By Puja Gupta
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANSlife) Amit Tandon has performed extensively across the globe and strongly believes that it is important for a comedian to change the content depending on the audience.
The stand-up comic artiste feels that the one mistake which many comedians, often tend to make is that they focus on trying to impress other comedians; rather than impressing the audience. The material and content should be tailormade to suit the audience a comic is addressing.
Tandon will soon be seen in his solo show on Netflix, which promises to bring his personal stories to the screen. He will talk in terms of his relationship with his kids and also his marital status, with a punch of witt and humour.
IANSlife attempts to share a witty repartee with Tandon to find out about his show and the current scene of comedy in India.
Tell us more about your show on Netflix.
Tandon: My Netflix solo is slated to release on December 9, 2019. Through the show, I attempt to give out an underlying message to the masses. The audience will get to see a very strong opinion from me. Without giving away too much , I just want to say I’m just excited for people to watch and find out what they think about it. This will be the first time I will have serious opinion and persona.
How did the opportunity come your way?
Tandon: First, the Netflix team got in touch with me to be a part of the series “Comedians of the world,” where they were recording shows with comedians across the world. I was one of the 3 Indians to be a part of it, which was was exciting. Probably due to the feedback and success the show received, the Netflix team approached me to see if I would be interested in shooting an hour long solo for them.
What kind of stories are you going to bring to the show?
Tandon: I am bringing my current situation to the show in terms of my relationship with my kids and my marital status. A lot of these stories are very personal. It’s not like all the stories are 100 percent accurate as you need to add some humor to spice it but they are still very personal and a lot of them are true.
How do you think social media has helped independent artists gain recognition?
Tandon: Social media has democratized the whole entertainment industry. Earlier if you wanted to showcase your talent and reach out to people, the only possible way was to perform at live shows. This would take a lot of effort and time to reach a reasonable number of people. You also had to rely on word of mouth. The other option was to work with a television channel or in a movie. In the current scenario, with sites like YouTube, you can record your own work and showcase your talent exactly how you you’d like it to be presented.
Everything comes with some merits and demerits. What in your opinion are the drawbacks of new age media?
Tandon: In terms of merits, it is easier to reach out to people across the globe. You could be sitting in the smallest of cities and can reach a large populous. The demerits are that today with social media everything is today, here and now. Also social media has a lot of pressure to create content on a regular basis. The audience has a shorter attention span. A social media star fears that the audience might forget him/her if he/she does not anything on social media. This is the reason why stars need to update their Instagram handle regularly. Everybody from film stars to social media stars need to put up something or the other on platforms every single day. According to me this also harms your creativity as you do not get enough time to think.
What are the most common mistakes a comedian tends to do when on stage or in their content?
Tandon: There are a lot of things that a comedian can falter on and the only way you learn is when you regularly perform on stage. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of comedians make is that they try to impress other comedians with their content rather than impress the audience. The other thing that happens is that comedians when they perform, is they don’t change their material or the delivery on the basis of their audience. It is important for a comedian to change their content depending on the audience.
You have performed across the globe. How would you compare the comedy scene in India to other places?
Tandon: I have performed globally and when I look at the Indian scene, I feel that Indian comedians are very lucky to have been brought up in India. This country has a population of 1.3 billion people and Indians have also settled down in every other country in large numbers. Indian comedians can find an Indian audience across the globe. If you are from a smaller country, you might end up struggling throughout your life because there are not enough people you can sell tickets too. Indian comedians have a larger audience to cater too compared to countries and places like Malaysia, Singapore, etc. Comedians from smaller countries have to travel and find new audiences as their own country is too small.
Is there any difference when it comes to audience participation and reaction. If yes, what are they?
Tandon: When it comes to my audience internationally, my audience is still largely Indian audience. They are NRI’s who have shifted to different countries years ago. In terms of how the audience is, it changes from country to country. If you are in New York, USA or London, UK – you get a fabulous response as these are the places that are home to world theatres. Most of the people who have lived in London or New York, they have been exposed to the seen of live entertainment. The theatre performance is quite common. The audience there is more receptive to the idea of live comedy and they know how to react to it compared to people who have seen a stand-up set live for the first time.
Tandon: Next, there are a number of things that I am working on. There is a story that we have written around the partition of India. I’ve written a new show and I’m also working on a series of Jaspal Bhatti ji live.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)