The new normal: Enter the world of virtual emceeing!
Instead of a sense of relief at getting back to work (and life) there seems to be a sort of lull in the air. Lockdown is technically over, but not. And I don’t mean that trepidation when it comes to leaving your home to venture out. For many people, work has taken on a completely new shape and form. I’m now having to acquaint myself with the anchoring of ‘virtual’ events, where your live audience is now faces in tiny boxes, who could be tuning in from all over the world. So I chatted with a few pals, who also ‘talk for a living’ to find out how they were enjoying the new format.
Emcee Nisha Marimuthu, who just hosted a pan-India launch, from the comfort of her living room sofa, is all praise for the online setup. “From the experience, I have learned that this is easier, more efficient, saves time, and is more productive for what I would otherwise get paid for. The new normal is already here and I’ve embraced it”.
It’s a slightly different take from Mitin Upadhyay, whom I’ve also had the pleasure of co-hosting events with. Mitin says, “The new norm of emceeing is a feeling called ‘Start from Zero’. It can be used as a motivational line but it’s got things drawbacks.” He finds that virtual hosting is more tedious (both mentally and physically) than live events. “It may be the new norm but virtual events come with validity. So enjoy it while lasts and enjoy because survival is a must,” he says as he signs off.
While this might be a brand new concept for many of us, Sagarika Chhetri, who is also a fellow anchor from the sports arena, has been hosting her show, Planet Bollywood on the TV channel Zoom from her house, right from when the lockdown first began. “’Work from home’ is not as easy as it sounds,” she says. “I am my own makeup person, stylist, hairstylist, camera person, DOP, sound engineer, and of course, the host. It needs a lot of patience, the will to learn something that may not be your forte and a ‘good’ Wi-Fi connection” she adds, with a chuckle. “The good part is no more traffic, the comfort of my home, and lots of gratitude.”
Let’s see how this new format unfolds, and if it’s here to stay. For now, all we can do is try to stay hopeful and sane.