New Delhi: Ashish Chanchlani whose YouTube channel recently hit 20 million subscribers, says the audience needs to be a little sensitive when they choose to troll or post personal comments online as doing so might affect a person.
IANSlife spoke to Chanchlani who opened up about how he deals with the trolling and the pressure of delivering original contents constantly. Excerpts:
You joined YouTube in 2009, in early 2017 you celebrated 1 million subscribers and in 2020 you have crossed 20 million. How has the journey been?
I started making vine and short videos in the year 2014. Initially, I was expecting that I would hardly have around 1 lakh subscribers as I just wanted the YouTube Silver Play Button. I never believed nor thought that one day I would have 20 million subscribers on my channel. My journey from 'Ab Jaane de Ashu' till 'Ab Jaane Nahi Dega Ashu' was only possible because of my fans. I personally feel after 6 years, we all have grown up along with the fans (Acvians). Our fans have made us who we are today.
Has the lockdown affected your output as a content creator?
I think the lockdown has been very productive for me when it started out, but now, sitting at home I am not able to work it out. I have realised during this period that I can't sit idle and that has taken a toll on me. I am paying attention to things that are least important in life. Going forward, I am concentrating on coming back and producing more content. I think the lockdown has affected everyone. There are a lot of content creators who benefited from it because most of them used to spend time on digital platforms.
During these tough times, what keeps you motivated to entertain your audience?
The only thing that keeps me motivated is my audience because I communicate with them whenever I feel low and disconnected. In return, they have always sent me love and support from their end. It's the audience who has kept me going to entertain them.
Since there are a lot of content creators on YouTube, how do you make sure that you have something unique to offer to your audience?
Every YouTuber has a different style of creating content based on trends or their background; on the other hand there are different types of audience who like a particular style of comedy. My concept is mostly based on what is happening around the world. I make videos on what is going on in real-time. Sometimes my videos are random but I make sure that it's relatable, reality with a blend of comedy. Like we are in 2020 now, if you see my videos they are all based on the current situation and how we are affected due to the lockdown. I observe my family, peer group, relatives, everything that is around me and I mingle my observation with a funny twist. For an YouTuber, observation is the most important thing.
You've mentioned that you wanted to be an actor, what's the story behind that?
All my life, my only dream has been to become an actor. I didn't know what the medium it would be, but I think YouTube was one source where I could show off my acting skills. I would love to star in films and movies, that is what my passion is. I am working on myself to buildup those skills. Maybe, I would also love to direct a film someday. I believe that I have the skill to direct, I have even directed a short horror film 'Aakhri Safar' , which is on my channel and did pretty well. My friends' and family loved it as I was doing it for the first time. So, acting and directing a film is what I am looking forward to pursuing in the future.
What's the most challenging part about being a comedian?
I would say the most challenging part of being a comedian is the fact that has to be fresh content all the time, as you grow up you mature and so do your jokes, you can't be the same person always. And, to talk about something which is already popular in a different way, is what your audience would like to listen to. The treatment of the joke might differ from the usual one and you might not sync with the audience's expectations. But one should be prepared for this change and should keep up with it. One should go with the flow, be flexible, and step ahead with time and generations.
How do you cope up with negative comments or trolling on social media? Do they affect you?
During lockdown, I did get affected due to negative comments and trolling. I usually prefer ignoring those and put my energy on working on myself and spend good time with my friends and family.
Because, for them it's not important to know how their comment might affect us as much as their comments are for us. They judge us based on our picture, which they see on 13 minute video, or the picture that we upload on our social media platforms. I don't blame them to be very honest as I think some of them do it to grab attention, and some genuinely judge us. But things are different when we meet them in person; I have had an experience where I had come across one of the haters and after meeting me that person has become my fan. He changed his point of view towards me and apologised to me. I totally understand their perspective because they don't know you in person. The only thing that I am disappointed about is there are few people who hate you for the sake of it, or they think that it's cool to go against the majority, but they don't understand that it might affect the person if they get too personal. The audience needs to be a little sensitive about this. The best way to deal with it is to ignore it for sure.