Building The Punchline! – Sarvagya Shastry

The idea of starting something from scratch, building it into something that is valuable and something that would change the lives of people, if not billions or millions, even a handful of human beings, has always fascinated me. I’ve always admired those who go out of their way to pursue their passion with an undying kindle of entrepreneurial spirit.

I have always been very keen in the field of dramatics. Since childhood, I have tried to participate in as many activities as possible. In my engineering college, I co-founded the Dance and Drama Club, was the president of Eloquence Club and participated in multiple national fests winning quite a lot of them. I wanted to start something of my own and, having discovered my passion in this field, I decided to set up a business in film production and advertising. With a few like-minded film enthusiasts, I co-founded ‘Stoned House Films’ and we started working on a web series, which at the time of production was the first English language web series of India.

Scouting talent is always a difficult task and it cannot be restricted to the Dramatics circle. My first taste of Stand-up comedy developed when I casually decided to participate in a local open mike, primarily to scout talent for web series. To my pleasant surprise, it was a huge success! Not only was my content appreciated by people out there but I also made a lot of friends who were instrumental in shaping the development of web series and eventually collaborated. The best part was that I started to enjoy my work as the stand-up artist!

I started working on new sets and would test it out in open mikes. Going through parts which worked and which didn’t, including new elements, working over and over and discussing it with fellow comedians has its own fun. The first breakthrough came when I started getting invites for paid shows and although my work with my Production house didn’t allow me to participate more often, I tried to do as much as I could.

In 2017, I began my journey as a management student at SCMHRD. Owing to the rigorous curriculum of a B-School, my stand-up stints decelerated. But that did not discourage me and while my focus shifted to studies, I remained in touch with stand-up comedy virtually. I used to watch my favourite comedians perform and tried to keep improving myself. As they say, all an artist needs is an opportunity – very recently I was asked to perform on stage during Neev Theme Launch- SCMHRD’s and India’s third-largest B-school cultural fest. I jumped at it though I was sceptical to do an open mic as it had been almost 2 years since I had last performed. The overwhelming response that I received reinforced my confidence and made me consider continuing it in the future too.

Now, I am nearing the end of my MBA journey and have some extra time at my disposal to go back and pursue my passion. SCMHRD gave me a good comeback platform and I will take this latest experience forward to explore the world of stand-up comedy and web series further. I would end by saying- it is all about creating a balance. Wait for your calling and the right time. It is possible to pursue both- career and passion.

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