Emcees, hosts, anchors and public speakers are people who are not always in the spotlight but the job they do is one of the most difficult ones and requires a special set of skills and talent. Born and brought up in Kolkata, Pinkie Jha has been in this industry for over ten years and has hosted more than 3000 live shows including many high profile events. She is an emcee, Youtuber, radio jockey, and voice-over artist who has her work-base in Orissa and happens to hold her mother tongue Bihari very close to her heart. Pinky has had her education in different states of India adding up to the cultural diversity of life that she has experienced.
She indulges in a healthy conversation with Storiyaan and takes us into the world of emceeing and event hosting. Gives us an insight into her career, shares some of the racist problems faced by her, and gives very helpful tips on how to make your way into this industry and to make yourself stand out. Have a look at this interview to know in-depth about the life of an emcee.
Questions and answers
You have done more than 3000 live shows. Which has been the most memorable show that you have had?
I have been doing this for the past ten years now. Each show is very special to me but the larger the number of audiences, the more special the show is. Recently, I did a show with Daler Mehendi which had more than six lack audience. It was the most memorable one to date.
Racism is not just limited to colour discrimination but discrimination based on ancestry, region, and even dialect, of which you had been a first-hand victim. How do you think you can eradicate this attitude in the industry?
From what I have experienced and witnessed I have realised that people love to cling to a particular state for their identity. They would say that they are from a particular state rather than India. The movie industry too has been divided on this basis and they focus on people from that particular region. The day we start identifying ourselves belonging to one nation rather than different states, half of the problem will be solved immediately.
You have been the highest-voted emcee for 2021 in India, being the only woman in this category. What was your driving force towards such an achievement and how do you think you can contribute towards a greater representation of women in the field?
Anchors and hosts do not really get an opportunity to showcase their real talents to the world. There is a portal made for this very purpose and I was approached to enrol for the competition. I feel very blessed and thankful that people voted for me and is one of the greatest achievements of my life. I try to use my voice and words to spread positivity and encouragement through my social media and encourage them in whatever way possible.
You have a knack for creative filmmaking and have a business that you run with your brother. What are your plans for the same?
We were initially into just wedding films and photography which was handled by my brother. I also used to be a radio kid. People used to listen to me but could not see me and we all know the ideology of “jo dikhta hai vo bikta vo”. When people can actually see what is happening, it makes a greater impact. Now with this firm, we have thought of making shows which could bring a positive change in society. We try to spread positivity through our work and are not running after TRP.
Has social media been an instrument of aid when it comes to providing you exposure for your work? How have you used it to expand your channel among your audience?
Everything is interconnected. The industry and companies are biased because of your dialect and so much more. This is a problem of every region and industry. If my social media is not extraordinary, people will not recognize my work. I try to showcase my talent and work to get recognised. I have been using social media for this purpose for a very long time and my followers are constantly growing which helps me expand my reach. This is a very good technique, especially for independent artists.
What according to you are the most significant skills that make for a verbal communicator? Were these skills innate in your or did you develop them over time?
There are a lot of skills required to become an emcee. We need to what we want to become, an anchor, a host, or an emcee, all of them are different. Not everyone is capable of doing everything. You need to have a very strong command of whichever language you speak. Your doors should always be kept open to understand and learn from other’s experiences. Apart from that your dressing sense matters as well. These some of the tips but you also need to keep a lot of other things in mind when it comes to the event you are hosting.
Despite the avid discrimination against outsiders in the industry, how do you keep yourself motivated to grind for the path you have chosen for yourself?
When I started, I was an engineering student. In my fourth year, I was given an option to choose my career path and I opted for this. Later, I realised that people are not going to give you shows that you want, you need to take whatever comes your way. People have tried to demotivate me for a very long time but I had faith in myself and I knew that is what I wanted to do. Do not let other’s words let you down, there is going to be a lot of competition but you need to believe in yourself.
How did ChoiceThatMatters come into being? What was the driving force behind you lending your face and voice to the show?
Choice That Matters has been my idea from the scratch. All of us are influenced by heroes or politicians but forget about real-life heroes like our mothers. Choice That Matters brings real-life heroes and their stories to the audience. The first season was solely about women and their journey of struggle and victory be it cases of domestic violence or something else. The second season is going to be about men and their stories.
What are some things that people who are planning to start as an emcee, host, or anchor should keep in mind?
If you want to get into this industry, don’t just go with the flow. A lot of people will come your way giving false promises but the day you rise, they will be the ones demotivating you. People cannot see you rise. You need to be consistent with your work. It is a myth that if you are old, you are not going to be on stage. If you are good enough, you can do this for the rest of your life. Understand the importance of your career and never take it lightly.
a. Radio or TV: Radio
b. Your greatest regret?: Not moving to a better city.
c. You biggest motivator: Every rejection that I face is my motivation
d. One thing about being an emcee that never gets boring?: You get to host different types of shows which brings with itself a new set of experiences.
e. A word to describe yourself : Passionate.