Sumeet Vyas: Happy to not dress up, for a change
Sumeet Vyas on the appeal of podcasts, as Nidhi Singh and the actor, present season 3 of Permanent Roommates as audio series.
Reinventing a much-loved show can be a boon or a bane. But Sumeet Vyas and Nidhi Singh — aka Mikesh and Tanya of Permanent Roommates — are willing to take the gamble as they present the third season of the romantic comedy as a podcast on Audible Suno.
Vyas admits that they had hit a roadblock on how to take Mikesh and Tanya's love story forward, and a shift in the medium is probably just what the doctor ordered. "We had already done two seasons of Permanent Roommates, and similar content was available on the web. So, we were apprehensive of doing another season [fearing that] it would become one of the many things that are available out there. So, when [the idea of presenting it in an audio format] came about, we were excited to take the story forward." The leads aside, the 20-episode series will have the supporting cast lend a voice to their parts.
Oddly enough, Vyas who occasionally doubles up as a scriptwriter for TVF, stayed away from the process this time around. "They probably thought I wasn't capable enough," he jokes, before adding, "Both Nidhi and I were consulted after the script was written because we had spent much more time with the characters compared to the new writers who came on board."
It must be a novel experience for Singh to trade her place in front of the camera for one behind the mic. She weighs the pros and cons of both mediums as she says, "Even if it is a half-hour shoot, several things come into play — the make-up, costume and hair are an important part of making a show. But here, we had to enter a dubbing room and become Tanya and Mikesh. It was a new experience because Sumeet and I had never dubbed together.
We were able to play off each other's energies."
While Vyas has previously done radio commercials, Singh considers herself a rookie in the dubbing world and admits it took her a while to find her feet. "[Initially], I had technical problems like standing too close to the mic, and at other times, too far from it. Also, I would often break into laughter because the material was so funny."
Vyas has his own reasons for developing an affinity for podcasts — no room for vanity. "I was happy to not dress up, for a change. I could just walk in, in my shorts and flip-flops, and start dubbing for the role. You are expected to look a certain way [during shoot]. Here, I was free from being vain." His quick-witted co-star doesn't let the opportunity to pull his leg slide by. "In real life, he is pretty much like that — the laidback guy in shorts. [But when it comes to a shoot], Sumeet is the heroine on the set," she laughs.
Podcasts have become increasingly popular in the past few years. Vyas and Singh may be mighty excited to try their hand at the audio medium, but as artistes who know the charm of the visual medium all too well, it begs the obvious question — can the audio medium have as much impact as its visual counterpart? "Listening to audio is like reading a book. When you read a book, you add your own imagination to it — you visualise mountains or a house; you imagine the people [being mentioned] and how they look. So, that visualisation is unique to you. Here too, each listener will have a unique visual for what they hear. That is the USP of this medium," concludes Vyas.
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