Actor Ajay Gehi, who is all set to star in his own stand up show The Ajay Gehi Show, believes stand up act is more of merging theatre, imagination and acting.
Tell us something about the show The Ajay Gehi Show?
The Ajay Gehi Show is Artist Aloud’s first original show beyond music. The show was conceptualised to depict a jovial take on things that go unnoticed in our everyday fast-paced lives. Often, we forget to take a pause and laugh at something funny or smile at something banal. The Ajay Gehi Show offers you that small space in your schedule where you laugh with your family, friends and have a good time. The show follows the format of an anecdotal comedy that caters to everyone and is not restricted to a certain set of target audience. The format is light, content is relatable and clean, which leaves a strong message. It makes you laugh and in the end makes you ponder on the topics discussed.
After appearing in films and on television, what was in your mind when you agreed to the show?
I have done a lot of films and television shows in my life. If you look at it, from the perspective of an actor, it was fulfilling. But what happens is as an actor when we perform, get a script and a role to perform, you try to fit into someone else’s vision.
Having said that, you know, every creative person needs an outlet to express, experiment and create. With my upcoming show, Artist Aloud gave me the liberty to write, direct and at the same time perform it in my way. So, I thought it was a great opportunity to just come forth and enjoy this wholesome creative experience. It gives me a chance to connect with my audience and my audience gets to connect with me directly; they get a chance to know me and not just the character that I am playing. Also, I have been writing for a while now. I have recently written, composed and sung my own song and for which I was awarded the best independent male singer at the Artist Aloud Music Awards held in April.
It’s just a great wholesome creative experience which just a role in a film or television could not suffice.
Stand-up acts are gaining much popularity among the people; do you think it’s a safe platform for an artiste to enhance his/her skills?
You know, these days with the advent of social media stand-up acts are losing their essence. Stand-up is more than just saying funny things to an audience. It is more than that. You just don’t stand with a hand in pocket and mic and just make people laugh. It is tough. Hence, that is where the aspect of enhancing skills comes into play. I’m trying to play with your mind; I’m trying to play with your imagination. It’s not just standup; it is more of merging theatre, acting and standup. You can say that standup acts have provided a means to showcase your talent, but they are definitely not safe or an easy way out.
To me, it has definitely aided in enhancing my skills with writing, acting, and directing.
We have seen you in both comedy and drama roles. What is difficult to essay between the two?
Comedy is, of course, more difficult for an actor because (a) you have to let go of your fear of embarrassment. Comedy is about making people laugh, the trick is to understand that people are not laughing at you rather laughing with you at something that you said and (b) the timing. Comedy is very interactive even if it is scripted. It depends on a lots of things, like other people’s reactions or timing, oration, so it is more difficult. Whereas in drama or you can say a serious role, you can rehearse much before the shoot or a performance and you will act out the exact same thing. In comedy, it is very fluid and inclined to a lot of improvisation. It is of great fun though, once you overcome it.
This might be referred to as your comeback. What are your expectations from the show?
Unfortunately what has happened is the kind of films I had done which were already shot never released. Some are ready to be released, yet being delayed because of a lot of external factors. So, everything was on a halt. I have been writing, singing like the Inside Out song. I have marketed films, I have distributed films, and also co-produced a few feature films. So I have been working though not much in front of the camera lately, honestly, I’m not hoping too much out of it. If I get people to just ponder and think about the topics I touch, it would be enough. There are absolutely no expectations but accolades and affection from the audience are always welcome. I’m just having fun and hoping people will have fun with me.
How will you relate the show to your day-to-day life experiences? Is there any special segment?
You go a lot in one day through experiences; right from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed. A lot of things happen with us and around us. Your train could be late, your bus could be late, and your car tire could be punctured, you wait for an email which never shows up. People react to the same event very differently.
It is your own conditioning, your own mindset that allows you to react to a particular moment, however small it is. My outlook towards things from my eyes, my filters, would be different from what you see. And if you look at a situation from afar, you will see a third person perspective. Just to give you an example: We all talk about how people are not connected these days, we don’t say greet people on road, but, in case of an adversity and you will see all of them coming out and helping each other. So, the irony that transpires from their actions and opinions is relatable and would make for one interesting conversation. So, these are some of the situations I take up in my act, I talk about it and I hope that people think and ponder on it.
I involve my experiences along with other people’s experiences. Audience and people influence the content of my show. It is their experience and reactions that matter.
It is all about perspective. Life is funny, better laugh at it.