Actress Sudha Poojari (screen name Vrinda) tells Monarose Sheila Pereira that acting is a great and satisfying career option, but it's not all fun, moolah and glamour as it may seem...
I did my M. Com and MBA (HR).
Acting, My Vocation
I chose this career because I discovered that I have a talent and flair for acting. Though late in life, I finally discovered the right choice for me. I love this profession because I can live many lives in one life. There is no monotony about this profession. Each working day is exciting. Actually, when I was in Std XII, there wasn't much career counselling happening then. Apparently, I chose a wrong education stream. So, I guess my educational qualifications haven't helped me much in this profession. But education does help me to be more knowledgeable and confident. I am an actor. I also have to prepare myself for the role that I am playing. At present, I am working in a couple of projects of Vaishnavi Media Works.
My training days in acting were fun-filled. Under the guidance of veteran actress well known names like Sujata Mehta and Latesh Shah of Chitkar (Gujarati play) fame, I could catch the 'feel' of even the most sensitive emotions. They drilled it into me that even the role of a corpse can win accolades, if the minute details of that character are brought out on stage or on screen. No role is a small role. Only hard work is noticed and rewarded. I am very grateful to them for teaching me this wonderful art.
My investment in this profession is the membership to the Small Screen Artistes Association. This card is a must, to protect my interests as an artiste.
As a fresher, in Chennai, one can earn around Rs.2k per day. Fortunately, my work has been appreciated and I earn more than that. One can become a professional from day one. That's inevitable too. Otherwise, an artiste cannot survive in this field. As an established professional, one can earn really well and the sky is the limit.
There is a lot of versatility in this career. I love the challenge of playing different roles. As a creative person, I derive tremendous joy from acting. There is no limitation to one's creativity and it gives me tremendous scope to express myself in different ways. There is no monotony in this field like a nine-to-five job. Each working day is exciting, because there is much to expect about work and you are doing something different every day. People recognise and appreciate me when I go out shopping or am travelling by train or flight. It propels me to perform better each time. It makes me feel that my work is being appreciated and that is a great reward in itself.
Every profession has its ups and downs. With the advantages come a few disadvantages too. We have long working hours and sometimes it gets to be very tiring. We have to be present for the shoot, come what may. You have to be there even if you are unwell. You have to look good and have to put your best efforts into the role. Sometimes when there is a death or a function in the family, and it coincides with shooting dates, there is no way that an artiste can attend to family needs. This causes a great deal of misunderstanding among the family members. Some costumes can't be removed or adjusted for long hours. So, you have to compromise on even basic necessities like going to the toilet. Some production companies delay making payments to artistes. Also, the casting couch is very much present in the industry. Some people in the industry expect sexual favours from female artistes. Luckily, I am fortunate to work with good professionals and well-behaved people.
My plans for future are, to keep improving my acting and performance and get better by the day. I aspire to reach the top position as an actress and win accolades internationally.
I would like to say to aspiring artistes - please do not give up your integrity or opt for shortcuts to reach the top. Hard work takes time to get rewarded. But that is the only permanent way to reach the top. Many people who have taken a shortcut have not succeeded. An artiste is ever a learner; till the last day of life. Also, there is a great misconception about the work and life of an actor or actress. Many people feel it is all about glamour and fame. To them I would say – Yes, there is a great amount of glamour and fame, but there is more to the field than that. Acting involves a lot of hard work. You have to prepare for the role; observe people; understand different characters; learn the script and act each character perfectly. People do not see the hard work that goes into acting in a film or TV serial. Besides this, you have to love your work and be interested in it.
Success means everything to me. I am here on a mission. This profession is my food, water and oxygen! I am striving to make it big and I will.