First, you need to realize that you need some laughs. Then you need to realize you also need to know about current affairs, dark humor, relatable tragedies, and cultural exchanges that are real. So you get a ticket from Laugh House in Stockholm for any show that suits your weekend vibe. In my case, we had to pick the one in English and also a couple of emails back and forth about the accessibility of the venue. I was told that the venue is not accessible but I can be taken care of. Who doesn’t want to be taken care of? So I went ahead to the venue with a chuckle, ´Let´s see who is the joke on.´
You must get the ticket in advance. I thought I would get it on the spot but I was told it was houseful. Before I could get to the puppy face, I was told that I can be adjusted on the side of the stage. Luckily I had brought my own ´chair´ from home. The staircase seemed daunting and I could not form a mental image of who and how I will go up. Then I met Jonathan Rollis who introduced himself and said he will help me get up. Well, it’s not every day that you are being carried up and down by the main comic artists of the evening. I was helped by Martin Carl and Jonathan Rollis as they helped me reach up and also brought me down later. But in my head, I thought this could actually be a great opening act for them.
I highly recommend you go early and feel the vibe. Look around and make eye contact with people with whom you are about to share an experience. Talk to them and build rapport and if you are lucky, meet the performers and get to know them and their craft. This helps them ease out a little and give back tenfold to the audience later. This also helps you get a little premium behind the scenes of the show.
I got a chance to speak with Lee Camp and straightaway asked, ´Are you going to be offensive? ´ Turns out he was more like an activist meets a comic artist. All activists offend. They offend people in power and those who abuse it. I felt his voice is strong and he is a funny guy. What a brilliant combo to make a difference! I told him I would take a picture with him if I enjoy his set. But he left early right after the show. Lee if you are reading this, call me.
I also met Vignesh Nagarajan who is originally from India and is a daytime Mechanical Design Engineer but is pursuing his passion for comedy in the evening and on weekends. It was refreshing to speak to someone close to home and see their journey. His set was also easy to pick up and laugh along with as we both come from similar cultures and our parents are strict.
I remember Martin telling me that he does not want to hype himself up so early because he is performing as a penultimate artist. I actually noted this as a piece of good advice.
The evening went on with jokes, sex, governments, religions, porn, parents, dating, and free drink vouchers flying around us. Some topics would make you laugh, others would make you uncomfortable. But this is the world we live in. As a good audience sport, walk in the house judgment-free and walk out with thoughts on comic artistry and all parts that you enjoyed. Follow all artists on their Instagram and support them by sharing their content.
At events like these, I try to not interact much with the MC as I am sometimes apprehensive to bring attention to my Hijab, and mostly everyone´s behavior towards me is affected by my disability. As much as I would like to see that change. I also wondered if it was odd for everyone to see a Hijabi, girl in a wheelchair all by herself at the Laugh House. But I am more looking forward to a reaction once they see the same girl making them laugh with a mic and a stage soon.
LinkedIn: Tanzila Khan