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‘Laugh out loud’ with emerging female standup comedians from Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The stand-up comedy scene has gained its ground in Bhubaneswar with many talented comedians conducting shows regularly. The platform, mostly occupied by male stand-up comedians, is now seeing the performances of female stand-up comedians in the city.

On this International Women’s Day, we bring to you the story of two young and enthusiastic female stand-up comedians from the temple city, who are trying to bring laughter to the faces of the audience with their funny and witty performances.

Manaswini Samal, a 17-year-old youngster from Bhubaneswar started performing during the pandemic and has garnered praises for her comic timing.

“I have always loved watching the performances of stand-up comedians, but never thought of doing it myself,” shared Manaswini.

With the COVID pandemic making everyone’s life miserable, she thought of trying her hand in stand-up comedy and bringing smiles on their faces. “I started doing stand-up comedy during the pandemic in November 2021. I just got up on the stage and started to speak. Though the first experience was bad, I felt happy. So far I have done around 15 shows,” she said.

Manaswini performing in an event in Bhubaneswar

Though initially her parents were confused about her decision later they started supporting her. “My parents said if it makes me happy then do it,” she shared.

Planning to pursue further studies in law, for Manaswini, stand-up comedy is a medium to ease out her stress. “I am doing it as it makes me happy. I was stressed out for a while and doing stand-up comedy relieved me from it. I will continue as long as it makes me happy and doesn’t become a burden.”

She has done both offline and online shows since her beginning. Sharing her experience of performing both offline and online she said, “I prefer offline shows as the response of the audiences is great. Offline, you can see the audience, their reaction, and interact with them. While online, the reaction time is different due to network issues. However, online gives a variety of audiences from various places. I received positive responses from an audience from Australia and I felt good.”

Stating that making people laugh is a tough job, she said, “It’s not an easy task to make people laugh at your jokes. Sometimes you would feel that the script you wrote is funny but when you deliver it, it may fail to bring the desired result.”

The stage presence and timing of the joke are really important, she added.

Barsha Mishra, a 25-year-old Pediatric occupational therapist is another emerging female stand-up comedian from the city. Since 2020, she has been regularly doing an open mic.

“In 2020, I learned about the Comedy Highway event by Stayabrat in Bhubaneswar. I registered myself as an open mic participant,” she informed.

Barsha during an open mic performance in Bhubaneswar

Sharing about her first experience on the stage she said, “When I performed for the first time, I was not bothered about doing a clean set or using any swear words. I tried to be loyal to my skits so that I could connect with the audience.”

“I am glad that comedy happened in my life, it therapeutically helps me,” she averred.

Motivated by all the positive responses she received from fellow comedians and the audience, she is planning to conduct a full show in the future. “I want people watching me on the stage should enjoy my performance. I want to make 100 percent of their time beneficial with laughter.”

Barsha is hopeful that more female standup comedians will emerge in the coming days.

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