Woman stand-up comedians are a rare breed and when Buzzingtales heard about this uncommonly talented woman comedian, it became a compelling reason to feature her story.
By: Bandana Jain
The standup comedian, who performed recently at “Marathi Rocks in Dubai” opens up about her stint with Hindi TV and cinema.
An established actress of Marathi theatre, serials and cinema, Vishakha Subhedar started her career in 2004. With Hindi serial Gunwale Dulhaniya le jayenge on Sab TV in 2009, she pioneered in Hindi TV where she played the role of Mandodri with Himani Shivpuri and Sudhir Pandey. But she hit the limelight with comedy show Comedy Circus on Sony TV in 2013. The show was such a hit that she (along with co-comedian RJ Mantra) won the third prize in the finals of Comedy Circus with Kapil Sharma and Krishna in first and second places respectively.
“Having come from a vernacular Marathi background, initially I found it difficult to do stand-up comedy in Comedy Circus,” admits Vishakha but she appreciates the support of her collegue RJ mantra, who helped her perform, even in regional languages like UP, Haryaanvi and Rajasthani.
Speaking about the art of stand-up comedy, Vishakha reckons, “The scene of stand –up comedy has changed a lot in the recent years. Earlier there were poems in comedy programmes. Nowadays, in most of the cases there are two people involved characterised by themes and at times, the artists are supposed to perform on impromptu basis.”
The 39 year old comedian’s major breakthrough came in as a character role in Bollywood film Supernani featuring superstar, Rekha, Randhir Kapoor and Sharman Joshi. Vishakha played the role of a housemaid named Ratna, who is very emotionally attached to her employer, the role of which is played by Rekha.
Sharing some incidents from the shoot of Supernani, Vishakha says, “Initially, the movie’s script had only one scene for me. The director, Indra Kumar was so impressed with my work that another eight acts were added. We shot for a period of nine days and Rekhaji was quite impressed with my work. At the end of the shoot, Rekhaji hugged me and gifted me a black kanjeevaram sari and a photo of hers with beautiful message. It was truly a memorable moment for me.” Recollecting another incident from the same shoot, Vishakha says, “There was a scene where we had to do twelve shots for a single act. Randhirji who was watching us shoot through the entire twelve shots was all praises for my sincerity and perfection in the delivery of shots! I was really moved by the support of the entire cast.”
An established comedy artist in Marathi cinema, Vishakha has acted in thirteen Marathi movies, like Balak Palak, Bal Gandharv, Harishchandrachi Factory, Yedyanchi Jatra, Sasucha Swayamvar, Madhu Ethe and Chandra Tithe. Her movie Mast Challay Amacha won her the Best Supporting Actress Award in Maharashtracha Favourite Kaun Award. She also enjoyed working with famous Hindi comedian Rajpal Yadav in Marathi movie Dagdabaichi Chal. This year she is looking forward to the release of Marathi movies like Ek do teen char and WhatsUp Gyanba.
Vishakha, who is also a noted Bharatnatyam dancer, is an established artist in Marathi TV with popular daily soaps like Comedychi Bullet Train on Colors Marathi. She was the winner of reality show Fu Bhai Fu on Zee Marathi in 2011, for which she carries the credit of featuring in four out of six seasons. She derives inspiration from the works of popular artists like Vaman Kendre, Sulabha Deshpande and Rohini Hattangadi. Vishakha also won the Best Actress Award for the drama Ek daw bhatacha in 2006.
With many Marathi movies coming up this year, Vishakha has a lot to look forward to. However, her ambition lies in doing more Hindi films. “Doing stand-up comedy is no mean task and I am enjoying every bit of it, but I don’t want to restrict myself to comedy. I would love to play a variety of character roles.”
The talented actress is all praise for her Bollywood co-stars, who have lent her unrelenting support, “I have received lot of encouragement and appreciation from Bollywood stars. It is a big source of inspiration for character artists like us.” Vishakha recollects her first day in Comedy Circus, when Bollywood film star Govinda introduced her on the sets, “Govindaji said that he had seen her performing in Zee Marathi serial and that he had really liked her work. This was a big compliment for me.”