Comedian Navin Noronha got into a quick chat with us and spoke about his experience of being a queer male comedian and how this reflects in his work and what to expect from his performance at The Circuit.
Comedy as an art is reaching out to more and more places and people with many for the past few years now. It has also widened its spectrum and is not just about ’haha’ jokes. Comedy and comedia have taken up the responsibility to talk about issues in society and raising awareness about the same. One such comedian is Navin Noronha, India’s very own openly queer comedian who is creating laughter with his wit and content. Talking about how he was always a good boy and how his life turned after becoming a comedian, according to his mom; he has been cracking up the audiences with everything that is happening around.
Here’s how our chat with Navin Noronha went:
In the very first act of yours, you came out of the closet, did you face any challenges because of that while setting your foot in the industry?
“The industry has been very supportive. When I first started comedy, I was obviously wet behind the ears and I remember comics like Kunal Kamra, Abish Mathew and Aditi Mittal encouraging me to dig deeper and frame my jokes better. There is also an undercurrent of homophobia from most comedy producers, but that never stopped me from doing what I do. They are just jealous gays get more action than they do, tbh.”
How do you think comedy is emerging as a strong medium of communication?
“Well the India we live in right now, comedians are the ones shining a light on touchy topics which the media won’t cover. So yeah, comedy can be grimy and grungy, but it effectively helps connect with people on the same wavelength.”
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What kind of responses have your previous acts received?
“It’s been overwhelmingly positive. I got to tour Australia as a queer comic as a part of the Sydney Mardi Gras festival. I had never imagined this would ever transpire.”
What is the one message you want to communicate with a platform like, The Circuit?
“That there are alternate voices in standup comedy and it’s time everyone took notice of it.”
Do you think social media has helped people to be comfortable in their skin, at least in the virtual space? Or is it the other way around?
“Social media is a two-edged sword. It has an equal number of warm, positive people but also hateful and mean people who’ll bring you down. It’s up to you what you let affect your psyche. One myth that people have about LGBTQ culture is that we are only looking to hook up at all times. We do take bathroom breaks you know.”
Any anecdote from your career/life that touched your heart, that made you feel people are warm towards the LGBTQ community?
“I was performing in Bangalore, opening for Sonali Thakker’s gig. I did my set about coming out to my mom and friends, and the next day I got a message from an audience member, stating that my act helped him come out to his friends. They were at the show with him and seeing them laugh at my jokes made him realize that maybe they won’t hate him. And turns out they accepted him. That day, I realized that my standup material is bigger than me or him or any of us.”
What can we expect from the performances at The Circuit?
“A lot of sass, with some class. The queer community in India is very divided post the Mumbai Pride fallout over CAA-NRC protests. I want to share my two cents on the issue too.”
Watch Navin Noronha perform live at The Circuit. The final event will be hosted in Mumbai on the 15th of March!