Papa CJ, World-renowned Stand-up Comedian, Executive Coach, Author

Papa CJ, World-renowned Stand-up Comedian, Executive Coach, Author

Papa CJ is an Executive Coach and an Author. He is an MBA from Oxford, and he has spoken at Harvard Business School.

 

Podcast

Overview

Stand-up comedy is something many of us dream of, but how do you get started in the world of comedy? What’s the process? Today, Papa CJ, World-renowned Stand-up Comedian, Executive Coach, Author is going to share his story and give you an idea of what you need to do to get started.

About Papa CJ, World-renowned Stand-up Comedian, Executive Coach, Author

Papa CJ is an Executive Coach and an Author. He is an MBA from Oxford, and he has spoken at Harvard Business School.

The shift from the Corporate world to Stand-Up Comedy

I was the youngest to join IBM in their consulting division in London after completing my MBA  from Oxford University. I was in a very strange position because I was an MBA so I wasn’t really on the Analyst level, and I was just 23, so I couldn’t be on the Consultant level.

It was a hard time for me because there was no one to take care of me. I had to stick to my job because I had a loan to pay. So I stayed there for four years. Then I took a sabbatical and visited Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and saw a Stand-Up comedy for the first time.

I was so thrilled that I chucked up my job three months later. I did 250 gigs in my first 10 months and 700 in the first three years.

Challenges while building Brand Papa CJ

Authenticity is the most important thing. You have to get comfortable in your skin. You talk about things you find funny, your value system, your perspective. Not only that, but you almost stop caring about the audience, the audience finds you because you are not going to change your point of view depending on who is in the room.

Everybody suggests following your passion, but passion does not put food on the table. There are some gigs you do to feed your soul and some to feed your stomach.

With over 2000 shows in over 25 countries, what defines success to you?

We have grown up in a world where our definition of success is defined by other people. I get great joy from being able to uplift people and help them be the best versions of themselves. I want to be remembered with a smile. If I can bring joy to people in whatever capacity it is, for me, it is a success.

Unique style to connect with the audience in Stand-Up Comedy

There are a couple of things that I do well. One of them is Crowd Interaction. So there are times when I can get on stage and interact with the audience for 45 minutes without telling a single pre-written joke.

The beauty of that, it is all being made up on the spot. Nobody in the world will ever see that show again because it is about the people in the room. The other thing is, I customize content. I get to interact with the people in the organization or family and end up knowing about every single person there.

Bringing Learnings from Stand-Up Comedy to Coaching

I run a course called Comedian’s Guide to Communication Strategy. I break down how we as comedians in an age of limited attention spans grab and retain attention. Likewise, I teach them how they can apply that in their business.

One thing that learned is, you grow in the dark because when you hit the limelight you do not have the freedom to make mistakes. You want to succeed all time, hence you stop innovating.

Naked by Papa CJ

It is an autobiography. It is based on a show that I used to perform called ‘Naked’. The ethos behind the show is that as humans, we build walls around ourselves. These walls hide our deepest fears, hopes, and desires.

One brick at a time, I am removing those walls, exposing myself to all my vulnerabilities. It is terrifying yet exhilarating at the same time, but in the end, when you are naked you are completely free.

Profile

Papa CJ is an Executive Coach and an Author. He is an MBA from Oxford, and he has spoken at Harvard Business School.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.