“Focused work better than hard work”- Muskaan Chowdhary
One of the best things about talking to artists is looking at mundane life through their interesting perspectives; sometimes a joyride, at other times an intense experience through their journey and on special occasions, magical stories that show you how majestic it is to be your own person, think the way only you can dare to think and spread your talent as far and wide as possible. IAD’s soulful chat with Muskaan Chowdhary is one such heartfelt moment. From anchoring to television to a future bright with many interesting projects, Muskaan’s inner actor shines through her words.
Channeling the actor in Muskaan:
I think I was born an actor. I haven’t learnt acting or anchoring. Whatever I do are things I learnt on the job. I mean, I realised pretty early in life that I wanted to be an actor, that I was not cut out for a desk job and that early realisation came as an advantage because I have so many more years of experience. So whether it’s acting or anchoring, I fit in easily.
I was born in Mumbai but raised in Hyderabad. I started learning Telugu only in college. In fact, I started with swear words (laughs). My first break was in the movie Hyderabad Blues 2 which is a Nagesh Kukunoor film. I was very excited because I was the only one selected from my whole college. At the time working with Nagesh Kurkunoor was supposed to be a big thing and it’s true my role was very small but I knew this was the path I wanted to be on.
Journeying through the acting galaxy:
I was then doing so much work in the Telugu television industry that I couldn’t handle it myself but that gave me the opportunity to work with so many people. The life of an actor in Hyderabad comes with a lot of freedom even as a daily show artist. You don’t have free days and cannot plan holidays but you can call your shots. You can say you won’t work beyond at certain time and people understand. That’s how people manage shooting for two shows a day.
The fall and then the rise:
Around this time, ETV Urdu was looking for an anchor. I had to go to Ramoji Film City for an audition. Meri Hindi achchi hai but Urdu is a completely different ball game. There was another girl who was very good but I knew I was gonna crack this. Anchoring and acting came spontaneously to me but they didn’t mention about Urdu at all and just expected I will get it.
This was also when I had taken up a job at a call center. It was either a job or marriage and the pressure was mounting. My mum was like you are doing both things because acting is not giving you any income at this point. So I told mum I had to do this as it is my calling and that the universe was sending me a sign. So I worked for a month in the night at the call center and in the afternoon shot for ETV Urdu and I went mad. The air-conditioned studios and the perfection that my job demanded was getting very difficult for me to the point that I wasn’t enjoying it very much but when I saw myself on camera and realised this was my bread and butter, I knew I had to give it some love otherwise it won’t work. So slowly I developed my own style.
The channel wouldn’t air latest songs and so I would just ask the caller to sing it and they would request me to say some shayari. So the entire show ran on what I was doing. I would return home at 12 pm. I was very happy with the way things were going. I had the job I liked and was getting paid. It was super. I did my creative bit by developing a style in terms of my look. I wore tube tops to traditional clothing and it all worked very well. This got me live events.
Working with Chiranjeevi– It was very nice working with Chiranjeevi Sir. People first thought I will be petrified but it was not like that at all. He told the director that I am a very responsive actor and he told me he thought I had potential.
Penchant for solitude:
I try to meditate daily. I came into contact Nitya Shanti who is a guru, a few years ago. He is a cool guru and does not preach going to the Himalayas. I learnt from him that there is no need for hard work if you just do what pleases you. Then if you believe in yourself, the world will believe in you and things will fall into place. I am an actor and actors when they read a book, they imagine everything. So if you are an actor who has spent time acting, it imbibes that skill in you. That is learning as an actor.
You can follow Muskaan Chowdhary‘s work on: Youtube