Interview with Mangalorean - May 3rd - 2007

Interview with Mangalorean.comThursday, 3rd May
I did an interview with Check it out! 

By: Team Mangalorean, USA

Washington DC, March 26: Some people believe there are only two types of comediennes in this world. The one's who make you laugh by their actions and the one's who make you laugh by talking. So, which one are you? Are you the kind of person whose lips don't even twitch when you see two guys slamming pies in each others faces? Or are you the one who sits a wee bit forward in his seat and really listens when a witty person takes to the mike? If you are, well then, our own Mangalorean, Tarun Shetty is the man for you.

Simply put, Tarun is a stand up comedienne who takes to his audience like a duck takes to water and what's more he doesn't just quack to make you laugh. Using wit and humor to entertain the world is Tarun's profession and he enjoys doing it too. Puts his heart and soul into it to be more precise.

A product of NYU's School of Arts, Tarun has worked his way up the New York Comedy Club Circuit. He has worked for the Boston Comedy Club for two years and made his first television appearance on the Nickelodeon Show 'Laugh Out Loud' also in New York. In 2001, at the Harvard University Demon Comedy Fest, Tarun premiered a Short Film at the New York International Film Festival.

In 2004, Tarun headed west and signed on as a correspondent for the Bollywood program, 'Showbiz India Extreme.' At present he is producer and host of the segment 'Generation Desi,' and travels across California in the course of his work. In addition, he continues to audition for film and television and tours the country to visit fans whenever he can.

Tarun thinks it's no piece of cake to do stand up comedy. It's tough to make people laugh and those who think its easy need to try it out sometime. We think you just gotta have what it takes to be a stand up comedienne and Tarun certainly has it. Making people laugh is a talent. And in today's world it could even be a blessing. With Tarun however, laughter is simply the best medicine and he prescribes huge doses of it to his audiences.

Tarun was born on 15th of August. Another Midnight's child? Must mean something surely. We asked Tarun and he had something profound to say about that. Tarun was also not averse to sharing some special thoughts with Team Mangalorean.

When did the interest in Comedy start? 

I fell down a flight of stairs when I was 8 and instead of helping, everybody laughed at me. I had a self-revelation, 'Next time this happens, I'm getting paid.'

No, there wasn't an exact incident. I do remember being obsessed with American comedy stars in grade school. Then in study hall, instead of schoolwork, I'd be writing comedy sketches. I later sent all those ideas to real TV shows and wondered why nobody wanted to hire a 12 year old.

Ever done a standup comedy act on Mangaloreans? 

Not that I recall.

The date of your birth coincides with Indian Independence Day. Being born and brought up in the US how 'Indian' are you?

I was born and brought up in the United States but we made long three-month trips to India once every two years. I'm very Americanized, but my parents who are Mangaloreans, have exposed me to Indian culture here in America and did a good job instilling the proper values in me.

If you had to choose between being a writer and a comedienne what would you choose? 

I'd be a comic, but being a writer is essential to being a good comedian. If I wasn't able to write my own material for my stand-up, TV, movies, I would be useless to society. I never try to label myself anything specific. I'm a comic who also functions as an actor, producer, writer, stand-up. They all go together. At times, I have a very specific vision of what I want to make, and I need to do all these things to make it happen. If I can be truthful to myself, I'll be happy.

Do you think there is a dearth of humor in this world? 

There is plenty of humor in this world. Some people and places have more of it than others, you just have to be aware when it happens around you.

What's your take on Bollywood? Any interest in joining the film industry sometime in the future? 

I like Bollywood. I think it's great that Indians have a niche in the entertainment industry and I'm happy that it's starting to attract attention and interest from Hollywood.

As for me joining Bollywood, probably not. I like to dance, and I think Govinda is a genius but my ultimate goal is to be successful in the United States.

There have been a recent spate of stand up comedy shows and competitions on Indian Television. Is that a good thing?

I'm not really for stand-up competitions, but I think it's very cool that Indians are taking a chance on stage and audiences are tuning in. I actually saw the stand-up show last time I was in Bangalore. Those judges look tough, but I'm all for creative expression.

How often do you travel to India? 

I went last summer. Not sure when I'll go again.

What's the ONE big difference between being young in the USA and being young in India?

Although I was young in India, I never grew up there in terms of going to school, having friends or facing problems and challenges that Indian kids have to deal with.

As for being young in America, sure, there were moments, like on the basketball court, birthday parties, classroom, whatever. I'd remember that I was the only Indian kid and everybody else was white. But everybody where I lived was so friendly and accepting, I really forgot about it and had a pretty normal childhood.

Tell us more about Showbiz India and your work with them. 

'Showbiz India' is a South Asian show airing here in the United States. It focuses primarily on Indian entertainment which includes, events, music videos and Bollywood celebrities.

I was hired by Showbiz India about two years ago to produce a segment called 'Generation Desi' for a new show called 'Showbiz India Extreme.' Essentially, the segment was just me, a host and the director, Atif Mirza, covering college Desi parties in California and interviewing very drunk Indians who probably shouldn't have been on camera.

I'm not sure how it happened, but somebody got sick and I ended up hosting a lot of the segments. Somewhere along the way, I think both myself and the director, Atif Mirza, realized that we had no creative restrictions so we started shooting whatever we wanted. Around the same time, we started creating original content for the internet under our own banner, RaisingDesi Productions. We were getting lots of hits, and positive responses from around the world on my website and All this pretty much led to where we are now, making our first movie.

We still work on the television show. "Showbiz India Extreme' just got picked up by Zee TV in March so it will be broadcast pretty much everywhere. I'm scheduled for some correspondent work but I'm not sure how much I'll be on because I'm so wrapped up with other projects.

'Showbiz India' gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of great creative minds in Hollywood, develop my comedy and reach a lot of people who otherwise would have probably never heard of me.

Team Mangalorean thanks Tarun for his time in answering our questions and wishes him the very best in his future endeavours!
Tarun ShettyComment