Sumukhi Suresh on her stand-up special Don't Tell Amma, and her journey to Amazon's Comicstaan
Ahead of her latest stand-up show, Sumukhi Suresh talks about her journey so far. Don’t Tell Amma is one of the more commonly used teenage phrases. It also serves as the name for Sumukhi Suresh’s latest tour, to be performed in Chennai at CounterCulture Comedy Club this Sunday. The show is her first stand-up special (one-hour long). Describing it as a set of “anecdotes, observations, and stories about how she was raised, and the kind of mother that she had”, she elaborates, “She’s crazy, and as a 31-year-old woman, I can appreciate how good that crazy is. I’m going to talk about classic Tamil Brahmin problems, and how I was raised in a poor family while everyone thought I was rich.” Ahead of the show, we get talking with the 31-year-old about all her struggles and giggles.
“When I was a kid, I went through a lot of bullying,” Sumukhi says. She wishes she had spoken out then, like her character in Behti Naak — a comic skit of a rather aggressive, uni-browed school girl. She admits that she drew inspiration from her elder brother’s nature and adds, “I didn’t push for her to look glamorous and cute. I felt black and white was the best pick, and wanted a rock music intro because it’s the vibe of the girl. So Behti Naak was a well-structured, response video of sorts to my younger self.”
While she rose through the ranks with shows in Alliance Française, Improv and recently Amazon’s Comicstaan, she recounts how she had to quit her job and move to Bombay to realise her dream of being a comedian. She is currently focussing on stand-up, as she explains, “I started at Improv Comedy Bangalore. I auditioned for it, thinking it was a play, but it turned out to be an improv comedy show. I did do it half-heartedly because I had a job. Soon I moved on and started doing sketches with Naveen Richard on Go Straight Take Left, which is on Amazon. And then I did a few videos, and now I’m focussing on stand-up. I believe stand-up must reflect who you are; you should be honest.”
Talking more about why stand-up was her calling, she says, “Stand-up for the longest time has been a true challenge for me. So as the story continues, I realised that I needed to find my voice in stand up and bring it out. The ease is definitely higher with acting, but I have equal fun with both.”
As an actor, she enjoys Meryl Streep and Tabu, and she finishes by telling us that, “At some point, I want to write with Little Things actor, Dhruv Sehgal. I think we would make quite a good duo.”
August 18. At CounterCulture Comedy Club. Tickets at `499 available online.