First-time in Chennai: Is the city ready for Prashasti Singh's stand-up comedy?
Mumbai-based comedian Prashasti Singh is set to perform along with Amogh Ranadive at the CounterCulture Comedy Club Chennai. Apart from a number of viral videos, Prashasti has appeared on Comicstaan and is known for her takes on issues faced by women. We got to chat with Prashasti, hours before she takes the stage in Chennai for the first time...
Tell us about your act for Chennai - do you have anything special lined up? What can the crowds here expect?
I have been working towards an integrated one hour (set), over the last few months. The crowds can expect to see the best of that material.
Are you familiar with crowds for stand-up comedy in the South? How different are they from the North, and elsewhere?
I have performed in Bangalore and Hyderabad a few times. I was sceptical because my comedy is mostly in Hindi. Turned out they were bored with each and every word of it. This is my first time in Chennai. Let's see how this goes.
What are your pet subjects and topics to speak of? Which aspects of your show get you the most applause?
Most of my humour is anecdotal and self-deprecatory.
How did you become a full-time stand-up comedian? At what point did you realise this was a full-time career for you?
The love and appreciation I received after Comicstaan went on air was overwhelming and made me realise that I'll be doing a grave injustice to myself if I don't give comedy a proper shot.
We're interested in different kinds of laughs - chuckles, giggles, belly laughs and so on. Do you often study how people laugh, as a comedian?
Yes. I think most of us comedians do that as we polish our sets. We study what line is creating what impact, and how we build these elements into a crescendo.
Do you believe in keeping your stand-up act clean, in terms of language? Is foul, offensive language essential for comedy?
Not really. I only focus on being honest and funny.
How would you like to empower more women, and also regional language performers, as rising stars of stand-up comedy? Who would you like to recommend?
I would tell them that this is a great time for anyone to enter comedy. Just reach out and sign up for the nearest open mic and show up.
On a personal note, do you prefer making political jokes, or would you rather stay clear of making political statements - out of fear of a backlash, perhaps?
I don't mind doing any jokes till I am my opinion on the topic is educated and original.
Lastly, with so many reasons around the world for people to be angry, or sad - what would you say is the larger role of comedy for a healthy, evolved and mature society?
As a comedy consumer, it has helped me take myself less seriously. If comedy can have the same effect on a larger set of people maybe we will all feel lighter and happier.
On May 18 at CounterCulture Comedy Club Chennai, Alwarpet. 8 pm onwards. Entry `399 onwards. Details: 82208-32419. Tickets available online.