Comedians dependent on live shows: Amit Tandon
One of India's leading stand-up comedians Amit Tandon, says that comedy is feeling the heat of the Coronavirus outbreak, with most performers unable to do live shows, and the internet bringing in only limited revenue
The real-time impact (of the pandemic) is two-fold. There is a lot of time, and there's no money because we're dependent upon our live shows completely, which for the foreseeable future, we don't see any happening. There are no visible earnings right now, and too much time on hand," Tandon, who has done over 1,400 shows globally and has featured in Netflix's 'Comedians of the World', shared during an interview.
Asked if the future of comedy could be solely digital, Tandon says no. "As of now, I don't think it can be totally dependent upon the internet, in the long term. We hope to get back on our feet in the next four-five months on live shows. Once it's back, dependence on internet will increase a little, we will look at that as a backup medium but I still believe 80-90 percent will still come from a live show, which is a different experience altogether from the internet."
He added that no clear answers are emerging right now and performers are exploring the digital medium.
"This came as a shock, we were not ready. A lot of comedy is happening on the internet, but there's not a lot of money being exchanged except for a few corporate gigs where you get a small amount of money for performing through conference rooms like Zoom. Until it comes to the point where we can deliver a great experience through internet, beyond a point we won't be able to do much."
Tandon also emphasised generating alternate streams of revenue.
"One more learning I've had is that, as a content creator, I need to look beyond standup comedy, which I've been doing for a while now. Look at other series of building revenue, whether it's writing for a series or a podcast or something. Additional sources where one can work from home and not just be dependent on getting on stage and traveling all the time."
Currently, Tandon is spending time in quarantine with family, and trying to focus on writing a couple of web series, that are in different stages of development. He is also doing workshops where he is raising money for daily wagers.