Hyderabad-based working mom carves a niche in comedy

Hyd-based Sushma Chitta seamlessly blends professional expertise with her comedic flair

Published Date – 8 June 2024, 11:35 PM

Hyderabad: In a stand-up comedy landscape where female comedians are few and far between, Sushma Chitta has carved a niche in the comedy scene, often drawing from her life as a working mom. A senior staff technical writer by day and a stand-up comedian by night, the Hyderabad-based comedian seamlessly blends her professional expertise with her comedic flair.

Sushma’s foray into stand-up comedy was sparked in 2017 after attending her first stand-up show, where she instantly felt a natural inclination towards the art form. “I always wanted to get into comedy, but I didn’t know how. And with a daughter who required my constant attention, finding the right opportunity was challenging,” she says.

The digital comic artist embarked on her journey into stand-up comedy this February after dabbling in a couple of corporate comedy shows the previous year.

Sushma highlights the happening and evolving local comedy scene. With numerous open mic spots springing up in Hyderabad, particularly in the past year, she says it was by pure chance that she spotted an open mic ad on BookMyShow, prompting her to take the leap.

“My daughter, who’s my biggest cheerleader, accompanies me to every set,” says the 36-year-old mother. Sushma draws comedic material from her daily life, focusing on parenting, work-from-home struggles, and corporate culture. Her unique selling point is tweaking song lyrics to infuse humour. “My approach is old-school-ish and homegrown. I lean towards clean comedy, aiming to entertain audiences of all ages and backgrounds,” she says.

Sushma’s major breakthrough came with Tamada Media’s ‘Mike Ki Kirikiri’, an open mic event specifically gathering female comedians. Her set, which comically portrayed NRIs’ reactions upon revisiting India after a long absence, received widespread praise.

Speaking about Hyderabadi audience and her initial days, Sushma says, “The response was not warm initially. People gave weird looks and pretended not to laugh at my jokes. This is unfortunately common for women in comedy.”

Establishing oneself in the industry and dispelling the stereotype that ‘women aren’t funny’ demands exceptional skill and resilience. She adds, “Things seem to be improving now. I’m hopeful for a future where this stereotype is completely eliminated.”

Looking ahead, Sushma plans to expand her repertoire with solo shows and continue her corporate gigs. Additionally, her digital comic strips are set to be published in a magazine, marking another milestone in her creative journey.

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