Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Karan Choudhary, an actor and filmmaker based in New York City.
In 2017, Karan began making his own short films not only for the experience it gave him but also to create opportunities not only for himself but for other fellow artists. His first film, a short documentary called “Dedication” made in 2017, was very well received in Film Festivals globally. It had four nominations and two wins for Best Short Documentary and Best Message. In 2018 he made another narrative short, a comedy called “New York'd” which was a huge success and accepted in over twenty-five Film Festivals globally and got eight nominations and five wins in various categories.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I was born and raised in Faridabad, India. I moved to America in 2013 to pursue my career as an actor. I graduated from The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in 2015, and since then, I've acted in a few projects and wrote and directed four shorts films.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey.
One, I always wanted to work in show business, I don't know why. Two, from an early age, I knew that I would never have a mediocre life and never die unknown. I'd always wanted to leave a legacy of my work, and that's how I got into this profession. After finishing my schooling and doing some odd jobs in New Delhi as a salesman and a gym trainer, I moved to Mumbai to pursue modeling and acting. I wasn't really getting any success there for so many reasons. I thought of getting out of that environment and trying something totally new. That's when I decided to move to New York and start fresh. It wasn't easy, but things got better with time.
Who are your role models?
I grew up in a small family and a small town, so there's wasn't anyone to look up to around me or have an idea about “role model,” etc. I was inspired by a lot of successful people, but I never had a role model.
What inspires you?
Wanting to become the best version of myself, do really good work in my profession, learn from people who came before me, and did what I want to do really inspires me a lot.
Please tell us about your film.
During the quarantine time, due to the global pandemic, COVID-19, I had a lot of time at home. I decided to work on the new script that I really wanted to write and tell that story. It's called Swiped Out. it's a short comedy film about a guy who's frustrated with his dating life and wants to beat the dating apps to find love. I hope to share the film before 2020 ends.
What inspired you to make this film?
In today's day and age, dating apps have become a new norm for meeting your loved one. At the same time, they could be so addictive and distractive that you might have a hard time navigating through them to meet the right person you want to be with. I wanted to tell this story from my experiences on dating apps and my friends and colleagues who shared their stories with me while I was writing the script.
What's your greatest fear?
Being a failure and a mediocre person in life scares me a lot. I work hard, and I constantly strive to be better at what I do. I'm not afraid of taking rejections, but moving forward is very important to me in my life.
Looking back, what's one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
I wish I knew from the very beginning that making my own films would be the only way to taste any success in the showbusiness. Especially if you are unknown to this profession and have no connection what so ever in the industry. A lot of people want to become an actor or filmmaker, but the easiest way to achieve that goal is to do it by yourself and not wait for anyone to give you permission to do that.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
As soon as I graduated from acting school, I learned about the business of acting and this industry. It helped me a lot to get ahead in my career. Acting/filmmaking is a “business” first and “art” second, and sooner you learn that, the better.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
There's no other way for me but keep going, no matter the outcome. Things never go in one direction, they go up and down, and I don't know how to quit when they go down, so I keep moving. Having bigger dreams help a lot as well.
Any message for our readers.
It's hard being an artist, but that's how it supposed to be. It's hard, but it's fulfilling when you put your heart and soul into it. Keep going.