Prashasti Singh of Comicstaan 2: Make sure I am paid right vis-a-vis them

Updated: Aug 06, 2019, 08:44 IST | Letty Mariam Abraham

As Comicstaan 2 drops online, first season's breakout star Prashasti Singh on navigating male-dominated world of comedy

Prashasti Singh of Comicstaan 2: Make sure I am paid right vis-a-vis them
Prashasti Singh

She may not have won the first season of Comicstaan, but Prashasti Singh — with her sharp take on boys, relationships, and man buns — left an indelible mark on people's minds. With the second season of the Amazon Prime Video's comic reality show underway, mid-day catches up with the woman who left a cushy corporate job to hustle in the world of comedy.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

At the launch of Comicstaan 2, Kaneez Surkha and Sumukhi Suresh stated that you were their favourite from season 1. Several viewers believed that you should have won.
That is my belief, too [laughs]. I am happy with my trajectory in Comicstaan season 1. I was barely six months into comedy when I bagged the show. At the time, I had taken a sabbatical from my job because I did not see myself as a [full-time] comedian. Starting from there to earning a place in the penultimate round, I think I have achieved a lot. Of course, winning the competition would have been the icing on the cake.

Has your family accepted your decision to step out of the corporate world?
When I did Comicstaan, I was already 30 and had invested so much in my [corporate] career. Naturally, my mother was sceptical. However, as soon as Comicstaan came my way, I started getting paid gigs. Once I explained to my mother that this line of work offers more money, she [was convinced]. Paisa badi achchi cheez hoti hai [laughs].

Also Read: Kaneez Surka on Comicstaan 2: Female comedians don't have liberty to fail often

What convinced you to take the risk of attempting comedy?
I couldn't afford to take risks because my mother was the only earning member in my family, other than myself. I did comedy on the side, along with my job, until I was confident that I have the potential to sell tickets. It's easy to say, 'Follow your passion', but the reality is different if you have a home loan or monthly rent to pay. You have to make sure your finances are taken care of because it's not going to be easy.

Do you face prejudice as a female comic?
Not really. My first outing was at a ladies' open mic. I remember I could not muster the courage to go for a regular open mic at that time, because I imagined that the green room would be filled with men and the audience wouldn't want to see me perform. But the credit goes to Sumukhi, Kaneez and Aditi [Mittal], who raised their voice about the lack of female representation. By the time I started doing comedy full-time, I didn't see the gender disparity. Now, female representation is almost 50 per cent, or say 40 per cent in the worst-case scenario. With respect to remuneration, I am aware of the fees that the male comics get. So, [my managers] negotiate to get the right
fee for me.

What do you think about the show's new edition?
I am envious [of the contestants]. In the first season, we looked like innocent kids who did not know what they were getting into. But here, from the audition episode, they look like they know their job.

Who are you rooting for?
My favourite comic is Samay [Raina].

Also Read: Comicstaan 2 being praised for refreshing and out-of-the-box content

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