Actress Medha Shankar who was last seen in a British television series ‘Beecham House‘ is currently basking in the glory of praises for her debut feature film ‘Shaadisthan’. In the film, she portrays the role of an 18-year-old girl, whose traditional family wants to get her engaged against her wishes. Her performance has garnered great reviews for her emotionally intense yet restrained portrayal of Arshi in the film. For this week’s ‘Against All Odds’, ETimes got in touch with the actress who opened up about her modelling days, the way things are shaping up for her, and how she manages to stay relevant in showbiz.
When you walked the ramp back in 2016, were you sure about acting too?
Looking back to 2016, it feels really beautiful and at the same time overwhelming. From there, being a lead star does feel like a success. I still consider myself extremely new and raw, as I don’t know much about the industry yet.
2016 was another ball game altogether. Spending 10 to 15 days with all these other beautiful girls, getting groomed by such experts from the organisation, was so much fun. That also, in some way, consolidated my decision of at least giving acting a fair chance, because I enjoyed myself so much during those 15 days of grooming that I said to myself that I have to strive for this.
Those 15 days of training, taught me a lot. And then I came back, I continued my studies, and by the time I was 100% sure, after completing my studies I’m gonna go to Bombay, and give acting a hardcore fair chance.
What has been your biggest takeaway from this journey?
Since 2018, I’ve been auditioning for acting projects. I think my biggest lesson so far, personally, has been that self-belief and perseverance are your only two best friends.Honestly, not a lot of people are going to believe in you. Not a lot of casting directors are going to believe in you in the beginning. Not, even your family members are not going to believe in you.
You have to be your biggest cheerleader, you have to believe in yourself and your potential and everything that you are capable of doing. Because with so many rejections that we will face in this industry, your confidence is going to break.
And then perseverance is extremely important too. Because this industry is so uncertain, you could be the most talented actor, most beautiful, most well presented and like very well conducted, still, you wouldn’t get work if it’s not your time, it’s not your time.
What are some of the fond memories from your career so far?
Being a part of ‘Shaadistan’ team, jamming with them, felt memorable, felt like family. While working with Kirti, I learnt a lot to explore my craft. I can say, I am a lot more confident today.
Throughout your years in showbiz, what have been your biggest obstacles?
Handling rejections is very important. Frankly, the number of rejections you’re gonna face is uncomfortable. It’s 1000:1. 1000 rejections, and then one thing will work out. So, you have to be strong enough to remind yourself to not take rejections personally.
If something’s not worked out for you, it’s not meant for you — I’ve learnt this the hard way. I faced a lot of rejections, be it ads or web series or whatever — eventually I never kept count because it truly affects you. It breaks your confidence and hampers your self-esteem.
And on a personal note, taking care of my mental health is something which I’ve learnt last year. Acting and this industry is such an uncertain profession; you never know when your next paycheck is going to come. So yes, things were really bumpy. I have to constantly remind myself that acting is not my life, it’s just a part of life.
What are the kind of challenges you face now?
My aim as an actor is to do as many diverse characters as I can. If I’ve already done a character, who’s a nice, broken girl, I would like to break that image and would want to do a grey character. I’d like to pick up projects and characters that are very different from what I’ve already done so far. Even in fact, even in the beginning, I would not just say yes to any project. I’m a little choosy, so getting good and diverse work does feel like a challenge.
Are you happy with how things are shaping up for you in the industry?
I’m very grateful. 4-5 years down the line, I’m very happy with where I am right now professionally. With Shadistaan’s release, people have started to take notice of me. I am getting good project offers now.
Is there anything you would want to tell your younger self when you were facing the camera for the first time?
Just believe in yourself a little more. I used to be very impatient and was really hard on myself. I wish I could have taken it easy, paused and lived in that moment, and said to myself that I am on the right path. Source