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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Catch Comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan in The 2nd (Sorta Annual) Color of Funny

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 1:52 PM

SHEKHAR PATKAR
  • Shekhar Patkar

You wouldn't think Dhaya Lakshminarayanan's background -- a couple degrees from MIT and working as a venture capitalist -- would be good preparation for becoming a stand-up comic, but Lakshminarayanan disagrees. She says comedy, like the finance and tech world, is still pretty much a boys' club, and often at college and work, she was one of the only women in the room. Cracking jokes was her way of alleviating tension, livening up dry meetings, and making connections with people she worked with.

Lakshminarayanan, who performs June 21 in Berkeley and June 22 in Santa Cruz as part of The 2nd (sorta Annual) Color of Funny, didn't really know what a stand-up comic was growing up, but she always liked telling jokes and remembers getting in trouble at school for it. She also had a funny mother -- not typical for an Indian household, she said. The comedians who inspired her -- like Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Bill Cosby -- reminded her of the humor she heard at home, she said, quirky, a little nerdy, and accessible.

Along with being a comic, Lakshminarayanan is a storyteller. She has appeared on NPR's Snap Judgment. There, she said, she is able to be more vulnerable and get angry and blur the lines more.

"I try and bring my storytelling into my comedy and my comedy into my storytelling," she said.

Lakshminarayanan, who has headlined at Women of Color in Comedy in Boston, said she liked her job in finace, but felt if she didn't try to do something creative, she might regret it. 

The Color of Funny is exactly the type of show Lakshminarayanan enjoys. She said producer and host Lisa Geduldig picks comics she thinks are smart and don't do mean-spirited humor.

"Some people might think of clean comedy as being bland," she said. "This is clean comedy with an edge."

The 2nd (sorta Annual) Color of Funny is June 21 at 8 p.m. at the Berkeley Playhouse and June 22 at 8 p.m. at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Admission is $10-$20.

For more events this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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Emily Wilson

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