Published On: January 7, 2018 09:21 AM NPT By: Kiran Lama

Dreamer office boy turns theatre artist

Success definitely does not come easy but it is possible. The examples of successful people who had started from the grass root level are ever motivating. Theatre actor Sandeep Shrestha, 26, is no exception. Having started his professional journey as an office boy at an IT company with the salary of Rs 1,500 per month, Shrestha has now established himself as a skilled actor as well as director.

Originally from Biratnagar, Shrestha came to Kathmandu to pursue his dream of becoming an actor but he couldn’t take the leap due to financial constraints and lack of confidence. He also had to change more than 10 schools due to an unfavorable family environment. “We were having some personal troubles in our family and we had to move a lot due to the same. May be I decided to become an actor to escape from the callous reality.”

He eventually had to quit his high school studies and started working as an office boy so as to support his family. Amid all the harshness that life threw at him, Shrestha however did not lose hope and kept his dream close to his heart. He later joined high school after five years of gap, and eventually graduated from the Orchid International College, Bijay Chowk with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Management. 

Taking about his childhood, Shrestha said he used to draw and loved to dance as a kid though his uncles frowned at him for his choices. “Though most people laughed at me due to my filmy nature, but my parents always supported me. My father took me to meet with producers and asked me to perform in front of them.” Watching the movie ‘Titanic’ was the ultimate nail in the coffin for his determination to become an actor in the future. 

As a result, he searched for acting classes and visited numerous acting institutions before finally joining the Mandala Theatre, Anamnagar in 2014. He started his acting journey from the play ‘Baitarnee Cafe’ as a background dancer in the role of a bee. He later went on to play the chorus and gatekeeper in ‘Siruma Rani’, and a neutral character in ‘Maan Chinte Firante’. It was only in ‘Aarop’ that he bagged the lead role, and it became a turning point in acting career. 

Later, he became a part of ‘One World Theatre’ that produced English plays in Nepal. Under the production, he played several roles in ‘Laramie Project-Ten Years Later’ and ‘The Golden Boy’, among other dramas.

As an amature aspiring actor, Shrestha initially thought that acting was all about imitation. But he later realized that it was actually a way of life and an actor should be able to perform under any circumstances.

He is currently planning to be a part of two English plays ‘Café De Floor’ and ‘Three Sisters’, while he also plans to direct another play after ‘Chiso Bhanjyang’. 

Shrestha aims to become a good storyteller in the future so that he can precisely express his experiences and feelings in cinema. 

He said theatre artists Bikash Joshi and Rajan Khatiwada were the sources of inspiration for him as they had mentored him in his early days. “One of the most amazing experiences throughout my theatre journey has been with Akanchya Karki and Gunjan as they are the torch-bearers of Playback Theatre in Nepal,” he said.

According to Shrestha, one should have strong survival instincts to become successful in life. “Take your mistakes as a learning experience, and always keep the ‘never give up attitude’,” he said. 

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