Vir Das: Audience have been more honest and open with their emotions this year than ever before
This pandemic isn’t just about the hardships, but also about what we all are learning, says actor-comedian Vir Das. And the one thing he himself has started to value more is “authenticity of art”. He has been doing digital shows during the lockdown and started doing live gigs following all safety measures once restrictions were lifted.
“As artistes, it’s our job to capture and project the time that we’re living in. I’ve started to value the authenticity of content because I feel the audience have been more honest and open with their emotions this year than they’ve been in the last few years. So, your art has to be that much honest and emotional to acknowledge that everybody is a little vulnerable,” says Das, who has done live gigs — small shows with 40 people — in Delhi, and is now performing in Goa.
He jokes, “It feels like we’re in the early days of stand-up when people who’re showing up are those who genuinely love this art form, and want it to succeed again.”
During the lockdown, Das has been writing and performing online. He did over 30 conversational digital gigs on zoom, and raised about Rs 37 lakhs for charity. He also filmed these shows that recently released on a streaming platform. Ask if digital is the way forward in difficult times like these, and he opines that it’s only providing an income to a select group.
“There’s a much larger group of artistes and people in various careers that would need help when we get back to normal. I don’t think we’re all going to go digital. Stand-up is essentially a live art form, so are plays, music, even Bollywood films need to be shot on a set live, and even digital shows also come from live activity,” explains the actor, who’s digital show Outside In released recently on an OTT platform.
On what can one do to make their digital live shows better, Das says it doesn’t matters how it looks, as the pandemic has democratised the production values. He elaborates, “I’m making videos from my bedroom and Kanye West is doing that from his bedroom and there’s a huge difference between our bedrooms. But, the audience doesn’t care about that. So, good and authentic content is getting appreciated now.”
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ