The Making of India's Laughter Queen Mallika Dua
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It might look like the easiest job in the world, but comedy is a serious business! Its sole purpose is to tickle the funny bone in you. While we all think we are funny - India's bona fide millennial star Mallika Dua is the real deal. Loved by millions, she is the laughter queen who is making common soul chuckle.
If you love comedy and haven't watched her videos, you are doing injustice to your 4G connection. While on camera she is this loud, sharp Delhi girl with a peculiar English accent, in person she is everything warm, fuzzy and magnetic. While comedy was never her plan, being an entertainer was one ever since she stepped on the stage. Making people laugh just happened as she had the knack for it.
It all Began Very Early
"From my childhood, my parents ensured that my sister and I were always doing creative things. So I was always outside the class but on stage. I think comedy just happened because I was doing a lot of it on stage and I realised I had a flair for it. Since childhood, I loved making people laugh but I never thought it would be a profession. I would imitate teachers in school but I never thought that I would be doing this professionally one day," she recalls.
Her days in Franklin and Marshall college transformed her and shaped her as a person she is today. "If I hadn't gone outside of my comfort zone and literally got my ass kicked at Franklin Marshall, a lot of the things that I enjoy today wouldn't have happened to me," she shared.
The learning experience taught her money management, do things by yourself, be responsible, be confident and be proud of the country you come from. The place gave her a BA major in theater and acting. It taught her the curial fundamentals of the script, acting, and character.
"I learned entertaining people does not require you to speak a certain language or look a certain way. How disciplined you are about your script, your work, your character. I learned a very important thing that you must always know the scene that you're doing and not just the lines, because that's the difference between a good actor and a not so good actor, And that's a privilege I enjoy when I shoot," she said.
Here’s What She is Today
Today she is making waves in the Indian comedy club and as cliche, as it might sound her mantra is to be effortlessly funny and not try very hard. However, don't confuse it with don't working hard. "You should work hard and you should work smart more than hard. Conserve your energy, know what is worth your energy and put it there. However, there are countless ways to make people laugh and instead of going into the theory and making it clinical," she shares.
When it comes to Makeup Didi (one of her popular characters) she believes in sharing with the world what makes her laugh. That's her trick for making it come out as authentic as possible. "So if there's a time where I am not finding anything funny you probably won't see content from me," she said.
Being a social media star comes with responsibilities. But before being accountable to the world out there, the biggest responsibility you have is to yourself where you do not get carried away by all the love that comes your way, believe Dua.
"You do not take it as something that you embellish your ego with. Be a little careful about what you say. I have a lot of political opinions, but I get shamed for them as much as I get appreciated for them. There's always that duality where you do have to be a brand-friendly face. You do have to make money, make business and get work, but you do have to be a human being at the end of the day. So it's that responsibility to keep that balance that comes with being a millennial star," she said.
There’s Lot to Learn
She also points out a very vital fact of we seen a preview phone and Internet era so lets not this world of cyberspace get to us and dumb us down.
Dua as a brand that is learning new things both personally and professionally.
"As a brand, I stand for people speaking their mind for not taking any kind of negativity, or any kind of unfair treatment line down. I also stand for cheering people up like that is my brand of comedy. I don't stand for any sort of stereotyping or any sort of conformity. I stand for breaking stereotypes," she states.
Dua is a talent hub whose ultimate goal is to be someone who's extremely respected and recognized for her work. And you can simply call her the 'sensitive, ambitious and hungry’ bona fide artist who is born to slay the stage.
(This article was first published in the February issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)