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8 - Coping with Covid-19 - Atul Khatri – From IT to Comedy: Journey of Balancing Passion and Pragmatism

Atul speaks about how he is coping with the changed situation given Covid-19. He speaks about how he had to cancel several of his shows that he had lined up in Canada and the US and head back home as the world started shutting down its borders in front of his eyes. He also shares some thoughts on what he has been doing to stay positive, adapt to the times and move forward.

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Atul speaks about his career in building out the IT business with his brother. He speaks about how he had gotten to a point where he was seeing good commercial success in the business but it was wearing him down and he didn’t quite have the mojo for the business that he had when he set out with his brother. He speaks about his desire to try something new that led him to trying DJing and Bartending!
 • 09m:24s • 
Atul speaks about how he got started in his career in Stand up. He traces it back to a New Year Resolution he made on 1 Jan 2012 that he would do something to change his life and sign up for the first open mic that would come his way. After having tried DJing and Bartending, he speaks about how he nervously approached the first performance he gave with absolutely no prior background in Stand up or any Public Speaking in his childhood.
 • 12m:13s • 
Atul speaks about how he straddled the two worlds concurrently – one in which he was running an IT business, the other where he was an emerging comedian. He speaks about how these two ecosystems were very different and how he moved from one domain to another. He also speaks about how doing more stand up made him better in his IT job despite getting busier.
 • 08m:49s • 
Atul speaks about how had to straddle both the worlds concurrently – the world of business and stand up comedy. He had to ensure that the business partners didn’t feel that he would let them down and vice versa. He also speaks about the fact that he had been battle hardened in life to deal with the ups and downs that the world of stand up threw at him.
 • 07m:45s • 
Atul speaks about the notion of staying authentic and the audience slowly finding you rather than trying to pander to the tastes of any one particular segment. He indicates that he doesn’t start by saying what does the audience want and tailoring his message to the cohort. He says that you need to stay true to who you are and let your audience slowly warm upto you over a period of time.
 • 12m:40s • 
Atul speaks about how he had to be pragmatic about the cash flows given the lop-sided odds of success in this industry. He also speaks about the support that his wife offered to ensure that there is some buffer in the system. He speaks about the timing around moving from his career as a businessman to doing comedy full time.
 • 15m:13s • 
Atul speaks about how he derives inspiration from legends like Anand Bakshi and Kishore Kumar to ensure that he creates material that has value a few months down the line. He speaks about resisting the temptation to pander to the “flavour of the month”. He also speaks about the effort involved in creating a special show. He suggests that it takes about a year of work to create an hour of good quality stand up material.
 • 08m:06s • 
Atul speaks about how he is coping with the changed situation given Covid-19. He speaks about how he had to cancel several of his shows that he had lined up in Canada and the US and head back home as the world started shutting down its borders in front of his eyes. He also shares some thoughts on what he has been doing to stay positive, adapt to the times and move forward.
 • 13m:06s • 

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