Ahmed Bharoocha won the Magners Comic Stand-Off this weekend, which means he’ll be traveling to Dublin this fall to perform in the Bulmer’s Comedy Festival. Bharoocha’s comedy also earned him a trip to perform in the Great American Comedy Festival in Johnny Carson’s hometown, Norfolk, Nebraska in June of last year.
And his traveling may not be over. He auditioned for the entertainment company behind Last Comic Standing, New Wave Entertainment, last month, and he’ll perform for scouts from Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival at The Comedy Studio on Sunday. Pretty good for a guy with a degree in theatre.
How does it feel to perform in a competition? Is it different from a regular set in any way?
I always find competitions a lot more nerve racking than a regular show. Its harder to just have fun on stage because you're being compared to everyone else on the show. Also it adds a little tension back stage sometimes because instead of just a bunch of comics hanging out doing what they love we are now pitted against each other.
Have you ever played outside of the US? What are your thoughts on playing Ireland?
I have never played outside the US but have always wanted to. I am so excited to play in Ireland. I am half Irish and I really feel that I got a lot of my sense of humor from that side of the family. Growing up thats always what being Irish meant most to me; having a sense of humor. But at the same time I've very nervous to see if my humor translates over seas. Esp because it doesn't always translate over state borders.
How did the New Wave audition go?
I felt really good about the New Wave audition. The show was a blast and the people from New Wave were super friendly. I was offered a CD deal, but I decided it wasn't the right time for me to put one out. Since I don't often get chances to do sets that are 45 minutes long I would feel that I'd want to put out a 45 min long CD yet.
How was the Great American Comedy Festival last year?
The Great American Festival was both very great and very American.
I had such a fun time meeting so many talented comedians from around the country. It was one of the biggest things I've ever been a part of and also one of the first times I've ever played middle America. It was so interesting to play another part of America and learning what jokes work and what jokes don't.
How are all of these gigs outside of Boston influencing your comedy? How do your experiences playing outside of Boston compare with playing locally?
I think it helps so much to travel and do shows outside your comfort zone. It forces you to see how your material holds up to different types of crowds. Also you meet other comedians with very different roots and influences and can learn a lot from them. Its interesting to see that different areas really respond very differently to certain jokes. Performing locally to performing outside Boston is almost like playing away games and home games in a sport.
You aren't in familiar territory and you feel like you don't have home court advantage but you can still go home with a win.
Any other news coming up to talk about?
This Sunday at the Comedy Studio I'll be auditioning for the Montreal Comedy Festival. Also my sister Maureen's movie Abajee, that I Assistant Directed on, will be showing at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this week.