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Meet Sneha Suhas, a 22-year-old comedienne from Bangalore. In this interview, she shares her experiences as a comedienne and the challenges she faced initially.
In this series, Briefcase, we will be meeting women at work in different fields, in different roles, to gain insight into their lives and work. With more women joining (or aspiring to) join the paid workforce, we live in exciting times, and this is an attempt to chronicle those times, one life at a time.
Laughter is the best medicine. But being a comedienne is an entirely different ball game. Male comedians dominate Indian television, but women have begun to attain fame as well. There are limited numbers of women in the panorama of comedy, and they face innumerable hurdles.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m generally very happy go lucky. But I can also be awkwardly shy, however, I’m very expressive when I need to be.
How did your friends and family react when you chose this profession?
My family’s reaction? Well, they were apprehensive and were not okay with the idea, sort of. They just want me to be self-reliant and so do I. They did want me to get a master’s degree before I started doing this. But you know, parents are parents. They want for me, what every parent wants for a kid. To be happy and content.
My friends, however are just excited to see me perform and constantly ask me what it feels like to be a comedienne!
Did you always want to be a comedienne?
Oh yeah! Always! I just knew that I wanted to be a performer.
How did this all start?
I began attending open mic sessions. These sessions give you access to the mic, and you’re allowed to test your jokes on the audience. These events occur during late nights. I began doing these sessions more frequently, and now it’s my profession.
Do you get paid for your profession?
Money is rather slow in the beginning. I’ve saved up some money from being a sales manager at a company I worked for earlier.
What is the biggest challenge for you as a female comedian?
Travelling late nights after shows, alone, which usually start only after 8:30- 9:00pm.
What is the subject matter your jokes?
My life, my childhood, school, upbringing, education system, conception of women, men, movies and religion.
How receptive were your audience when you started doing open mics?
When I started, I had unpolished jokes, which got better as I started doing many open mics sessions. The reception levels are better than they used to be because of my confidence levels too.
Do you have any tips for young female comedians?
What is funny is funny. It shouldn’t matter what gender you are. Your jokes should be hilarious and you must learn to build confidence as time goes by.
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