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Megha Ray on her struggle days: Once, I was ready on set with my hair and makeup done, but was told to go back home
Self-realisation, at times, takes time. Something similar happened with Megha Ray. From a bright student, to becoming an engineer to doing a high-paying job and then leaving everything behind to become a full-time actor, her life can make for a good film script. The actor, who plays the role of Radhika in the forthcoming show Sapnon Ki Chhalaang, produced by Nilanjana Purkayasstha and Herumb Khot’s Invictus T Mediaworks, talks about how she became an artist.
“I was actually fond of science and was a topper in school, but I also loved art. I was training as a dancer as well. Usually, people who are into academics consider their love for art as their hobby. But, eventually, when I grew up and was working in a company, I realized science was a hobby for me and art was what I wanted to pursue my career in,” she says, adding that the realization came very late in her life.
And, what followed the realisation was societal pressure of expectation. She talks about how she gradually got over it.
“Deep down, I wanted to become an actor but didn’t say it out loud because it's very uncommon for a person who is very good in academics and doing so well in the office, to suddenly quit and do something like this. I come from a background where all are into education and no one is even remotely connected to the industry. Nevertheless, I realised that I would regret it if I didn’t voice it out. I didn’t want to pursue higher studies like MBA, which was expected of me and put down my foot that this is the line I want to go to. My parents were shocked but I was smart about it. I gradually built it up and didn’t drop the bomb all of a sudden. I was making sure that finically I don’t burden them. I was also doing fashion blogging on the weekend and getting some money out of it. I quit the job when it was safe and I was making money from brands,” she adds.
As a newcomer, it was difficult. Megha knew about it and somewhere prepared herself for the worst. This thought process helped.
“Initially, I knew it's going to be very difficult. I would just look at the long queues for auditions in Aram Nagar, by the time you reach for the audition; your makeup goes off in sweat. When you go for an audition, it’s difficult as you don’t know what is expected of you. I was once told that I got the part of the lead character and when I reached the set, I got to know that they had changed it,” she shares.
But this wasn’t the first and was neither the last. “Another time, I was ready on set with my hair and makeup done and I was told to go back home. This was a funny incident as I had not quit my job and was offered a very small part on the basis that I may not be seen at all. It had a very big celebrity and I just wanted to see how it all worked. I had never seen cameras, a shoot or a set. I realised at the time that maybe I was underestimating myself and should not just be saying yes to anything. I decided that I will go for stuff I feel for. In 2-3 months, I auditioned for a TV show for the first time and I cracked it,” she adds.
To those with acting dreams, Megha urges them to finish their education first, if finance is not a burden. She explains her point, “Education is not just about mainstream subjects; it is any field in which you are interested in. Even if it is acting, you should be updated, know about different performances. Believe me, you will come into the field with confidence and awareness. Complete all round development will give you a better way to communicate on set. Everyone should educate themselves as much as they can manage.”