Most of my content is very autobiographical and anecdotal. During the pandemic, I took it as a challenge to write more observational content. I focused on such content for my reels on Instagram, also, says Saikiran. DC Image
Hyderabad is emerging as the hub for many creative arts, and one among the same is standup comedy. With many standup comedians from Hyderabad shooting into the limelight, the pioneer, however, is the 'city's local boy', Sai Kiran.
In an interview with DC, Sai Kiran spoke about finding his calling and his journey.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into comedy, and what was that like for you?
I am a total Hyderabad local boy. I discovered standup comedy in the early days of cable TV when many American programmes were played before content became more local. Post YouTube and Russel Peters, standup comedy began in India in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Hyderabad needed to catch up to the party. Hyderabad entered the scene in 2013 or 2014. I was there from the early days; this is my tenth year doing this.
My second question to you is, why comedy? And how did you discover that comedy is your calling?
I have always loved watching comedy in any form, movies or sitcoms. Music was never my thing. I like the laughs. I always found comics to be extremely smart for saying the things they were saying and how they were saying them and for eliciting an instant involuntary reaction from the audience. I had a subtle sense of humour that a few people around me pointed out, so I wanted to give comedy a try rather than regretting not trying it out in the future.
Most of your content is inspired by mundane tasks that one notices but not enough, making it quite relatable. How do you come about making such content?
Most of my content is very autobiographical and anecdotal. During the pandemic, I took it as a challenge to write more observational content. I focused on such content for my reels on Instagram, also. This has made me an astute observer. It is like working out a specific muscle; you get better at it as you work on it. Once I began noticing, I couldn't stop. I enjoy doing it as it makes one experience life better. It's a form of mindful living.
What is your take on Hyderabad's standing in the comedy scene? And do you think it'll improve?
It's one of the best scenes in the country right now, with a host of unique voices. An audience for live comedy has also developed over the years. But most of the performers and audience are people who moved to the city recently. We are still a predominantly movie-going culture; hence very few locals perform or watch live comedy. Hopefully, that will change as the scope for live entertainment improves. And soon enough, Telugu comedy will also start making an impact like in other languages.
It is a known fact that artists are critical of their work. Looking back at your work, how does that make you feel?
If you aren't self-critical, you become complacent. Because it's a new art form, we have received much attention. I have barely begun because the scene is still nascent. But there are miles to go before I feel confident about being a comic. The best is beyond the horizon right now.
Your script is based largely on your life; people tend to interpret your on-screen personality as real. Does it concern you, or is it a conscious choice you make?
We can't control the narrative. People always make assumptions with whatever information is available to them. I wouldn't have even begun doing comedy if I worried about what others think of me. It doesn't concern me much.
You have been in this profession for quite some time now. What would you say is your most memorable performance?
I have had many memorable experiences, but the best one in Hyderabad was before my videos went viral. I was performing in a 100-seater club when only one couple purchased tickets. We didn't cancel the show, though. I began the show by telling the lady that her husband booked the entire club and the comics to perform exclusively for her, and she believed it. It was one of the best shows of my life, and I'm sure the couple feels the same way.
You will perform 'Pure Veg jokes' and 'Matrimania' in Hyderabad on the 9th and 15th of July. What was the inspiration behind them?
'Pure Veg Jokes' is a show about my childhood. It's my first solo, and I have been doing it for a while. Matrimania is a newer show based on the pressure around getting married. Thanks to my video, I observed and experienced a lot of unique aspects of this topic which I wove into a show.
What would you say your goal is for the years ahead?
My only goal is to keep going. The destination is unknown; I am just having fun on the journey.