“Bro, I have evolved”, was the last line of a mail, Mayank recently received from one of his clients, who also happened to be a die-hard fan of his videos! The other time he was stepping out of a cafe in Green Park market, a group of fans spilled his coffee just to take a picture with him! “Where on Earth have you been in all these years,” I murmured to myself, stepping aside, staring at his round face, trying hard with my made up elite accent to shoo the fans away. As a good friend and journalist, I have seen this package of happy teeth, struggling hard for his dreams, and making people laugh hard at his jokes.
Mayank Pandey, a standup comedian by nature and origin has created a bigger shadow on his fans, with just two videos streaming on Youtube. His craft is only getting richer with each day, as he indulges himself in letting his art breathe. If you think, he is unusually smart, you might be right! He knows it all — The struggle, the popularity and the value of being a comedian! I recently got an opportunity to interview him over a mail, and this is how our conversation turned out to be.
This time, Mayank Pandey gets real about life, success and standup comedy! Read below and have a good time. (No jokes ahead)
Question: You were a successful engineer working in a big MNC! What inspired you to ditch the corporate world and pursue your art?
I was always interested in doing something creative. I started doing comedy open mics in Delhi and found that I was good at it. In 2018, I started earning well from standup comedy and also it was difficult to manage both a full-time job and comedy. Therefore, I took the risk and quit my corporate life to explore more opportunities and give more time to comedy.
Question: Tell us more about your journey into the world of Standup comedy.
I did my first standup comedy open mic in May 2014 in Delhi, it was a competition and I was among one of the 4 winners. That was the juncture where it all started. I tried going to more open mics and did some shows. But due to my office schedule, I wasn’t able to be regular. For one year, I completely vanished from the comedy scene and that was in 2015. Later in 2016, I joined another corporate and simultaneously focussed on comedy. It was in 2018 when I left my job and released 2 videos. Rest, as they say, is history.
Question: In the ever-bustling market of comedy, how did you carve out your own niche?
I just try to be myself on stage, I talk about anything to everything which I find funny, I believe this is what makes you different from others.
Question: Describe the exact feelings when your first video hit the 1 million mark.
I was really glad when it happened. I shared on all my social media profiles and thanked everyone who liked, watched shared it. Planning to release a video soon and hoping the same for it.
Question: How would you describe success?
As much as I define success by the financial bloom, I also define it by being creatively satisfied. I should have the creative freedom in my work and that defines success for me.
Question: Describe the changes that happened in your work-life after becoming a comedian.
There have been a lot of changes in my lifestyle. Some good, some not so good. I have become a bit lazy in my daily chores (that comes with a freelance kinda lifestyle). On the other hand, I try to make more efforts now because I know that I am not working for anyone else but for myself. The art of sustaining oneself as a freelance artist is difficult to hone.
Question: Who is your role model? What inspires you to keep coming up with new ideas?
Adam Sandler and Norm Macdonald are my favorites. I recently watched ‘Badla’ movie and became a fan of Sujoy Ghosh. Good ideas are like plants. Unless you water them, they won’t become greener. I feed my thoughts with meaningful content and sometimes that becomes the origin of ideas for me.
Question: What does your 10-year vision look like?
In the next ten years, I will be on Netflix(laughing). I think in the next ten years I will have a decent fan base. I would be doing shows across the country and abroad. Let’s hope for the best.
Question: Any words of wisdom to coming of age comedians?
I think new comedians are really smart. They understand comedy a lot better. I would like to say to them that just do it your way no matter what everyone else has to say about your craft.
Here is how you can reach Mayank Pandey.
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