Here I post my discoveries, epiphanies and lessons learned during my ongoing pursuit of the art of performance, on stage, film, street, park, etc.

A South Asian Theater Panel #NewYork #LCT3 #Tamasha

The last time I posted on this blog it was 2013. I had been living in NYC for a year and figuring out the ropes of surviving the big city as an artist. It was only five years ago and though South Asians have come a long way, we still have an uphill climb.  Last night, May 3 2018 was an inspiring evening of being amongst known South Asian artists, who participated in a conversation that proves that we as a group have given our representation and our condition in the mainstream, much thought. It is now time for us to make our space, support one another and not settle for anything else than what we deserve. It is time to act. 

Proud to be doing just that, with The Music In My Blood : An English play in two acts, and its stellar team of many South Asian artists and actors who portray complex and layered characters.  Proud to provide this opportunity to them as a producer and to provide myself this experience, or shall I say challenge. There have been many. But none that have convinced me that I should not against all odds tell these stories.  There is no time for who will accept our narrative, who will give us the platform, whether anyone will understand the words that sound foreign to english speakers or how we will find the right team to execute. There are no doubts. There is nothing but the action. 

"We have had enough conversations, the conversations need to translate to actions !" - Natasha Sinha.

I am glad we are acting by making this work. And since we are doing, as doers we are solving each of those obstacles that the mainstream does not care to spend time on, whether it be casting, or the setting, or being honest towards the aesthetics of the story being told.  

Tamasha was started by Hypokrit Theatre Company in 2016 and it is a moment of pride that it is now bringing together so many of us to have meaningful and sometimes difficult yet needed conversations about South Asians in the theater. 

Here we are, making our work. Connect with us and support our work :

First tv appearance and filming my first short

I am excited.  I will be on the next episode of Royal Pains ep 13 "Something fishy this way comes" sept 12 9pm USA Network. You can't blink :P This was a great opportunity to spend time on the set of a tv series.  There is a lot to be learned from simply observing people who work professionally to tell stories on the silver screen.

What inspires me most is that today I will shoot the first scene of a short film that I am writing . My very first plunge into this world of making a short film.  As actors we are often resources for writers and directors who can bring the vision to life. We are often dependent on that vision. We need that blueprint to create our own moments.  This time I have felt the urge to create that blueprint myself. It's scary, will what I am trying to say come across?  What if I don't like what I end up with?
I'm glad that after all this pondering what I'm left with is that my desire to do this is greater than all the what ifs.  I just need to make this short, everything else will resolve itself.

This is new to me and I'm looking forward to the first day!

shut up and bring it :)

Two weeks ago I went to auditions for a musical I would love to be a part of.
During the hour long drive down to the auditions I tried hard not to think of how this commute was gonna work out if I were to be cast.  Since the audition process was being held in a dance room with everyone getting to hear everyone else, once the girl before me finished her singing, she was asked how she was gonna make it out every day/other day to the rehearsal from where she was staying ... good 2 hours away from the rehearsals. Her reply was, she had done another show in the area before this.  She was a mother, had a baby a few years ago, which kept her busy, finally she had the support to do what she loves and follow her passion, and she confidently told them to not worry about the commute, she would be there on time if not early.  After hearing this, I simply shut my head up with its curious wonderings of how this and how that.  In this business you gotta say 'yes' take the jobs you get and make it work, and if you are around people who work harder than you, you learn a lot. When you see how motivated they are to do what they love, your own obstacles are put into perspective. I got cast and can't wait to bring it!!

Recording is another animal

This past weekend we recorded the music for Ozma of Oz. Learned a lot in terms of recording music.  What a challenge to show power of voice without blasting off the microphone.  Fingers crossed to see Ozma of Oz become a full production!

My first time being in a new musical workshop

I am ecstatic to be part of Cutting Ball Theater's Ozma of Oz: A trip hop musical.  At the end of two weeks of rehearsal, we will be recording music and doing two readings for the public.  I have heard great things about Cutting Ball's adventurous nature and am happy to be part of this journey.

I had no idea what a workshop entails.  Well, this is a world where all is open to dialogue and discovery. During the last three rehearsals I found myself in midst discussions about characters, plot, line edits, etc.  There are countless references being thrown around.  Considering, this is from the Wizard of Oz series, there is a lot of substance to be talked about.  Every rehearsal I end up with a list of plays, music, authors and such that I'd like to look up to see how they served as an inspiration.

As an actor we try various approaches to visualizing our characters, saying our lines, playing with lyrics and rhymes, and this is just the reading part, I can't wait till we work with the band (Z.O.N.K).  This process is so refreshing, where your concerns are different than "oh man, I need to be off book in a week!?!" It's cool to find myself humming songs that no one knows yet! This process is more about the creation, at this point you have the power to shape the story and contribute in the process.

I find all this to be very inspiring as a process, an example to show what goes into creating something like a musical, a lot of homework of course! As each rehearsal we are provided the edits we made at the last one.  I am fully enjoying this iterative, collaborative work with creative folk who are equally excited about the process as the creators.  Can't wait to see where we will be at the end of two weeks. This reading will be instrumental in getting people interested in the upcoming musical. Come see us bring the story of Ozma of Oz to life with music Jun 10&11. 

Songs list

I used to write down the names of songs and moments from memories that had made me feel something, a particular emotion that I could draw on, if I needed that emotion for a performance.  I remember glancing over the list once before I began preparing for a monologue and that's all it took.  I realized that exercise hasn't worked in a long time.  The list doesn't bring out much.  I was confused and upset n how this had come to be.  Am I cold now?  Indifferent?  Does nothing go through anymore?

Two days ago I heard a song, and then at least 50 more times and each time the heart raced to match the beats in the song.  The same day I had to prepare a monologue for an audition.  With that piece of music lingering around my head, I realized how similar this was to what I used to do before.  Once again with the help of music my emotions became accessible to me, it's the songs that had changed... I needed a new list. 


I have fallen in love with a song.  I want to learn it and sing it.  I listen to it continuously, on the subway, while walking, waiting, paying attention to each groove in the phrasing.  I think of it, I record myself singing it, I listen to that, I make note of what I need to work on.  It is so meditative, I want to fall asleep listening to it, I want to wake up with that in my head and being, I want to go to the park and practice it in the morning.  I am always conscious of singing out loud because I feel I'll bother people around me.  It is simply wonderful to immerse oneself into something so deeply because you love every moment of that feeling of wanting to know something so well.  Wanting to give it all your attention and focus so you can create it yourself.  I love to sing and when a music I hear takes me on that journey, I only feel bliss.