In recent years, stand-up comedy and improv have been the booming industry in the country. Even though a lot many comedians and improv artistes have been on digital platforms, live shows have always been the first preference. However, due to the pandemic and the lockdown that followed with it, has clearly affected the stand-up and imrpov scene. We spoke to Kaneez Surka, who is regarded as one of the best imrpov artistes in the country, about what the future had in store for the industry.
Ask her how has the lockdown been for her, and she says, “I stay alone and I finally found time to look after myself and feel more connected to my home and my cats. Work wise, I enjoyed making the content I made. I felt less pressure to be part of the rat race and just enjoyed doing what I was doing.”
Surka, who is coming up with The Ultimate Improv Comedy Battle on her YouTube channel, hopes to be back doing live shows. She says, “I hope live shows are not a thing of the past. Nothing beats the experience of watching a comedian live. And for us comedians, nothing beats performing to an audience you can see and feel the energy. The rest of our lives can’t be us looking into screens.”
Even if things open up in the city, Surka believes that “maintaining distances, wearing masks, changing and disinfecting mics, etc.” will be the new normal for a while. She further adds, “Doing shows with smaller audiences and having hygiene routines and practises for audiences and comedians will be the way to go.”
Post the coronavirus era, Surka says that she “hopes everyone appreciates each other more”. “[I hope it is] both ways — comedians appreciating audiences and audiences appreciating comedians. I hope we understand how important we are to each to make a show good,” she signs off.