Like a rolling stone

In conversation with the young artist, touted to have the best comic timing in town – Kenneth Sebastian.

Tucking his hair behind his ears, his curly locks fall just above his shoulders. As I take a look at Kenneth Sebastian’s studio, he casually picks up his guitar, humming a tune I haven’t heard before. There’s something distinct about this room that I can’t quite put my finger on. While a painting hangs on the farthest end of the wall, a Macintosh sits with rushes of his latest film waiting to be edited on his table. But it’s the comic books that have caught my attention. They are everywhere. That’s when he immediately lights up. “Comic books are something I cannot live without,” he gushes.

Continuing to string his guitar, the comic is all too excited about his latest project The Sketchy Behaviour. “The show is taking place at the Canvas Laugh Factory, Mumbai. I also have the IT sketch show coming up,” he explains. Ask him to crack a joke or two and you never know what’s coming. “That’ll be Rs. 400 plus cover charge,” he quips. ​

Being an active member of the Bangalore-based comedy group The Polished Bottoms, he must have his own reasons for being a regular and love performing at the Canvas Laugh Factory.  

“I wait the entire year to perform there. The Mumbai audience is more educated and aware of stand-up comedy as they have been exposed to it more.”

The 22-year-old, who built his studio with his savings, is also a video editor and an actor. Having had a flair for sketching and painting, he went on to specialise in Visual Arts at Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore.

“I love the discipline or the lack of discipline in thought that art provokes you. It forces you to dare and think beyond what’s given to you”.

I swear I can nearly see a streak of light peeping through the ceiling, under which Kenneth has planted himself. Pausing for a second, he starts playing the tune all over again.

It was during this phase that he involved himself in theater and filmmaking. “I also started a band with one of my friends, Anup. We named it Anup and Kenneth,” he says, grinning from ear to ear. Although he does not tell me why the band was discontinued recently, he is more than happy talking about the album, Balance, which was released online a year ago.

From editing to acting to being a comic, the young man has a lot on his plate. How does he manage everything? Doesn’t it get stressful at times? “That’s why I love stand-up the most. It encompasses singing and acting. But I also paint. It helps me relax,” he says.

Having learnt everything he knows from the internet, he maintains that he was patient enough to get to where he is today.

“Don’t treat your clients like objects. Treat people with respect”.

Even as the Bangalorean dreams of traveling the world and performing stand-up in huge venues, the song he is playing has come to an end. “It’s called Muskaan, a song from my debut album,” he says, placing his guitar next to him. I smile.


Amitha H.B.

Amitha H.B. is a 22-year-old aspiring journalist from Bangalore. Obsessed with movies and TV shows; you’ll generally find her discussing them at length when she is not writing. She currently works as a freelance writer with Campus Diaries.