Actor-comedian Gaurav Gera says the pressure to deliver laughs constantly can be daunting, and as a creator of various online characters, he takes timely breaks to keep going. Gera began posting his comedy sketches—all less than a minute long—in 2015 on Instagram and soon went viral with his comic characters, ‘Chutki & Shopkeeper’ and ‘Billi Mausi’.
Over the years, the actor gained prominence for his online sketches, with more than half a million dedicated followers on his social media pages.
In an interview with PTI, Gera said delivering on fans’ expectations can be a task for a comedian.
“It’s difficult to be constantly funny. When I was new and my videos had started to do really well, I was making four videos a day in 2015. When it suddenly started to boom, I took a lot of pressure.
“But today I do it differently. Thankfully, I don’t take that pressure. Sometimes I vanish for a few days, I don’t post anything. I’ve learned to balance it. I am not in a rush to be on the top. There are people who are doing a lot of work. But I take it easy,” Gera said.
The actor first tasted success with the 2003 show “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin”, playing the adorable, goofy Nandu.
What followed were a series of comic roles on TV- from participating in “The Great Indian Comedy Show” to headlining his show, “Tota Weds Maina”.
The consistent acclaim was, however, accompanied by stereotyping.
One of his earliest video sketches on YouTube had him dressed as a woman. While that didn’t get him any internet attention, he soon became a typecast for playing female characters.
“When I did ‘Jassi, I was told that from now on, I’d only get similar roles. But I did break that (stereotype). When I started playing a girl in 2010 for video sketches, I soon realised that it became a template. I was dressed up as a girl in several award shows.
“I told myself that it was getting a bit too much and I needed to stop. Now, I balance my comedy- I play a six-year-old child and a grandmother too so that I don’t get typecast,” he added.
Gera will now be seen hosting the competitive cooking show, “Chef Vs. Fridge” for Zee Cafe. He will be joined by Chef Vicky Ratnani as the judge on the show, set to air from April 25.
According to the makers, “Chef Vs Fridge” will feature a “mystery fridge” that presents surprise ingredients to the two contesting chefs who will be tasked with the challenge to cook up a storm.
“I have hosted a singing reality show, a poetry show. This gave me an opportunity to host a cooking reality show for the first time. Hosting remained the same, as I had to be prompt, but it was great learning from me.
“We have contestants from various walks of life- somebody was a former finance executive, somebody else was an LGBTQ activist,” he said.
Gera said his process of choosing a show today depends on the makers and how keen they are about his involvement.
With “Chef Vs. Fridge”, the actor was taken through how the show would look on paper even before the show went on floors and was involved at every stage.
“I don’t base what I choose on money. It is about how the makers approach me. If the makers think ‘if not you, we will get someone else’, you get that vibe.
“Here, Zee Cafe gave me tremendous freedom. They involved me in the process of creating the show. So that was a prime reason for me to say yes to this,” he added.