Sumukhi Suresh's Don't Tell Amma was recorded in Bengaluru. (Photo: Sumukhi Suresh/Twitter)
Ace comedian Sumukhi Suresh recently launched her special Don't Tell Amma on Amazon Prime Video. The hour-long stand up act has Sumukhi talk about growing up poor in Nagpur but with rich people resume. Her first stand up special also has her reveal the truth about Nutella-Khichdi and why she doesn't want her mother to know about her show.
In a quick conversation with indianexpress.com, Sumukhi Suresh sheds more light on her act, sustaining oneself in the competitive profession and how she plans her 2020.
Here are excerpts from the conversation.
Tell us something about your special Don't Tell Amma.
It's my first stand up special, which has some stable jokes, some new stories and has been recorded in Bengaluru. I am really very excited, and it's actually a very nice show. As for the audience I hope they like it and even if they hate it, it's fine, they have the right of choice.
When your act is being recorded to be streamed later, do you put in some extra effort?
The advantage of doing web shows and specials is that we have an additional knowledge about how things work. But the truth is whatever material you use, it has to be hundred percent honest, or else it's not going to work. I always make it as fun for me as possible. The only precaution that I take is that I speak a little slow, as I tend to speed up. Also, one has to be aware of where your cameras are. So the special effort is all about technical architecture as content wise, you just need to have fun.
When you started doing comedy, did you see yourself having a special? How do you look back on your journey in the space?
I started with improv, then did sketches, web shows. Stand up kept happening on the sides. I never thought I’ll do a special because I was too nervous to do it. I am glad I did it because that one hour changes your perspective completely!
Released my first stand up clip on YouTube from #DontTellAmma where I talk about my moms amazing timing when she calls.
Clip - https://t.co/HVShjJ3zjG
Special is streaming now on @PrimeVideoIN
— Sumukhi Suresh (@sumukhisuresh) January 4, 2020
As a comedian, how challenging does it get to keep the audience entertained for a longer period?
It takes a lot of energy and stamina to perform for an hour or two. The audience is now exposed to specials and longer content so now it's a responsibility for us comics to make sure that the content has a flow so that the audience is with you throughout.
Most comedians say they pick anecdotes from their lives. Are their lives generally funny or they manage to make it sound funny?
We do mostly create content based on observations from our lives. But yes, sometimes the scene or stand up might be written to exaggerate that observation.
Do specials releasing on platforms help get more audience on your live shows?
In the current time, specials on platforms do make you legit. And yes, more audience comes in for live shows and more brands, corporates also hire you for shows, so it does help a lot.
With new talent coming in, how can a comedian sustain their position?
Being a comic is no longer the USP. We need to make sure that our content grows with everything we create. Now the fight is for better content which will only make it better.
You have the advantage of enacting characters, do you look at taking up acting full time ever?
I am tempted to say yes. It is a skill I have found working on subconsciously. After Pushpavalli Season 2, I think I really want to do it full time at some point.
What has been your biggest takeaway from 2019?
It has been quite busy. I did Comicstaan, shot Pushpavalli Season 2, created Banake Dikha for Zomato, finally toured and even shot Don't Tell Amma. My biggest takeaway was my special and that I have a lot more specials to do before I am the best at it. But it is a good start.
If you could plan your 2020, how would it look like?
I would like it to be filled with live shows, web shows that I create and act in. Also, maybe, I would add a little more sleep (laughs).