Wanted In America
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From her salad days as a VJ to getting a role on a popular American show, Shenaz Treasurywala narrates her long and eventful journey
It's true when they say that whatever will be will be. In August 2010, I went to a family wedding in the US, and a friend introduced me to an agent who sent me to an audition. It was for the role of Rama Patel on One Life To Live, the longest running show on ABC. The audition process took a few months but I ended up getting a role on the show. At that time, I had no intention of staying on here or looking for work.
I'm in New York City now; acting in an American soap. I love living here, I feel like I belong here. It's the city for young, vibrant, ambitious people and it's so pretty right now, despite the frigid temperature and snow. Of course, I miss home, family and friends and hope to be back to do more films soon.
From my salad days as a VJ to being part of an ensemble cast on one of America's best-known shows has been a long journey. Acting was an accidental vocation for me. I was 16 years old, in my first year at St Xavier's College, Mumbai, when a scout recruited me to do a commercial. This led to more commercials, followed one day by a call from MTV to audition for a VJ spot. Before I knew it, I was on a plane to Singapore hosting shows for MTV Asia.
I didn't really know much in the beginning. I had watched VJs like Nonnie, Kamal Sidhu, Danny McGill, Cyrus Broacha and Malaika Arora be themselves. So I did the same. Luckily people responded well and soon I was flying around the world, earning more than I ever imagined. I had my own show by the time I was 19. How many teenagers can boast of that? MTV didn't let us know how popular our shows were, so I had no idea at the time that youngsters ran home from school to watch it. It happened so quickly, I did not realise that I had the best job in the world. I kept telling myself I needed to get a real job. I had a lot of spare time, since I shot 5-6 shows at a time, once or twice a week, so I assisted photographers, took writing classes and assisted on film sets on the side.
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