New Delhi (India), May 24: Meet Gautam Tawade, an editor-director turned actor based in Los Angeles. Get to know this super talented entrant with our exclusive question and answers.
Interviewer: Hello Gautam, glad to meet you. Can you tell our readers a little bit more about you?
Gautam: I was raised in Mumbai – the city of dreams, the Bollywood Capital. I grew up watching a lot of theatre and performance art. The inclination towards this industry was very natural. My journey started as an editor which gradually unfolded to being an assistant director. My experience here paired with a willingness to do something more creative, moulded me into the role of assistant director. After a few projects, I grabbed work as a director as well. The journey further was taking up projects as a Creative Producer. All of this together, enhanced further as I started my production house under the title “G7 Productions”. Under this banner, I worked on an array of films and enjoyed the process thoroughly. A few years later, when the pandemic hit, work halted but it bought an opportunity for me to introspect my true calling. I utilised the time to add new skills to my craft.
Acting has always been a fascination but I used to think it isn’t my cup of tea; but during the pandemic I decided to shed my comfort cocoon and dived in to become an actor. The fact that I was camera conscious held me for a little bit, but once that initial inhibition was gone I was a bird set out of the cage. I started exploring my potential. I took the leap of faith and submitted my application at The New York Film Academy in LA. I still very clearly remember the day I received my acceptance letter. This bittersweet moment of packing my bags to go away from friends and family wasn’t easy. Added to it were the risks and regulations due to the pandemic. But it was all worth it as I set foot here in May 2021, walking towards something I had only imagined.
Interviewer: Very Interesting. No where in the world can one get a direct ticket to a career in acting. What challenges did your journey bring along?
Gautam: I’ve never been a fan of smooth roads! A long straight road is extremely boring to travel upon. Any road that excites me to travel has to have a few bends, slopes to climb, speed bumps, potholes to dodge. I love the challenges that come with advancing in a career that challenges your craft. But, then there are other hurdles as well, that one needs to clear. For me, even getting the VISA has been a tough one. Due to the pandemic, the US Consulate in Mumbai was closed and accepted a very few emergency applications. After pulling a few strings, I got my VISA approved only a week before I had to fly to LA. Once I landed here, and checked in the Co-living space, I realised I was sharing it with around 22-24 other people. Shared rooms, shared bathrooms and zero privacy but I learned to love it. It introduced me to a very different way of living. Never a dull moment there.
Travelling around LA has been another adventure for me, taking the subway, finding the stations….you get the drill! Once I was in school, the first two weeks were crazy. I had a hard time sleeping, anxiety crept in and all I was doing was thinking about my role, my act in front of the camera, and to top it all it was in a public park. I was super nervous throughout my first class. When you become a student, you are always on a tight budget. My transition from having work, making money and then back to student life, was a roller-coaster in the initial few weeks. Balancing eating, travelling, going out with friends but with a tight pocket is a memory in itself. I remember surviving only on a tuna or chicken salad for lunch and a sandwich for dinner for nearly a year. Now that I look back, it was good in a way as I didn’t have to spend time on deciding my food preferences. It definitely helped me catch up with better things. All of this may sound overwhelming, but honestly this is the life I chose for myself and couldn’t be any happier. It made me who I am today.
Interviewer: Though these challenges are similar to a quarter of new actors, I am sure you have created your unique path. Tell us more about your work.
Gautam: For a decade, I worked behind the camera. Now being on the other side of the lens has added immense value to my craft and honed my overall skill set. For someone, who can edit, direct, produce and act – I’m surely proud of my capabilities that I can bring to any project. Though I have worked across different genres, my work in comedy and drama is something that sets me apart. I attribute my success to my innate qualities that bring attention to detail, the minutest observations and being a quick learner. My ability to quickly learn, adapt and grow has always kept me in high spirits with the people I work with. You’ll never find me complaining while working on a set, there is a different energy altogether that embraces me. I get along easily which makes working with me fun and engaging.
Interviewer: I am already feeling that energy. For sure, the Gautam effect has put me at an ease while interviewing you. Who are the people that push you to be the wonderful person you are?
Gautam: It definitely has to be my parents. Their constant support and unwavering belief in me has pushed me to adorn the various hats I wear. I consider myself lucky to have an amazing set of friends and wonderful family that is continuously checking on me and encouraging my work. It truly is a blessing. For me, the little actions have always meant a lot and the people I am surrounded with do not leave room for a bad day. Their love and support has pushed me to fly through every thick and thin.
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