Q&A with Actor, Theatre Director, Model & Clinical Psychologist – Mr. Shreyas Porus Pardiwalla

1) When did you start your acting/modeling/theatre direction career and how has the journey been so far?
Ans – I was always a theatre actor. Ever since I was knee high, I had found my love for the performing arts. I had done my first ever professional and commercial stage show at the age of 7. I was in college when my first Bollywood movie was offered to me. I used to act in TV commercials back then as well. I have studied acting and hold two diplomas in theatre arts.
Direction and writing happened as a by-product of my acting. I started with directing and writing school plays and then ventured into the commercial realms of directing and writing professional plays. The journey so far has been amazing to say the least. Ups and downs are a part and parcel of the whole game, and I just love it.

2) How difficult is it to enter Bollywood? Is it true that the casting couch exists?
Ans- Indeed it isn’t the easiest to get your first big break in Bollywood. Hard work and perseverance is the key. Sometimes you do manage to get a role or two, but they might be cameos and you as an actor always want meaty, well fleshed out roles. Well for that, the hustle is real. But it isn’t impossible. You have to be determined to give your best, and you have to learn how to deal with rejection. Don’t let anything dampen your spirits. Keep your head held high, keep a prayer on your lips and march ever forward. For sure casting couch exists. This is not some made up phenomenon. To be honest, you find it in the corporate sectors as well. No body must act naïve and behave as if this doesn’t exist. It is a disgusting
part of human society which needs to be uprooted and thrown away.

3) What advice you would like to offer to the aspiring younger generation wanting to pursue a career in Bollywood.
Ans – As mentioned above, let nothing dampen your spirits. Learn to deal with rejection, march ever forward till you reach the zenith. If it doesn’t work out today, well then try again tomorrow. This is your dream, no one can live it for you but you yourself. Be strong, and work on yourself. If you want to be an actor then go work on your craft. Making a body is good, but working on your acting skills is way more important. We as Parsis, genuinely need to brush up our Hindi speaking skills. We cannot shy away from the fact that we are in India, and this is our national language. We must learn to speak it correctly if we want to make it in Bollywood. People have a tendency of type-casting. In order to break away from the type cast, work thoroughly on yourself. Every actor must find ways of generating hope and positivity, that will keep you going.

4) Please throw some light on your journey in theatre/plays acting and direction. Is it true that
thanks to theatre you got an opportunity to audition for the film Yaariyan?
Ans – Theatre, as mentioned earlier, has always been an integral part of my life. I have studied the art form, I hold two diplomas in it, and I also act in commercial plays as well as direct and write them. I teach theatre as well. Academically I am a clinical psychologist, so I conduct psycho-drama workshops too. I have conducted several such workshops at IIT Powai, at various schools and colleges in and around Mumbai and privately too. My tryst with theatre has been super special. Yes indeed it is very much true, I got my first movie Yaariyan all thanks to theatre. I was doing a play called the Gone Case at comedy store, canvas laughter factory. The movie team had come there, they loved my look and thereafter contacted me.

5) Your views on content consumption online and the surge of new YouTube,  TikTok and Instagram stars and influencers.
Ans – Anyone who creates good and meaningful content on any platform will always be respected by me. Anyone who creates humorous and entertaining content – I am a fan. Anyone who creates content in general (as long as it is not abusive, or wrong) I will always support you. As you are creating something, you are an artist in your own way. And I have huge regards for anyone out there, who tries to showcase their talent. For some people youtubers work, for some people tiktokers work – the point is not youtube and tiktok, the point is there is someone out there, who is putting out his or her work and needs our support to grow- so come lets support them. Full stop!!!

6) Funny dose of Parsi Humour and your depiction of Parsi Moms went super viral and has somehow made you popular 10 times fold..  Do you agree and what are your thoughts on the same? What made you think of trying this out?
Ans – Yes, for many I have become popular and for a few I have become infamous. Majority are loving the Parsi humour and depiction, some feel otherwise about it. I am loving the good messages and blessings pouring in indeed. But truth be told, this is not me. Nothing is me. I personally don’t feel I have any power in me to attract and do all this. This is our Ahura Mazda’s grace by which I have been able to appease such a large crowd. Will you believe me if I tell you, I was never on tiktok until this lockdown. I was one day bored, got a tiktok id made a few videos and moved on with my life. Then one day I randomly out of the blue took my grandmother’s “matha-banu” (scarf), penned a few pointers down and made the video. The rest is history …

7) You have also recently released hilarious videos on Parsi Dads be like and a typical evening at a Parsi Wedding… how has the response been for the same according to you and what is the source of your inspiration to bring out such great humour through relatable characters… Also what next can we expect on these lines?
Ans – The response has been tremendous. The love people are showering upon me is just so very overwhelming. As an actor, we are taught observation and personalisation. These are just many nuances I have observed over the years, and one fine day I decided to create a video in my own style. To be honest there is no one particular person who has been inspiration for these videos. Well you will have to wait and watch what’s next hahaha!

8) Any message to the Parsi youth and for the Parsi community?
Ans – All I can say is, go back to the basics. Go back to what we learnt when we were kids; just before the navjote ceremony. We are all taught the three most important golden truths. Manashni Gavashni Kunashni- Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. Please follow this. Be honest to these three teachings. I have often encountered Non Parsis and they always tell me with a big smile, Parsi people are the sweetest. I often wondered, what do they mean by sweet. Well over the years I have learnt a couple of virtues, our community members hold. The virtue of being ever Just, ever Loyal and ever Righteous. It is my earnest plea to the Parsi Youth, to keep these virtues burning within like flame spreading light. When we came to India, seeking refuge, we promised King Jadi Rana, that we will mix with the other folk and sweeten the people of this country. Let us live up to those words. Let’s spread the sweetness.

Instagram Profile – https://www.instagram.com/shreyasporuspardiwalla/?hl=en

Latest video by Shreyas Porus Pardiwalla in collaboration with ZYNG 2.0 – https://www.instagram.com/p/CBFWslVggKa/

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