MUMBAI: Casting director and actor Manish Kumar Sharma has been successfully managing to ace both fields.
Manish has been working with Shakuntalam Telefilms for approximately 10 years now and has done the casting for their shows namely Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, Shastri Sisters, Hello Pratibha and Saam Daam Dand Bhed.
He has also acted in shows like Epic’s Devlok and Pyaar Ya Dehshat on Big Magic, played a cameo in Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke and featured in many episodic shows like Savdhaan India and Crime Patrol. Manish has also been a part of two films and also a part of a Digital project titled ‘Missing’.
TellyChakkar got in touch with the casting director to talk about his journey, his casting process and more.
When asked about his journey and how did it lead to the position that he is in right now, he said, “I think it started in my school days. I used to be very active in plays and cultural activities and I was keen on the process of how a show comes together; the casting and everything. So, it started from school basically. Then, when I was pursuing my MBA from Army Institute of Technology, I decided that I want to pursue something in the industry itself. But, I was in a dilemma, that whether should I complete my MBA or not. Eventually, I ended up dropping out of MBA and started doing theatre at that point of time. Side-by-side, I used to handle properties, scene requirements and whatever was needed. I did my theatre with the legendary M.S Sathyu. I used to handle production for him and because of my experience there, I understood the stage better, as to how every small details matter on stage and how lack of properties can cause hindrance in an artist’s performance. I got a very different perspective and understanding of the industry that we are in by being near that stage. I worked there for almost 3-4 years, after which I decided to move to Mumbai. After coming here, towards the end of 2012, I joined Shakuntalam as an intern in 2013, because I only had the experience of theatre by that point; an experience that is very different from doing a show, movie or commercials”.
He further elaborated on his journey, saying, “I was going through a rough patch financially when a friend of mine suggested that I should try my luck in casting. My thought process was that I would learn something new. I joined as an intern, but little did I know that the journey would be this big. I must have completed a month of my internship when the casting head here at Shakuntalam, Dimpy Sinha, a mentor through and through, took me under her wing and taught me a lot of things. Slowly, she started pushing me to start handling things solo and she left Shakuntalam around 2017. I got the position and since then, and it’s been some 7 years now, being the casting head here at Shakuntalam”.
When asked about his completing 10 years with the production house, he said, “I think my producers Shyamashis Bhattacharya sir, and Neelima Bajpai ma'am have a big hand to play in this. They have given me creative liberty and also kept me creatively involved. I have been involved in the casting and creative department as well and I contribute to the story, synopsis, ideation and more. But none of this would have been possible without my Guru, Dimpy Sinha. She is the reason for me being a part of this field, so I am grateful”.
Manish Kumar Sharma has been heading the casting department at the renowned production house, Shakuntalam Telefilms for almost 7 years now and has been a part of it for almost 10.
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