You guys remember that dude who does a litany of things in addition to his first calling. The rockstar who does this and that and much more! And makes it all look easy…so easy? Let the envy run wild!
Here’s a list of multifaceted talented artists who stuck to their guns, took risks and branched out with their art, and made it work. If this isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what else could be.
Kalki Koechlin (Theatre, Writing)
I love Kalki, who doesn’t?
After having studied drama at University of London, Kalki returned to India to make her screen debut in Anurag Kashyap’s masterpiece Dev D, in 2009. She has been involved in theatre as a writer, producer and an actor for ever now! She won the MetroPlus Playwright Award, for Skeleton Woman, and made her directorial debut on stage, with the play Living Room in 2015. This one is a dark comedy about death which she penned herself. Her monologue on gender and women empowerment- Just Another Rant is another example of her powerful writing.
Kalki has acted for some of the best theatre directors like Manav Kaul, Rajat Kapoor and was last seen in Caryl Churchill’s Far Away directed by Rehaan Engineer. She is also a part of Mix The Play- British Council’s super cool initiative that celebrates Shakespeare.
Sumeet Vyas (Theatre, Writing)
Popularly recognized as the adorable Mikesh on TVF’s Permanent Roommates, Sumeet has acted on stage and film. From being involved backstage at the iconic Prithvi Theatre at the age of 16, to working with Nadira Babbar’s theatre group Ekjute and traveling with production houses’ all over the country, theatre has been a major part of his life. He has performed in several plays such as Noises Off directed by Atul Kumar, Bali aur Shambhu directed by Manav Kaul and Rage Production’s One on One 2 for which he also wrote one of the monologues. Sumeet’s writing work includes successful web series Bang Baaja Baaraat that he co-wrote with Anand Tiwari and the more recent Tripling that he wrote alongside Akarsh Khurana.
Namit Das (Theatre, Music)
Born into a family of musicians, Namit Das began his journey as a Khayal singer. He and Anurag Shanker released an EP titled Din Gaye in 2014, wherein they mixed Sufi & Urdu poetry with grunge/modern rock elements. The duo even performed at NH7 Weekender last year. As a theatre actor, Namit’s first play was Shadow Box in 2002. Since then he’s worked with directors like Atul Kumar, Sunil Shanbag, Rajat Kapoor and Imogen Butler Cole, for whose play he also composed music. He has also worked in a number of television serials- Sumit Sambhal Lega being a massive hit and was the host of Channel V’s Axe Ur Ex. Additionally, he’s worked in films such as Aankhon Dekhi, Wake Up Sid, The President is Coming and Lafangey Parindey.
Vir Das (Comedy, Music)
It was at Knox College, Illinois, that Das started exploring his forte for comedy. His debut special was titled Brown Men Can’t Hump. Trained as a method actor at Harvard, he went on to perform a number of plays with the Moscow Arts Theatre. Since 2003, he’s been touring India and has become one of the most prolific names in comedy. He has written six comedy specials, and hosted a couple of TV shows. He is the founder of ‘Weirdass Comedy’, India’s first comedy consultancy. On the music front, he started Alien Chutney- India’s premier comedy-rock band. They create parodies and funny covers which leave you in splits as you groove.
Anu Menon (Theatre, Comedy)
Channel V’s beloved VJ, Lola Kutty aka Anu Menon is an unparalleled actor and comedian. Having studied theatre from a drama school in London, Anu has performed plays with legends such as Bhagirathi Narayanan, Lillete Dubey, Deesh Mariwala, Raell Padamsee and Divya Palat. She has also been part of the award winning play A Personal War, Rage Production’s One on One 2 and QTP’s Gods of Carnage and White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Additionally this brutally funny woman has also branched into stand-up comedy, and recently opened for Brad Sherwood and Colin Mochrie, during their India tour. She is often seen collaborating with other stand-up comedians such as in this video by Kaneez Surka-
Cyrus Sahukar (Comedy, Theatre)
Cyrus Sahukar is a well-known face and stupendous entertainer. He won the National ‘VJ Hunt’ hosted by MTV India in 1999. Since then Cyrus has hosted a range of satirical shows on MTV and anchored corporate shows and award ceremonies. As a theatre actor, he has performed in plays such as Barry John’s Haroun & the Sea of Stories, Roshan Abbas’ Starlight Express and Graffiti Postcards from School, Atul Kumar’s Trivial Disasters and more recently Rajat Kapoor’s I dont like it. As you like it.
Everyone is familiar with his comic wit and satirical humour. Cyrus has been a stand-up comic probably before the term was even introduced in India.