Don’t Live in Denial but in Acceptance - Manoj Chandila (Actor)

Success is relative but there is no substitute for hard-work in the right direction with a focused mind.

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I hail from Faridabad and did my schooling from there only but graduated from Delhi University, Having a good physique was one of the passions, people in the gym and otherwise used to advise me to try Modelling.

I too felt I can pull it off and got my first portfolio done by a photographer in Delhi, praise and work poured in after I circulated those photos but it wasn’t as easy as it may sound, the challenge for a shy and meek guy like me was more difficult: yes!

You ought to be vocal and approachable and being humorous is the cherry on the cake. I did a lot of campaigns in Delhi walked nearly for every designer on-ramp, Lakme India Fashion Week was the hardest nut to crack, it was only after 6th time I auditioned I made through it.

Finally, after people stopped paying me as much as my experience deserved I moved to Mumbai in 2008 and bagged my first Balaji show ‘Kis Des Mera Dil’ and kept getting shows one after another with the stroke of sheer luck.

I did two films: ‘Gabbar is back’ and ‘Sunday’, and I am still hungry for the kinds of roles which could expose my yet to be explored acting layers. Any true artist of any field is rarely satisfied with his/her work you know.

2. Did you ever think or dream of being an actor?

No, acting was never on my mind until I decided to move to Mumbai but yes the acting bug did bite me when I did a few Punjabi music videos in Delhi, I forgot to mention in my previous answer. I was happy thinking about Modelling being a lifetime career.

3. How can one approach their career and have the confidence and belief to become an actor?

Before answering to this question I would like to say that first and foremost one should find his/her calling in life: in plain words-what, he or she is inclined and feel strongly pulled to, a lot of people enter in wrong professions and then keep swapping one for another, finally left being miserable.

As for the Acting world: get basic acting education (theatre would be the prime choice if able to get into) read books and have an enormous amount of patience which is the bedrock of this profession.

4. If not this, what would you be doing?

Umm!! Honestly! never thought about this but people say that I have a good voice so maybe a Radio Jockey?

5. For a complete outsider with inroads, what advice would you like to give?

Oh Boy!, you’ve got a lot to do unless you have the luck of the devil by your side. Most of the people come from other cities here so: you come with a back-up plan, don’t be in-between you give it a full-throttle try for a year or two and gauge your graph meticulously where it’s headed, don’t fall for trivial pleasures, stay focused.

Buy clothes but buy books as well and Immerse yourself in those books like a child. Final word: don’t live in denial but in acceptance; stay only if you’re getting work and progressing and go back- find your true calling, this wasn’t for you.

6. What is your mantra of success?

Success is relative but there is no substitute for hard-work in the right direction with a focussed mind.

7. Which is your favourite book and why?

In everyday life, we deal with people and unpredictable situations if at all we can master our own responses to these two then I think half the battle is won, of course, let’s not forget the formidable influence of the Luck on our lives too.

There are many brilliant minds who have condensed their researches in the form of books. Whoever is reading this interview please read: “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Sir Daniel Kahneman you will be enlightened. Please also read Robert Greene’s books for knowing yourself more.

Interview By - Shruti Kaval

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