Acting was by accident: Prasanna

Shreyash Mishra & Kajal Tharwani 

Web series has become a part and parcel of our lives. They are  not only providing opportunities for budding actors, but also roping in Bollywood biggies. Recently Huma Qureshi debuted with a web series ‘Leila’ streaming on Netflix.

Set in the 2050’s, this series also features Prasanna Soni, in a negative character of Ashish Yadav. A theatre personal from Seedhi, Madhya Pradesh, Prasanna Soni has walked a long way in achieving his dreams.

Talking to Newscrust, in a candid conversation, Prasanna spills beans on his journey and talks about his preferences between theatre and onscreen drama.  

Tell us something about your character Ashish Yadav in Leila ?

It is a negative character, Ashish is a local help who can fix things like bulbs, plumbing etc. people only remember him whenever they need him. Ashish is not so much reviled in the first season but between his right and wrong he becomes the most powerful man and also the  right hand of the chief in the Aryavarta.

How did acting  come by in your life? 
My journey was less planned and more accidental. I never planned to become a theatre artist or to come into this profession. When I was a kid I was famous for my singing. Students from different school and colleges in my town knew me for my singing. That fame was special and I was sure that I wanted to do something to maintain that fame, by that time I found my singing good. But in state level competition I got a reality check where a girl won the first prize and I secured second position. This continued for a number of times. On the other hand in a local competition my teacher insisted me to act and I was not sure but to maintain that fame and stardom I have to do. That solo act made me realize that I was made for acting as I got a good response and even I won that competition. From there it all started.
Have you ever used your fame for your benefits?
School rules stated that if any student fails in more than one subject he/she will be rusticated from the school. And very unfortunately I got back in four subjects in class 11th. I was not sure what to do and at that time my hard work for my acting and singing paid me back my teachers gave me grace marks in all four subjects so that I should not leave the school.” “I believe that this was not fame but their love for me and my passion.
You have been doing theatre since a long time, so tell us something about your theatre group? 

We were basically three people behind the group. The one who taught us acting, started doing job due to financial issues so there was no one left to direct then rest play I directed the show as my two of them forced me to do so. People liked the show and then I started directing shows. During a random conversation with a singer in Mumbai, suggested that I start with my own group. This is how Rangdoot was born.

What was the role of your family in your journey?
My father is in service sector and he never says a word to me, though he never supported me directly but whenever my mother used to say that “theatre and all is not going to help study and do something” he always contradicted her and said that “at least Prasanna is doing something good in his life he is not out on a wrong track like many other spoiled youth.” This support from his side is enough for me I suppose. Whenever I asked his for money to do theatre he always quoted “skills never come from money learn it without it else you can’t do this.” and I trust his words.

How did you end up doing this series of Netflix?
An offer came to my wife when she was pregnant she could not do that role while she was having a conversation with the casting team they got to know about my theatre work this was the first time I went for some audition when my wife insisted on me luckily I got selected and got this role of Ashish Yadav. I suppose this is how my love for theatre and my hard work is paying me back.
In your theatre career is there anyone whom you take as your role mode?
Everyone is an individual identity and copying anyone will not make a difference so I never believe in role model thing  but yes If you ask me that from whom I learn there are few names like Sir Amitabh Bachchan. His acting is still good and I learn from him a lot.
What you think is the difference between commercial acting and theatre?

“I think there is not much but primarily commercial actors work for money and theatre artists work for talent and polishing themselves. Commercial actors end up earning name after money whereas theatre artists end up earning money after name. Irrespective of all odds and wrongs I believe they both are artists doing the same thing with some good knowledge about it and working to earn their living. They both should get equal respect.”
What message you will give to artist who   are struggling and want fame in their life ? 
Never work for fame always work for being good actor, you will get fame. Be this much eligible that people needs you for the work. Don’t work for money work for your passion. Be patient and work, it is not necessary that everyone gets stars and moon  .

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