Multi-talented artiste Anu Vaidyanathan’s stand-up show BC: AD (Before Children, After Diapers) brings fresh perspectives on parenting and motherhood
Ahead of her show this weekend, we catch up with the renowned multi-talented artiste to get a sneak peek of her show.
You all have seen Anu Vaidyanathan as a filmmaker, an author, a triathlete and a parent, now get ready to witness her taking the stage as a stand-up comedian. After successful outings across the globe, Anu brings her sidesplitting show titled BC: AD (Before Children, After Diapers) to the city and we cannot wait to hear her perspective on motherhood, honest reflections on the joys and struggles of parenting and how mothers are viewed in today’s society. Ahead of her show this weekend, we catch up with the renowned multi-talented artiste to get a sneak peek of her show.
Introduce us to your show BC: AD (Before Children, After Diapers). How did you decide to give stand-up comedy a go?
BC: AD Is based on the idea that having kids changes your centre of gravity. I picked up comedy quite unintentionally. I was in clown school, trying to learn how to direct a comic performance. In the greater scheme of things, I think my friends saw it way back in college — the storytelling and the levelling of uneven situations with a clever comeback or two. I find stand-up comedy to be a way to even out the great disparities in being an artiste who started on this path after having kids, trying to make films as a woman and the likes. I love stand-up because it is mostly about ideas in my world.
What can the audience expect from your show?
I hope they find a sliver of truth from their own lives. What surprised me and continues to surprise me is the cross-section of audiences I am seeing — young and old, men and women. There is a lot about relationships in my hour, with oneself, with one’s family and one’s friends. I think these are universal experiences that appeal to audiences.
How does your unique perspective as a mother shape your comedy in BC: AD?
I think parenting is the final frontier. Someone more articulate than me said that having a child is allowing your heart to wander outside your body. I think of parenting as a trick question — you cannot get it right in most cases, but you have to never get tired of trying. I think parents have their work cut out for them and the biggest challenge is to be present in any conversation. You see this all the time in restaurants — a happy family with four smartphones and you wonder, where is this heading?
How does BC: AD delve into the profound experiences of motherhood and capture the essence of the joys involved in being a parent?
I think ‘giving birth’ is the most overused analogy, primarily by men. Motherhood is a profound experience, you are right. My firstborn made me acutely aware of all how I was unfair to my own parents or a total brat in many situations. The joy is that you also learn to unconditionally love yourself and your partner (the baby-daddy from college terminology) because you are in this together through thick and thin.
What is your favourite part of being a mother and not being a mother?
My favourite part of being a mom is I have the best audience, who is completely honest, with no hidden agenda. My favourite part when I was not a mom was the copious amounts of free time, I had with no one calling out for me — these days I hide in the toilet to find some quiet and am known to brush my teeth for a whole 20 minutes every morning bracing for the day ahead.
You are an engineer, an international triathlete and now a comedian, filmmaker and a parent too? Is there another feather you would like to add to your cap?
I don’t like headgear to be honest (laughs). More seriously, I have only pursued one or two things at a time and only when I have been very convinced of the reasons to do so. Some days, I think I am very rich indeed because my interests are varied and that brings a lot to my storytelling. Then I look at my bank balance and start to call other engineers to pay for jobs.
₹499. July 14, 8 pm. At Medai - The Stage, Alwarpet. (Chennai)
₹499. July 15, 8 pm. At ALT Space, Jubilee Hills. (Hyderabad)
₹500. July 16, 7.30 pm. At Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield. (Bengaluru)