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Comedians, Musicians & Poets In The House: These Performance Art Groups Can Get You Your Next Big Gig

Divya posted on 24 August

Ten-Second Takeaway

Are you a budding comedian/musician/poet/writer, looking for your next big break? We at LBB strongly believe in nurturing creativity – so here are 5 Pune based performance arts groups who can help you grow your talent through open mic nights.

The Dapper Room

Fresh entrants on the Pune stand-up comedy scene, The Dapper Room are looking to foster local talent and fill the void of irregular open mic nights for comedians. They hosted their first show on the 13th of July 2017, and haven’t looked back since. Siddhant Gupta tells us that their regular open mic comedy nights happen twice a week – Tuesday at Nukkad Cafe, and Fridays at 94House Cafe {both in Viman Nagar}.

Registrations happen via their Facebook event pages, about a week and a half before the slated event. We think it’s a great way to test your material out and hone your skills. New comics are shuffled every week, so that everyone gets a fair chance. Newbies start with a 4-minute spot; regular fixtures and more seasoned performers can lobby for a 7-8 minute spot at an open mic event.

Every alternate Thursday {i.e. twice a month} they also have ticketed shows at My Space Dance Studio in Viman Nagar, where professional stand-up comedians {e.g. Utsav Chakraborty and Dhruv Deshpande on Thursday 24th Aug} take the stage for a performance in an intimate 50-seater setting. If you think you’ve got the bones, get in touch with them and start working on your jokes.

Cafes

96/3-B, Lane infront Of Konark Arcade, Dutta Mandir Chowk, Viman Nagar, Pune

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The Orange Octopus Records

The Orange Octopus Records is a platform for providing more exposure to local musicians in Pune. Samdarsh Jalali tell us that the movement aims to give these budding artists recognition and encouragement enough to keep creating and innovating with their music {though poets and comedians are welcome too}.

Initially thought up as an online community, they decided it was more conducive to actually host live performance events like open mic nights, where people could interact and give each other constructive feedback. Started in April 2017, Orange Octopus hosts open mic night on the second and fourth Saturday of every month at Sam’s in Balewadi, and also on the second and fourth Thursday of every month at Chai Cafe in Viman Nagar.

After these four events, the best performers are hand-picked for a showcase at High Spirits {usually on the first Sunday of every month}. Bring your A-game, because there are a lot of interested, talented people who sign up to perform in front of a real audience. Registration happens beforehand, via a Google form link on their Facebook Page. The first 15 registrations get fixed slots, but you can also land up on the spot to register. On any given night, they have a roster of about 25 – 30 performers who each get a 10-minute slot, so it’s best to sign up before or get there early. There is a compulsory entry charge of INR 150 per head for each of their events.

Cafes

Ground floor, Santoor Apartment, Next To The Pearl Society, Dasara Chowk, Balewadi, Pune

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Pune Poetry Slam

Pune Poetry Slam was founded in late 2013 by Manasi Nene – a teenager who was just looking for a creative outlet as a way of expressing herself. Since then, the movement has snowballed from tiny get-togethers at Malaka Spice and Coco Berry, to bigger venues like Pagdandi Cafe, Kala Chhaya, Gyaan Adab, etc. A grassroots movement, Pune Poetry Slam is a stepping stone for budding poets and writers to flex their skills of self-expression in a welcoming, receptive environment.
Their regular open mic gig happens at Pagdandi Cafe every second or third Friday of the month, and they try to have at least one additional Slam Poetry night per month – the details of which can be found on their Facebook Page. This month, they’re hosting a Poetry Slam + Open Mic at Cafe ABC in Baner on Saturday {26th Aug}. Some rules do apply – original poems only, English/Hindi/Marathi, 4 minute slots in 2 rounds, registration on a first-come-first-serve basis {check their event page for more details}. Keep an eye out for their online contests, and their upcoming 4th anniversary collab with ‘100Thousand Poets for Change’, in September. Their events may be modest, but they’re all heart and most importantly – FREE for all.
Cafes

Regent Plaza, Shop 6, Baner Pashan Link Road, Behind Symantec, Baner, Pune

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Stand Up Fever

Stand Up Fever was formed in 2015, when Pune didn’t have much of an amateur comedy scene, and budding comedians had to go all the way to Bombay to take part in an open mic night. Sudhanshu Ramteke tells us that this has changed quite dramatically in the last 15 months or so. They’ve covered over 20 venues, hosting 31 open mic comedy gigs {and counting}. Though they started off hosting events at bars, they soon realised that a bar audience was not ideal for people who were trying their stand up material for the first time on stage.
They believe in the importance of encouraging new talent, bringing more people into the fold, and so now their events are hosted at Cafes and dedicated spaces where a curated audience of diverse comedy enthusiasts come together to listen to these performers live. Stand Up Fever usually hosts 2-3 gigs per month, and now have an active pool of 35+ local comics.
The rules are pretty specific – and strict – and can be viewed on their Facebook event pages. Pre-registration is essential to guarantee yourself a slot at their open mic nights. An entry charge of INR 150 is levied for audience members, but not for the performers. Each gig usually features one headliner, two experienced artists, and one host to keep the crowd entertained. They regularly tie up with Manmauji Cafe in Viman Nagar, so keep an eye on their social media feeds!
Cafes

Row House 1, Nitron Landmark, Viman Nagar, Pune

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Bullock Cart Poetry

Bullock Cart Poetry is an organisation dedicated to creating and presenting spoken word poetry. The movement began in 2016, started by brother-sister duo Chandrakant and Priyam Redican, and have been extremely active for a year and a half now. They are currently working on building a community of dedicated spoken word poets who are pursuing the art seriously, and then sharing it through live gigs, YouTube, and various publications.

Bullock Cart Poetry host 3-4 events per month; from competitive slams, to open mic nights, and poetry + chai events – which are more of an interactive feedback session.

Their live gigs and ‘performance poetry pro’ nights usually happen at High Spirits, but they also have an upcoming showcase at the Pune International Literary Festival. Their slams and open mic nights are open to all, but their themed events and performance poetry pro nights are more curated, based on judgment and skill. An entry charge is always applicable, as Bullock Cart Poetry believes in sharing the profits to ensure their whole movement is sustainable and commercially viable in the long-term.

#LBBTip

Lost The Plot in Baner also hosts their own Open Mic about once a month {usually on the first or second Thursday}. It’s always packed, so unless you want to be on their wait-list – sign up for a slot in advance. They’re on hiatus for this month, but should resume their regular events schedule come September. Stay tuned to their social media feeds, or contact them directly to book your spot. Manmauji Cafe in Viman Nagar and Cafe ABC in Balewadi also host such events regularly.