Guest Post by Actor Ayush Sehgal
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
I’m thrilled to introduce the very first guest to post on my new blog. A very big thank you and welcome to Ayush Sehgal, who has kindly agreed to share some of his experiences in the world of acting.
I’ve only been very peripherally involved with the acting world, Sehgal, when a local radio station broadcast a short story of mine, a few years ago. You’ve had various film parts, I believe. Can you tell us something about how you first came to be involved in acting? Well, I started my acting journey back in 2015, with the Asmita Theatre Group (New Delhi, India), attending a 4-month weekend workshop. I was studying engineering, but then, somehow, I didn't find it the right career option for me, so I dropped out in my very first year. Acting just "happened" accidentally, in my case, as I never wanted to be or even dreamt of becoming an actor. But, as we all know, "Whatever happens, happens for the Best". After a year, I started studying for a BBA (Business) and along with this, I continued with my theatre journey. There was a time, back in 2017, (Somewhere in February) when I gave my first ever audition, for "Shubh Mangal Saavdhan". There was a super hit Indian film called "Dangal" which got released in 2016, based on a real-life story. The casting director for that film, (Mukesh Chhabra), introduced two new girls, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra, in the lead roles. As a result of this, I learned about the casting aspect of films, because, in the Indian film Industry, casting directors, unlike in Hollywood, haven’t been in the business that long, hence people aren't aware of them, especially during the initial days of their theatre journeys. I am blessed and really very grateful to have had such wonderful mentors as Shilpi Marwaha & Arvind Gaur, who have helped me become a better person and actor. How have you found the relationship between script writers and actors? This fascinates me and I’m sure there are many in both groups, who’d love to hear your views. The relationship between scriptwriters and actors has been really good until now, be it theatre or cinema, (though I haven't yet had really big roles in cinema), but it is, I feel, one of the most important things for both the actor and the writer to have a good relationship/understanding of each other. This is because writers have lived those moments in their heads or real life. After putting those words on paper, it is the sole responsibility of the actor to bring them to life, on the screen or the stage. To do justice to the script, while preserving factual accuracy, their relationship has to be very good from the first day of collaboration. There will, however, be times when a writer won't get the desired actor and vice versa. In such situations I feel one has to be proactive and adapt oneself according to the situation, to bring out the best in that person, instead of complaining. You’re also involved in a Netflix web series called “Little Things” – can you tell us about that? "Little Things (Season 4) is my forthcoming web show. I was supposed to shoot for it back in April, but due to the Covid 19 pandemic it got delayed, so let's see when that happens. I currently have a small presence in 3-4 episodes out of an 8 episode series. Little Things (1-3 seasons) is a cute, simple Indian show available on Netflix, where a couple realize the importance of "Little Things" in their day to day lives. Like how little things make a difference in a relationship and why is it important to focus on them, to have a healthy relationship. I am really looking forward to becoming a part of such good shows, in whichever way possible, be it a single scene part or the main protagonist. What matters is that I keep working and learning simultaneously, because I have been taught since my theatre days that the actor makes the character big or small, not the role. You mentioned a part in a Hindi feature film adaptation of “Forest Gump”. How did you come to be involved with this production? I got into "Lal Singh Chaddha", the official adaptation of "Forest Gump" by giving an audition for another project. The Casting Associate, Saurabh Pal, (who works for the Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company), auditioned me for a character in another project, (Love Aajkal 2020), but that character was edited out of the script, so after 7-8 months, on the basis of my previous audition, I was selected for this movie. Saurabh and I go a long way back. He was the one who took my very first audition and gave me my first Feature film "Shubh Mangal Saavdhan". I will always remain thankful to him for it. Which part did you play and what challenges did it present? I played a friend's character. If you remember the scene in Forest Gump where "Michael Jackson" has a special appearance, similarly, in the Indian adaptation "Shahrukh Khan" has a special appearance and I am one of his friends. I have always been a very big fan of "SRK" since my childhood, not just because of his acting but a lot more. He has been more of an inspiration for me, rather than just an actor. The day I got to know that I will be sharing the same frame with "Shahrukh Khan", I got a bit nervous, but the day we met on the set he made us all very comfortable and secure. He's a very humble man, who makes you feel as if he's just like you. Moving on to your parts in Delhi Crime on Netflix, what attracted you to this, in particular? "Delhi Crime" just happened accidentally. I had just completed a pilot shoot for a TV show in Mumbai and I was told that the shoot for the show would start after 3 months, but that didn't happen. I got a bit shaken, as I had a decent part in it & I thought of quitting acting at that moment, but suddenly, one day, I got a call from the casting company that they were auditioning for an international series based on the "Nirbhaya Rape Case" and wanted to audition me for a part. The moment I got to know about the director (Richie Mehta) and the story on which it is based , I immediately told myself that I just wanted to be a part of such an important issue/topic and contribute to it, in any way I could. Richie Mehta is an award-winning director and "Nirbhaya Rape Case" was a story that had to be told and shared with the world, to show people the nature of some of their fellows. Would you like to write for film or TV and if so, would that be now, or maybe some time in the future? I thought about writing, but at the moment thoughts on film/television don't come to my mind. Maybe sometime in the future I might write for one or both, but the story would have to be very close to my heart, so that I could do it justice. Do you see yourself combining scriptwriting and acting as a long-term goal? No, but I want to combine producing great content and acting, as a long term goal in my journey in this field. Ayush, once again, many thanks for your time and contribution to this blog and all the very best for your future career. We’ll all be looking out for you!