Comic has anti-se­ri­ous serum

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

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.

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