October 11 Oct 11 (IANSlife) Eisha Chopra is a familiar face in the digital media space having acted in many a web shows including ‘What the Folks; she has also written for directors like Anurag Kashyap, Nikhil Advani and Zoya Akhtar. Along with her acting and writing, Eisha is known for her fearless and tactful handling of Insta bullies. Her witty repartees, that have garnered her a steady following of her own, are entertaining enough to land her an alternate career as a standup in the future, should she ever want to.
Q: Your Instagram handle has a series called ‘InstaCreeps’ (kudos), which calls out sleazy men and bullies. Weren’t you scared?
Chopra: I started ‘InstaCreeps’ because I was sick of men trying to approach women online. Because they had the cover of a social handle, they thought they could behave the way they liked. So just the way people got called out with #Metoo and were forced to mend their ways, I started ‘InstaCreeps’ to stop online harrasment.
‘InstaCreeps’ hide names and faces of people who message me, but calls them out if they make a nasty comment. The idea is to make people aware of the kind of online harassment and bullying that women go through and shame abusers into stopping their behaviour. Right now, shame might be the only tool left to get people to stop.
Why is a creep a creep? Because there’s a cheap thrill in seeing a woman get unnerved by their actions. So if you show them, you are not perturbed by their comments, they stop. And it does work. The more I take them on, the less they misbehave and I hope more women do this.
Q: Unlike other people, who focus on their looks on the social media, you chose wit. Why?
Chopra: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people posing pretty for the social media. There are enough pretty people on Instagram and I too enjoy pretty pictures of myself. But it’s not like I sat myself down and said who do I want to be on Instagram. It was more about ‘who am I.’ So if someone looks at me and says ‘pretty girl’, it’s fine with me. And if someone says ‘witty girl’, that’s fine too. Humour and being a prankster is just another part of my personality and I enjoy this and people seem to enjoy it too. Having an audience for something that you really are is fun.
Q: You give commentaries which people find quite entertaining. Do you think people like written content along with visual one?
Chopra: Everyone is on the social media to be a voyeur at some level. If you’re interested in somebody’s life, you are a voyeur, it’s only that the person is allowing you to do it. The written content, is me being myself… and those who enjoy it are free to comment on it. In a given week if I check my statistics ,I often find 3,000 people have followed me, or 2,000 have unfollowed me, so some people like it and some people don’t . It doesn’t matter. You put your stuff out and it dictates the audience you have, people are free to follow or unfollow… it’s just me putting my personality out there. It’s a nice outlet to my personality, so I enjoy it, being an actor I’m in the public.. but my writing isn’t and I see random stories in all sorts of things so I’m using the platform to comment on those as well. I know if I put bikini pictures, I’ll get a lot more followers, I may lose followers like this but I don’t care, because your work and who you are should dictate your audience. You’re absolutely free to buy a ticket to the show, leave it half way or not come at all.
Q: How addicted are you to your phone and social media handle?
Chopra: I’m so addicted to my phone that I’m too ashamed to admit it. To control my urge, I try not to look at my phone for an hour after I wake up and an hour before I fall asleep. I also avoid checking it when I’m with someone.
Q: You’ve starred in several web series. Do you see this as the future of entertainment?
Chopra: Yes, this is the absolute future. This question was posed to me a lot when I first started acting in web shows, but I think now we are already in that future. So I feel like the future is the present. I cut of my cable connection long ago. Now you can watch anything you want at anytime you want. May be the future is the virtual reality or something else, where you can almost choose your endings of your favourite shows. What happens next is going to be crazier.
Q: Your upcoming projects.
Chopra: I have ‘What the Folks’ season 3, coming out, with Dice Media. It’s one of the first web shows that has made it to season three and it has just been released. There’s another show that I’m doing with Applause Entertainment and which releases next year. I am also writing a film and a web-series. So this month is packed with writing and promotions.