This week our guest is the INCREDIBLE Aneesh Sheth. Fun fact: Nikki interviewed Aneesh back in 2019 for Brown Girl Magazine. The interview was short but poignant. They touched on topics of identity and representation, and the interview left a mark as one of our favorites to publish. It gave us so much joy to delve further into those topics with Aneesh and more, including her time as Sweetie in the Broadway National Tour of "Bombay Dreams," Gillian in "Jessica Jones" (Netflix) and her activism and philanthropy work with the Trevor Project and the Sappho Project. Plus bonus: we were able to help her find her new alter ego name... and it's a GOOD one. 😉🔥
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Broadcast Your Passions – Interview with Ashanti Omkar
49:34This week we chat with someone whose title does not at all accurately reflect the multitudes of her jobs and passions: film & TV critic and broadcast Ashanti Omkar! Ashanti is a UK-based rockstar critic and broadcaster, whose work has appeared on BBC TV, ITV, Channel 5, various BBC Radio stations, Times Radio, TimeOut London, Total Film Magazine, Metro, Guardian, The Independent – and that's not even close to the end of the list! She does deep dives into the full spectrum of the arts, with a special focus on spotlighting diversity, inclusion and representation. We learned SO much from her about the ways of media – but more importantly, we were inspired by her continued passion for celebrating beautiful art created by South Asians all over the world. It's no wonder she's been bestowed the responsibility of also being a voter for the UK Critics’ Circle in Film & Music, the BRITs, BIFA, and Sundance London. Wowza, we're getting tired just READING all the wonderful things Ashanti does!
Called Our Agent – Interview with Bash Naran
47:30This week's episode comes from the heart - our guest is Nikki's best friend Bash Naran! Bash is a rockstar literary agent, currently working at WME, who focuses on diverse, underrepresented and international creators with unique, multicultural perspectives. He's also the co-founder of a great organization called The Salon, a forum for South Asian artists and executives in entertainment to connect and collaborate, share resources, facilitate mentorship, and drive public advocacy. We love Bash for his vision, advocacy and his unconditional support - and his experience in literary representation is so vital!
Non-Veg Laughs! – Interview with Kutti Gang
47:15If you don't know who the Kutti Gang are, you are in for a real treat this week! Created by Zubi Ahmed and Pooja Reddy, this HILARIOUS comedy duo burst onto the scene in 2018 and has consistently made waves - even during a pandemic! Zubi and Pooja share their superhero comedy origin stories as well as how they not only made their careers in comedy but also created an incredibly important platform/showcase for underrepresented and under-spotlighted comedy talent across the country.
BONUS! Now Re-Playing: "Student of the Year"
47:38The movie that started it all for Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan & Siddharth Malhotra. The movie that even Karan Johar sometimes wonders (by his own admission), "Why did I make this?" We're talking about NONE OTHER than Student of the Year! This gem of the 2010s is coming up on its TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY (crazy!!) and we could not have had a better guest join us than actor/comedian Dhruv Uday Singh. We laughed, we debated - but one thing is for certain: this movie is more entertaining than we clearly remembered. Enjoy!!
Acting Starts with Authenticity – Interview with Richa Moorjani
51:53It's Never Have I Ever premiere week and we could not be more excited to talk to Richa Moorjani! Richa's actor journey is untraditional, but she went through the highs and lows of the aspiring actor life for years before landing her role as Kamala on the hit Netflix series. This episode is all about passion, authenticity and perseverance, even in the face of what seems like insane odds.
Laugh Your Ass Off & Others Will Join – Interview with Sumukhi Suresh
49:00This week's guest is the ridiculously funny and ridiculously talented Sumukhi Suresh, comedian and creator/writer/star of Amazon's "Pushpavalli," among other other great projects. Sumukhi's journey into comedy and now as the head of her own content company - Motormouth Writers - is the perfect encapsulation of evolving one's dreams and making opportunities for oneself. Our gushing in this episode is totally warranted and once you listen to this episode, you'll likely do it too.
Hard Work Needs a Dash of Timing – Interview with Utkarshini Vashishtha
48:13This week's guest is screenwriter Utkarshini Vashishtha, whose journey is so full of twists and turns that we want her to turn into a movie. She is the co-writer of the exceptional Bollywood film, "Gangubai Kathiawadi" alongside its iconic Indian film director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Utkarshini is literally the epitome of someone who manifests her dreams by putting in all the hard work by practicing "be it till other people see it" (an extremely entertaining variant of "fake it till you make it") and having great timing. Also we love her and want her to be our new best friend – and you will too.
Find Your Voice (aka How to Be Cool) – Interview with Tanuj Chopra
52:57This week we talk to filmmaker / showrunner Tanuj Chopra. His first film, Punching at the Sun, was the first South Asian American film to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and since then he's made four MORE features. His most recent credit includes taking over as showrunner for the hit Netflix series, Delhi Crime. Tanuj shares pearl after pearl of wisdom when it comes to filmmaking – including how to find your voice and, just as importantly, your taste as a creator and an arts lover. What do you think is cool? That's more valuable than you may even realize.
Better Late(Night) Than Never – Interview with Nelu Handa
50:40We're SO excited to be back for Season 3 with one of our favorite people: writer/performer Nelu Handa! Nelu has been a part of such series as Baroness Von Sketch Show, A Little Late with Lilly Singh and arguably one of the best new shows from the pandemic, Sort Of on HBOMax (check it out ASAP if you haven't yet)! Nelu tells us about how divine intervention helped her find her path to comedy and gets real about her mental health. Her candid conversation about having and getting through depressive episodes is incredibly important for both those in the entertainment industry and our South Asian community. Nelu is funny, real and inspiring and we can't wait for you to take a listen.