“I am a 32 year old, mixed-race, South-Asian actor. The oldest of four sisters, my mother is from Goa, India, and my father is British. I attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and the Central School of Speech and Drama, and hold a BA in English Literature and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Exeter. I spent my 20s working in product marketing until deciding I wanted to refocus my priorities on accomplishing what I wanted to in life. I began auditioning for drama school and was accepted to RADA, where I began studying at the age of 30 and have not looked back since.
I have had quite an unusual journey finding my way to RADA, but it has been the best decision I ever made for myself. At RADA, I have performed in the plays Gloria and Twelfth Night, and the short film Another Life, as well as course projects of The Provoked Wife, Romeo and Juliet, and Agamemnon. I have been the recipient of the Lilian Baylis Award, the Sir John Gielgud Charitable Trust Award, and the Henry Marshall Prize for Most Outstanding Armed Performance in our yearly fight competition.”
What did you choose to perform for the Spotlight Prize and why did you pick it?
For the Spotlight Prize, I have chosen a monologue from Super High Resolution for my screen piece, and written a piece for the stage portion.
I chose Super High Resolution because one of my closest friends is a doctor, and has really struggled in the last few years (thanks to Covid, funding cuts and pay cuts) to keep their morale high and career aspirations alive. I’ve listened to them speak of their career as they struggle to deal with hundreds of patients a day, understaffing leading to a minimum of a 14 hour shift each day, and juggling having any sort of social life at all. It has meant a great deal to me to pick something that showcases the challenges of being a doctor in the NHS, and the mental health impact of their occupation that is often ridiculed or dismissed. I wanted to show support for my friend in my own way and almost indirectly share their voice.
For my stage piece, I have experimented with writing my own piece. Whilst at university, I loved writing poetry. However, I had my confidence knocked by a professor who considered my writing fairly dire. I wanted to challenge myself and take a risk by not only writing and performing my own work, but also talking about being white-passing mixed-race, something I have a challenging relationship with and have only started to really understand in the last few years. Being mixed-race, especially white-passing, is quite a weird ‘thing’, and I would like to write more about this moving forward in an effort to understand and open up the conversation for others.
What’s your dream role?
I would like to play Lady Macbeth one day. I would love to do more Shakespeare. I have only just begun to really understand verse and how to feel the rhythm whilst at RADA, so would like to expand my skill set more. I think Juliet would also be a really interesting role, or Queen Margaret. I really enjoy period dramas, and my guilty pleasure is shows such as North and South, Bridgerton and any Jane Austen adaptation. I would love to be in a period drama myself one day, particularly as I find the challenge for women at the time really interesting to explore and portray. I would love to do more musical theatre, as I am also a strong singer and have a strong affinity for music. Playing Sally Bowles would be an incredible experience, or even Fraulein Schneider one day!
What kind of performer do you aspire to be?
I would love to be the kind of performer who is able to use their range fully. RADA has really helped me to expand my skill set, especially when it comes to finding light and comedy within roles. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on my range at RADA, and I want to be a performer who is adaptable towards any role that might come their way. I think this keeps being a performer fresh, exciting, and also opens me up to working across a range of genres and topics. Ultimately, I want to be an actor people actually want to work with, one whom they know can handle the characters, and who is also enjoyable to have in the room!
What have you recently watched, read or listened to that inspired you?
I recently saw Phaedra at the National with Janet McTeer, which I loved. I have noticed there is a resurgence of contemporary takes on classics, such as Phaedra or Medea, and I’m enjoying the modern spin on them. I recently played Mrs. Manningham in Gaslight at RADA with Gari Jones. In this project, we took the classic play and made sure that it really spoke to the audiences of today, particularly with issues such as gaslighting or coercive control. I find it really interesting to work on projects that have something to say about dark psychology.