by Sherif Awad
I am Sandeep Jayaram, artist from India
My father was from the Indian Navy and my mother ran a Sales Promotional company, so you can be sure I didn’t inherit any creativity from there. Lightheartedness aside, a point worth mentioning is that my aunt, Shanta Rao, was a Padma Shree awardee. This is the 4th highest civilian award in India and was presented to her for her contribution to classical Indian dance.
-To be perfectly honest, my role models were actually authors rather than performers. Books have formed and continue to form the basis of any creative endeavor I’m part of. Readers imagine the author/character’s world after reading his/her words. This is enormously helpful in my effort to become a better performer. I must confess, however, Nana Patekar, has always been amongst the best I’ve ever seen on screen.
-All my learning has been self-driven. Luckily for me, I have a strong voice which, in the early days, got me theater roles. After that, it was all about learning stagecraft, reading plays/scripts and asking questions to well-known directors and actors.
-My latest web series, ILLEGAL Season 2 was released on November 25th, 2021 on VOOT Select. I’ll be the first to say my journey has only just begun in this new world of OTT platforms. That aside, I’m the kind of guy who will take any opportunity to perform. Let the results speak for themselves.
-Acting is just like any other profession though, of course, more glamorous. It takes time to get known. After that, the pieces of the jigsaw all fall into place. I approach my new roles with all the intensity I possess!
-Because of COVID, theaters have taken a huge hit and viewers have migrated to watching web serials and movies on VOOT, NETFLIX, AMAZON and so on. Creating app-based content is relatively new territory, so I guess there’s a certain amount of hit or miss. Most importantly, however, this migration of viewership has opened up the market to new writers and filmmakers and this makes the content more varied and stimulating.
-Again, COVID has played its part in shaping how an actor presents his skills. The days of in-person auditions have all but gone. Today, it’s all about doing self-tests and sending them across to casting people. Generally, all the requisite instructions are provided, which makes shooting simple as long as you have a good phone camera and a tripod.
-Besides being an actor, I am also a novelist. Two books of mine were released in 2020 and 2021. A Ladder Of Panties, a social satire based in Mumbai, reached #2 on amazon.in whereas CHICKEN, a dark psychological thriller, reached #1. Both novels have been invited by amazon.in to become part of AMAZON PRIME READING. Even as I write, CHICKEN has been commissioned as a screenplay, and I am currently in talks with Bollywood actors and producers.
-Besides acting, I love doing voice-overs and teaching children. And, of course, I love playing pool. As far as acting is concerned, no role is too small. Take anything and everything you can lay your hands on. Get seen! This is the first step to success. I look forward to acting in a feature film project that should go on the floor in April 2022. Similarly, I am currently in talks for my novel-inspired web miniseries.