It’s often said that in order to grow, you have to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. For me, that happened yesterday. I did my first ever stand up comedy show. In a very private setting: the office’s internal call. But, before I get into the detail, let me tell you a brief background of how it came about.
I currently work as a UX designer in Tetrate, a startup that focuses on delivering service mesh infrastructure for enterprises. This company has been a remote-first company since day one, and we’re currently home to 40+ employees coming from all over the world across various timezones. Now, working remotely has one big nemesis in my book, namely the feeling of loneliness and disconnection with your co-workers. As a solution, the company creates a weekly video call, aptly named “Gossip”, where we basically spend 1 hour to talk about anything, from work related to other more casual issues.
And so, one day, our kind CEO suddenly had the idea of “hey, let’s give Adityo a 5 minutes slot to do stand up comedy in Gossip.” I sort of forget why, but I reckon, it’s probably because I throw too many jokes on the call. So, I took it seriously and I had one week to prepare.
What I did was I watched a lot of Dave Chapelle’s shows in my spare time, mostly before bed, and tried to take note of how he tells stories, plays with the audience’s emotion, and ends with a punchline. I can’t help but admire his work. Plus, watching him logically argues in the most accessible way: comedy. I get the feeling of a philosopher when I hear him talk. Maybe, if Pep Guardiola is a comic, he’d closely resemble Mr. Chapelle.
I ended up collecting some punchline and story in my head, practicing it between work and even write down some of the stuff that needs to be smoothly delivered. This felt way more difficult than delivering a talk or workshop because it has to be funny.
Fast forward, yesterday was my debut.
It was the first time I do any stand-up comedy, ever. Plus, it wasn’t in my native language. And I think I did well. I told stories based on personal stories and mixed it up with opinions, something that had been running on my mind for quite a while.
Difficult? Yes. Satisfying? Absolutely. It’s always a pleasure to see my colleague had some light heart laugh in this time of crisis. Some of them jokingly suggested that I should set up my own comedy channel. I think I’d do just that. Maybe it can be a nice alternative between thinking in Figma and React.
So, watch out. You may hear more of my jokes in the near future.