When it comes to stand-up comedy, there are a lot of barriers to be broken for women, says Singaporean comedian Sharul Channa.
“It has changed, but I don’t think it has changed enough,” Channa told IANS when asked about evolving comedy space.
“If I may be honest, I think that at least in Singapore I would say I’m the only fulltime female stand up comedian. There are a few more who are trying and we try to encourage as much as possible. I think it’s a function of our culture, and a function of a lot of things that still need to be broken, and a lot of barriers to be broken. I think it’s not a career that women look forward to,” she added.
The comedian, whose roots trace back to India, continued: “In Asia, we have more female comedians coming up, especially in India. If you ask ‘who is the one famous comedian who has blown up and become world famous from Asia’, considering that the scenes have been around for 10 years, I can’t really name someone who has become super famous.”
She feels Indian comedian Aditi Mittal is making huge strides.
“We also have few people who do Hindi stand-up in India. But I don’t see that happening so much. And I don’t think that’s because they’re not good enough. The groundwork for having female comedians sort of blow up and do really well from Asia will take a bit of time,” she said, asserting that it will take “time for the groundwork to be laid down”.
“Then one day a female comedian is going to become internationally famous. I mean, it could be Aditi Mittal. She’s doing really well for herself. But I think that there’s still some time to go before that happens. I really hope more and more women jump on to the team,” added the comedian, who will be connecting with Indian comedian Varun Thakur in an episode of “My Singapore Connect”.
“I was born in India and my entire life is from the country while my father is from Singapore. So, I have a very close connection to India and its people. You feel you want to work with an artiste from India, which is a huge market. It is always nice to be in touch with artistes, have conversations with them, exchange notes, and discuss what the comedy scenes in each country is and how the trends are changing,” said the comedian.
“My Singapore Connect” will be released on the streaming platform BookMyShow Online, on November 28, November 29, December 5 and December 6. The four-part web series is a result of partnership between the Singapore Tourism Board and BookMyShow.