artist and arts platform where we are constantly trying to provide support and structure to every individual artist.
2. How has the journey been so far?
Journey has been enjoyable so far and it’s still in a nascent stage. Growth has been in circles. You enter newer circles with each event and gig which provides better connections. But every day is exciting with the number of new artists and art forms that we come across, and none of them cease to amaze us.
3. As a platform that gives an open stage to all art forms, what challenges have you seen as an organiser when it comes to stand-up comedy? How is it different than offering a platform for other art forms?
As organizers, we are just worried as we rarely know what the subject matter is going to be and how it will be received. In terms of offering a platform it is pretty much the same as the rest of the art forms. There might be a few subtle differences in terms of the target audience and opportunities.
4. As per you, what are the challenges that comics face in comparison to performers of other arts?
Art is subjective. It always depends on the perspective of each individual. Stand-up comedy, more so than any other art form, requires more of a collective response to the artist’s idea, and the response needs to be immediate for it to work. So mostly, it is just about not stepping on anyone’s toes and being funny at the same time. Other art forms have a little more leeway. Audience is mature for other art forms. But stand-up can integrate with any act. You can have a funny magic act or theatre performance. Other conventional art forms don’t offer that much flexibility.
5. Unlike conventional art forms, comedy as a career is relatively new. How do you see the future of stand-up comedy and open mic culture? Is it a fad expected to die soon?
Comedy as a successful career, especially stand-up comedy, might be relatively new, but comedy scene in India is quite old with well-known comics like Kader Khan, Johnny Lever, Raju Shriastav etc. Yes, there was no structure to it and stand-up comedy came into limelight just few years ago. But having said that, as it grows and matures, we will see some normalization in terms of pay and structure.
It can’t be called a fad if it pays a few lakhs for a 30-minute gig, and is a form of expression (Laughter/Humor) that has been around forever. We have a billion people, there are bound to be funny stories and observations which need to be shared. The sustainability or ecosystem for the art form will improve at the rate at which the audience matures. We have gone from comparing our comedians to foreign comedians to having our own comic idols now. Soon we will come to accept that not everyone who drives an F1 car is Schumacher.
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