All about tickling funny bone
Hyderabad’s funny-woman Rupali Tyagi opens up about how she is working her way through stand-up comedy, a job, a kid and being extremely funny while doing it
"I can text and listen to music at the same time, that makes me a multitasking legend!" is something our generation would boast of on a resume if it could. But Hyderabad-based comic Rupali Tyagi's story knocks every multitasking story out of the park.
Imagine having a new-born (and extremely adorable) kid, a job and a stand-up career to manage and finding a way to excel in each of those areas.
Hailing from UP and having lived across the country for a decade, she's been calling Hyderabad home for five years – which is where her stand-up comedy journey started."I started doing theatre in Hyderabad with a city theatre group and chanced upon an open mic that they had organised."
And that's where she had her Eureka moment. "When I saw comics performing, I just felt like going on stage and doing it. I registered on the spot, scribbled few jokes, went up on stage and got few laughs.
I felt a certain high I had never felt before. I kept replaying the laughter in my head. Not sure how drugs work, but if you have felt the high that stand up gives you are addicted for life!"
On how the family took it, she says it was never really an issue to start with. "My husband is very supportive and encouraging. He understands my need to be on stage and tell a joke with same exactness as I do and pushes me to do more and better. He is my audience and my truest critic."
"No one in my family is against it and they think I am doing something nice. Also, I have never sought permission or buy-in from anyone in family. I started doing it, I continued to do it and I would do it anyway!" she adds.
A seasoned comic in the Hyderabad circuit, she says most of her jokes come from amplifying the truth. "I mostly write about my life and the characters in it. In every joke I write, there is a grain of truth which is then twisted and amplified a bit."
One of the very few women comics in the scene, she believes that being a woman comic is as difficult as being a comic. "I feel being a woman comic is as easy or difficult as it is to be a comic."
However, there is a catch! "Being a woman has no role to play in how funny I am on stage. However, for me the difficult part is to be a woman and a comic.
Let me try to explain - I have a full-time job, a family, I am a new and nursing mother. My plate is already full. I have to push myself really hard to neither lose the desire to do comedy nor the focus to get better as a comic," she added.
She also had a few good things to say about the Hyderabad comedy scene – where she has done most of her comedy. "Hyderabad comedy scene is not as big as say a Mumbai or a Delhi, but it has some great comics who are consistently working hard on creating great content and also mentoring younger comics. Honestly, I am in love with the scene - it has a very positive vibe and culture."
However, the seas aren't calm always. Every job comes with its pressures, this one comes with pressures and hecklers. How does she deal with all of it? "I have faced minor heckling.
Not sure why people have been nice to me! But I remember in one show I was doing a bit about my pregnancy and a drunk guy at the back was agitated. However, I came to know only after my performance as he was too far from the stage and a fellow comic noticed and was able to manage him."
'What if the guy before you kills harder than you?' isn't an issue for her as she says it just makes the crowd better for her. "I am happy if the previous act kills because then the audience is warmed up and there is a nice energy in the room.
The audience should have a good experience from the show overall." But to top it all off, she also has a perfect strike rate when it comes to not blanking off on stage. That doesn't take away the fear though.
"Well I had the fear of blanking out sometimes but thankfully I never did at least not till now!"