A working software engineer for three years, the winner of Punchline Bangalore and one of the faces of the popular Pretentious Movie Reviews on YouTube, Kanan Gill was just another Bangalore boy from Ramaiah College until pursuing stand up comedy changed everything for him. Last Thursday he decided to visit the city as a part of his ‘Feelings’ Tour and fans (especially girls) all around Pune flocked to Nehru Memorial Hall to stare at him, because it was a socially acceptable way to do that. We decided to have a chat with him and get to know fun things about him that you might not find on the internet.
1) So you were at YouTube FanFest this year, how was the experience?
Hectic! YouTube FanFest is very ‘go-go-go’ with us arriving only two days earlier to figure out Tech rehearsals, stage blocking, and also make time to meet other creators and YouTubers. It was quite amazing, 5000 people in the crowd! There was a delay at the show, and at one point everyone in the crowd started chanting my name. It was quite surreal.
2) Did that make you feel like a rockstar?
It lasted all of 30 seconds! (Chuckles). We’d done a tour of Pretentious Nights across the country and I’d traveled all over to do stand up, YouTube FanFest was both those things combined! In terms of the screaming fans.
3) From when you quit your job to when you decided to do stand up or YouTube, was it difficult to go against the grain to do both? Were you at all skeptical?
It wasn’t difficult, it was just something I wanted to do. I was working in IT and I did not like it. I did shows for a year before I even started a YouTube channel. I even performed at High Spirits here in Pune as a stand up comedian before we did the movie reviews. Besides, I’ve never had issues with self esteem, and at that time I believed I was awesome. Even when I sucked, in my head I’m always convinced that I kill it every time. (Laughs)
4) YouTuber or Stand up Comedian?
(almost immediately) Stand up. Always. Being a YouTuber is a job, and I’d be so bad at that.
5) Why do you say that?
Because as a YouTuber you have to post videos every week and be active on social media, Vlog always and everywhere, tweet and put out content regularly. I can’t do that, I have a thing with too much attention; after I point I just need my space, and I need go back into my cocoon.
6) But you must see the irony in that. Because after Pretentious Movie Reviews, you’ve been in the spotlight constantly!
Yes, and that’s what disappointing sometimes, to me and Biswa as well, because when we started the channel it was yet another thing we wanted to do. 100 k subscribers, it was the most we could think of; it happened so quickly and we were amazed. But stand up, that’s where the both of us feel most at home.
7) 10 years from now, when you think of your career on stage, what do you see?
I haven’t thought about it really. I just take up things I like to do. After I quit my job and started stand up, I set a goal for myself. In stand up, 30 minutes is a milestone, if you get a solid 30 minute set, you’ve made it. I started with 5 minuntes, then 10, then 15, 20 and then made it to 30. Then I set another goal, I wanted abs by the end of that year. It’s just been a series of small goals and milestones and they change depending upon what I want to do at the time. Also, in 10 years I think I’ll be dead, having died in some hilarious way. (Chuckles).
8) Now for some ‘run-of-the-mill’ questions. What are you currently reading?
I’ve had the chance to read 4 absolutely amazing books this year. Very recently I got around to reading ‘Flash Boys’ and ‘The Big Short’, both of which are by Michael Lewis, and my absolute favourites!
9) What is the one vacation destination you’d love to visit?
Japan. Without a doubt, my plans fell through a couple of times, but I’m finally hoping to go visit this October.
10) Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
I actually attended a screening of Bombay Velvet with the whole cast present. I met all of them, and turns out some of them are fans of the reviews!
11) And lastly, how would you respond to rumors that Biswa and you are in a relationship?
(Chuckles) That would be a disaster. We’d be so bad for each other. It wouldn’t end well!
Picture Credits: insider.in, burrp.com, timescity.com