“Your expression is the most important element of acting,” says Shikha Malhotra, a theatre artist.
The artist within her was always ready to spread its wings and fly into the magnanimous industry of theatre. Shikha decided to let it free so that it could fly above all and achieve the greatest of heights. She is a theatre actress and model who was awarded the Best Actress by the G Town Society.
In her latest interview, Shikha talks about the theatre industry, her love for fitness and all about her experience of working with Arvind Gaur. We get to know her true meaning of motherhood and all about her bubbly personality. Read to know more about the actor.
Questions and answers
Arvind Gaur’s theatre allowed you to immerse yourself in acting and learn the art adeptly. Can you tell us about your experience working under him and the most important lesson you took back?
Working under him had been a great experience for me as I’ve always wanted to learn under his guidance. I met people in our industry who supported me and helped me overcome my insecurities. It was very difficult for me to come in front of a camera for the first time and act but I was satisfied with my work. My main ethic was to be in a limited circle and to grow as an artist.
You have worked in several of Arvind’s plays, including Prem Chand- Mandir. Could you perhaps tell us about some of your most memorable moments of acting in the play?
That was one of the very exciting memories, I remember Shweta ma’am stepped back so I was given the role. It was a challenge I was determined to win. I put my heart and soul into the character and practiced constantly to perfect the performance.
What were some of the difficulties you faced in your initial days as a model and an actor? How did you support yourself financially, and can you tell us about some amazing friendships you have developed over the years?
I was freelancing for some companies and websites and I was supported financially by my family and also had my own set of savings. There were hurdles of course. We had to present ourselves to people, how we talk, how we walk, influence people, carry ourselves, everything matters. You have to learn to deal with judgments in this industry if you want to make it on your own terms.
You were nominated and awarded by G Town Society for the best actress in 2020. Tell us about your experience and how did it motivate you for the future?
I got to know about it through Instagram and decided to enrol myself. I sent some scripts and my other works. Later, I got a call telling me that I had been selected for the best actress award. It was a once in a lifetime experience as I got to meet Govinda ji and he has always been my idol.
OTT and other digital media platforms have become the go-to platform after the pandemic hit the world. How did working for Digital Kalakar impact you?
I got the chance to work for Digital Kalakar through some references. Due to COVID-19, our work was closed, and the industry was very tough to cope with at that time as we are rising artists and we’re still learning our place. It was a great plan and we shot in on the terrace with all the necessary precautions. It was a new experience for me and I learnt something from it.
As an actor, what is your secret of communicating your character to your audience?
Your expression is the most important element of acting.
Expression is what helps you convey the emotions of your character and its personality. It’s all about making the viewers feel that they’re a part of what they’re watching.
Apart from acting and modelling, you are also a fitness enthusiast. What is your motivation mantra?
I insist on prioritizing my fitness above everything. I am hell-bent on joining the gym for my own concern for my fitness. I took out time even between breaks to go to the gym. Fitness has become a very important part of my life and I can never compromise it and I don’t need really need any motivation to hit the gym as it comes to me very naturally.
Do you acknowledge the existence of nepotism in theatre? If yes, how do you think it affects the quality of theatre performance?
I have never seen nepotism in theatre. Fresh talents have always been welcomed and groomed. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow performers and the only force binding us together is our art and our skill. To remain in the game, you have to be determined and hone your skills. Theatre is far removed from the darkness and degeneration prevalent in the industry.
If there was one thing that you could change about your industry, what would it be?
The one thing that I want to change about my industry is the ageism that persists, though not blatant and explicit, it is still there. Just because someone is starting their journey late, they should not be excluded from the opportunity to showcase their talent. People often suffer from a lack of guidance, but if the person has something to offer, then they should at least be given a chance. Fresh faces and fresh talents should always be welcomed, no matter what their age.
What does motherhood mean for you?
For me, motherhood is something that is not just limited to your own kids. It is like an endless ocean. We must learn to accept kids as God has made them, letting them develop the skills and talent that they do have. Mothers should be the support systems for their kids and let them fly towards their dreams. Only a mother can instil values like friendship, love, and enjoying the very essence of being alive in a child.
a. Favorite food : Rajma rice
b. Favorite form of workout : Deadlift
c. Favorite travel destination : Goa
d. Biggest inspiration : My mom
e. Describe yourself in a word : Happy Kid