Comic has anti-serious serum
Bungy jumping or skydiving might get you close but there is nothing quite like the rush of getting up on stage, comedian Sanjay Patel says.
He began with a humble open mic night and the Mt Roskill funnyman has been making waves on the Auckland comedy circuit ever since.
He’s now making his fourth New Zealand International Comedy Festival appearance and the complex art of making people laugh has become his passion.
‘‘You just get this buzz and energy flowing from the crowd,’’ he says.
‘‘There’s always a very good amount of adrenaline involved when they’re enjoying your show.’’
His act is called Casual As. Patel hopes it will show people the funny side of taking life too seriously.
‘‘It’s material where I’m telling people how to be less stressed in their life and how to go about it.
‘‘The [festival] is like the world cup of comedy,’’ he says.
‘‘Throughout the year it’s a bit like the usual rugby season and now it’s time for the big event . . . I still get slightly nervous.’’
A career in comedy has always been the goal.
Scriptwriting was where Patel started out but stand-up proved more direct.
‘‘I like writing scripts but I thought I would be better off going straight to the crowd to get feedback.
‘‘I decided to have a go so I just did the first show and stuck with it.’’
Patel’s current show is designed specifically for the comedy festival but his act is an ever-shifting concept.
‘‘If there’s a really good joke that comes up I’ll keep using it throughout the shows.’’
Keeping up with current trends and events is the key to developing a well-rounded show, he says.
‘‘I use Twitter to try to keep topical.
‘‘I read everything – news, current events, politics. It keeps the mind fresh with stuff to use.’’
While the industry may have been competitive in the past, Patel says these days the Auckland comedy scene has a community feel.
‘‘The other comedians in Auckland are really supportive and everyone looks after each other,’’ he says. ‘‘Everyone wants to see each other succeed.’’
Patel’s show runs from May 12 to 16 at the Montecristo.
Comedian Sanjay Patel is well prepared to step on stage at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival next week.