Actor takes to the stage
Bhavna Singh Chahal took a while to realise she’s a creative person at heart.
Since moving here from India in 2005 she’s done all sorts of jobs. The engineering graduate has worked as a call centre operator, a banking adviser, a travel agency team leader and breakfast host for Indian radio station Humm FM.
‘‘I would achieve what I wanted quickly in a role and then get bored. But when I started as a radio DJ I was so happy because it was a challenge everyday.’’
Through her radio job she was approached to do voice-over work for Mumbai Monologues which was part of the Auckland Pride Festival 2014.
Next week the 32-year-old will make her acting debut in Prayas Theatre Company’s reworking of Charandas Chor: The Honest Thief at TAPAC.
The rural Indian folk play features a cast of 30 and a live band. It was the company’s first production and it was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1982, picking up the Fringe Firsts award.
The story is about a thief who takes a vow to never tell another lie. The One Tree Hill resident plays the queen who falls in love with the thief.
‘‘At the audition they told me they liked my comic timing but then they gave me the role of the queen and she’s evil. It was the strangest role I could think of but I love it.’’
Trying to memorise the script was a bit daunting at first.
At the first rehearsal Singh Chahal was so nervous she forgot all her lines but now she has them down pat.
‘‘When I began I wasn’t really acting, I was just waiting for my turn. Then I started watching more experienced actors.
‘‘What they do is relate to the people in front of them,’’ she says.
‘‘It’s about having a conversation with the other actors and listening to what they have to say. It’s such a thrill.
‘‘I feel like I’ve found my calling after a long, long time.’’
Acting novice: Bhavna Singh Chahal performs in Charandas Chor: The Honest Thief at TAPAC from June 25 to 29.