Monday, October 3

Aisha Ahmed and Yashaswini Dayama on ‘Adulting’ and entering the world of audio shows

The actors talk about their hit show ‘Adulting’ debuting in the audio space, how their characters of Ray and Nikhat have evolved, and what the future holds for them

The actors talk about their hit show ‘Adulting’ debuting in the audio space, how their characters of Ray and Nikhat have evolved, and what the future holds for them

Dice Media’s Adulting, a show about 20-somethings Ray and Nikhat, has garnered praise over the years owing to its coming-of-age experiences, pop-culture references, and of course, the relatability factor. With a firm footing, the show and its characters have tried to find a sense of belonging in fast-paced Mumbai, and in doing so, have accumulated a separate fan base over the years. Ray and Nikhat’s everyday lives, their handling of responsibilities, and just adulting their way through their jobs, relationships, friends, and families have made the show one to take note of, in the web-series space.

Directed by Jessica Sadana, after three seasons, the show starring YashaswiniDayama and Aisha Ahmed, has been renewed for a new outing, but now takes on the avatar of an Audible audio show.

Aisha and Yashaswini assert that audio shows have more texture because the whole universe exists in our heads, adding that they are akin to listening to stories or reading books, and opening a window into a world of imagination.

Yashaswini Dayama and Aisha Ahmed | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In a video interview with The Hindu, the actors talk about playing Nikhat and Ray, adulting their way into doing audio shows, and more.

Excerpts from an interview:

In earlier seasons, ‘Adulting’ tried to address many relevant issues like harassment at the workplace, peer pressure etc. What will it be now in the new season?

Yashaswini: Technically, this is not the fourth season. This is more like a spin-off between seasons one and two, in terms of the timeline. In its essence, it’s closer to the first season because every episode has smaller issues, rather than something big. Also, the relatability factor is very high; it’s a little light-hearted, but we have come full circle with each episode.

The show has garnered a considerable fan following over the years, because of its relatability factor. How do you think the audience will adapt to its new format as an audio show?

Aisha: We hope that they will react and adapt to it in the same way they have done so far. When we started recording for the show, we realized that these are the same girls, but with a lot more insight into what’s happening with them. With audio, you can communicate more because it is just talking and the focus is not on anything else. Since it’s a 20-episode series, many new circumstances come into play, and I think the audience will like what we have to offer.

Yashaswini: It’s like a secret bonus! We have had three seasons and around 15 episodes in the video format, but now with just one audio season, we have 20 new episodes with so much more happening.

Aisha Ahmed | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Is this your first time working on an audio show? Did you specifically prepare for it?

Aisha: Yes, there was a lot of warm water consumed ( laughs) I have never done anything like this before. Yashaswini is a singer, but for me, this was all very new. We were at the studio for hours together, and initially, we just took the time to get used to working with the technicalities of the format.

Yashaswini: As much as I like getting ready for a character and getting into the zone physically, what I love about an audio show is I could come to work in my sweatshirt and sweatpants, sit in the chair, use my brain and create a whole new character just like that. The surprising part is, it looks so easy on the surface, but it is actually draining and completely takes it out of you. Of course at the end of the day, the show made it all worth it.

‘Adulting’ also depended on the visual aesthetics Ray and Nikhat brought in. This is not a new show for the audience, as in terms of the characters, we already know who they are. How are you going to translate this particular component into the audio format?

Aisha: Yashaswini and I are of the same age, and we sound similar as well. But our director made sure people would know the difference and can say, “Oh, this is Ray and that is Nikhat.” Initially, when we recorded one episode, we could not differentiate between us at all; both of us sounded very similar. Ultimately, we made sure we had different ways of talking, and I think things like these would help the listeners build the story. That’s the thing with podcasts, right? It takes some time to figure out what’s happening, but once you get into the zone, there’s no turning back.

Yashaswini: Performance-wise, things are different because we need to bring in a little more Ray and a little more Nikhat, because the listeners would be depending on their imagination and understanding of the show. Since it’s just the audio to understand what the characters are feeling, we as artists need to up our game as well. For instance, on the show, Ray would probably twitch her shoulders to show her awkwardness about something, but since that element won’t be there now, Ray has to make sure she communicates that awkwardness through voice-acting.

Do you see yourself working on more audio shows in the future?

Aisha: Definitely, yes! I would love to work more on audio shows because it helps me understand things like voice modulation, which will, in turn, help me with acting.

Yashaswini: Yes. For instance, when I am eating, I want some kind of content, but maybe not one with too much visual engagement. In this space, audio shows will thrive because you can multi-task by listening to so much on the side.

Yashaswini Dayama | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

What is in the future for Ray and Nikhat?

Aisha: We honestly do not know what the future holds for Ray and Nikhat. However, I do know that you can be a part of their lives for a little longer, in a more intimate space. The audio format makes it seem like listening to two friends talking to each other, while sitting next to you. You are there to listen to what they have to say, and this makes it very personal.

Yashaswini: Imagine you’re the third cool friend who is just too cool to say anything, and Ray and Nikhat are constantly talking in your ears, and you’re just listening. You get to become a part of their lives, and this makes it pretty exciting.

The latest season of Adulting is currently available on Audible.

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