We All Are Born Actors - Archana Pania Sharma (RJ)

Archana Pania Sharma

 The reason I felt this was a fabulous job was that all my student life teachers wrote too capable but way too talkative ...here I was being told talk to make the paisssa! So I guess I jumped at it. Also, I love all things filmy and drama.

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I was born and raised in Kuwait until the gulf war forced us out of there back to our homeland! We were airlifted exactly like in AIRLIFT (Akshay Kumar starrer movie). Took up commerce because I was an avid radio listener & I could do math with music & score well! Hence I took up accounts to do bachelors in.

Then went on to become a web designer because I wanted to befriend a computer ... machines were not my cup of tea! So that’s when I decided to go overseas to do my masters in art! While I was building a portfolio for my course submissions ... my art tutor told me to audition since she thought I was meant to talk FOR A LIVING! 

Bang! I make it through as a radio jockey in the first wave of private FM hires!


2. Why did you choose RJing as a career and what were the first steps you took?

The reason I felt this was a fabulous job was that all my student life teachers wrote too capable but way too talkative ...here I was being told talk to make the paisssa! So I guess I jumped at it. Also, I love all things filmy and drama.

Radio as a medium is the theatre of the kind hence I felt this is my chance to make up for the lost time ... when I barely participated in dramatics and elocution ... let’s do dRama on AIR! Also the chance to interact with the who’s who! 

From politics to Bollywood to cricket to everyday people! Radio has quite a reach and appeal! And feel it will continue to be the media of the past into the future!


3. What challenges can one face during live calls?

Live calls can be tricky since the listener sometimes wants to tell long never-ending stories ... and we have a limited time reserved for our links (the slot where we speak) hence the best thing for us is to pre-record! 

There has been a history where a live caller abused & we have a dump button which saves us ... since the relay has an 8-second delay ... we can hit that button cut out what’s an obnoxious comment the callers has passed & simply fade out.  

This once a caller called Kasab cute post 26/11 & we banned her from our station for being insensitive.


4. What are the skills required to be a radio jockey?

 An observer of life, people, circumstances, events & have a global perspective while you deliver a more local perspective. Always read about people and be prepared to interview them under urgency! And write write write YOUR SCRIPTS before you are utterly easy Pradyumna to rattle off your daily chatter on the radio. 

Never assume listeners are tuned in for your entire show ...always backtrack if your link is a continuation from the previous links. Less is more on the radio. Effective communication. More information in fewer words. And the art of knowing when to stop talking is the most appreciated.


5. What makes a person connect with their audience as an RJ?

 Humour is an instant connection if it is part of the breakfast afternoon-evening time band. Late-night shows just need great skills of indulging in the heartfelt conversations or their speciality which could be poetry, retro chatter or any other late-night genre. 

Overall humour is the biggest connect. Then OF COURSE talking about the larger audience issues or everyday woes and happenings! You need to be able to converse in. Different languages:... it’s quite a huuuge connect. And chatting up about various areas in your city and it highlights!


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

Always and forever. Still do. We all are born actors like Shakespeare said ... some of us do it in everyday life some of us on the radio and some of want to on 70 mm & now OTT!


7. For a complete outsider, what advice would you like to give?

As a complete outsider, all I want to say is be ORIGINAL! Johnny lever saahab didn't come to be Mehmood ... SALMAN didn't come to be Dharmendra & Asha Tai made sure she was completely different from Lata didi. So make a mark by being your original self and bring that with your personality! Originality sells as nothing else does.


8. When and how did you start as a voice-over artist?

 Just walked into studios and said I want to do this & handed my CD full of my voice samples imitating tv and radio commercials. guess they got tired of me trying and then just said what the heck let’s give her a shot!


9. Which is your favourite book and why?

 Too many to name a few. But a life-altering one was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho! Was smitten by Harry Potter & it’s a magical world. And full romance happened with Immortals of Meluha.

Archana Pania Sharma (Rj, Anchor, MC, Voice Over Artist, Singer, Actor)

Archana Pania Sharma

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