In the spotlight

December 1, 2017 13:01 PM Ashma Chhetri

Wilson Bikram Rai, who many know by the name ‘Takme Buda’ from a popular Nepali sitcom ‘Meri Bassai’, has stolen the hearts of many Nepalis worldwide with his unique accent and perfect comic timing. Rai, who launched himself through a YouTube channel, is now one of the most popular TV personalities known for his exceptionally good acting and singing skills, sense of comic timing, and dancing abilities.

The Week’s Ashma Chhetri caught up with Rai for a chat about his choices, experiences, and journey so far.     

What influenced you to be the part of the entertainment industry?

As a child, I was fascinated by the glamorous world of the silver screen. And I really wanted to become a part of it. Though I initially got into the entertainment business as a dancer, I was offered various roles in movies. 

Then I was told that my comic timing was better than my dancing abilities. I guess subconsciously the ‘Maha Jodi’ had had a great impact on me. I focused on comedy and gave it my best and here I am today. 

Do you write your own routines?

I do but only if I am told to do so. Otherwise I follow the pre-prepared scripts readied by producers and writers. But when I have to write on my own scripts, I take advice and suggestions from all my team members and prepare well for it. At times, the lines come naturally when I am on stage.

What happens if the audience does not respond to you? How do you deal with that?

When you are on stage you need to be able to captivate your audience but I have to confess that sometimes that doesn’t happen. There are times when it feels like we have lost them. A joke that was supposed to be received with raucous laughter gets a few chuckles at the most. There have been times when that has happened because of bad sound or technical problems. I used to feel really bad but now that I have a little experience, I don’t panic or worry about it. I tweak my content to get the attention of the audience. I sometimes suddenly start dancing or singing when it’s not a part of the script. 

Can you share a memorable moment of your career so far?

I was invited to Europe for a stage performance. After practicing for a couple of days, I was ready to hit the stage. As soon as I entered, with enthusiasm and excitement flowing in my nerves, I noticed a group of kids playing right in front of the stage. I thought I would ignore them and continue with the show. But their rhymes became so loud that you couldn’t hear my dialogues. I had no option but to leave the stage and join them. After I sang with them for a few minutes, they decided it was time to return to their seats and I finally got to start my show. I still find myself thinking about it every once in a while. 

Apart from the comic one, which role do you want to perform?

To be honest, I really want to play a romantic character. I’m pining for a serious romantic scene that takes place in the hills of Mustang or at a tea farm in Ilam. But, unfortunately, I’m always offered jolly dance numbers. I don’t think my dream to do a romantic scene will materialize anytime soon. 

Do you have any suggestions for aspiring artists?

Life is a rollercoaster and there are surprises at every bend. Some surprises may bring happiness but there are always equal chances of being disappointed. I would like to tell aspiring artists to neither let success get to your head nor let failures bring you down. Be focused, work hard, and, above all, be patient.  

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