In the age of multitasking, many talented people seek to express their creativity in different media. So it comes as no surprise that parallel careers are a common phenomenon in Technopark too. One such person straddling both worlds is Surya S. Nair, assistant manager, HR Training, in ACIS, an Allianz Group company based in Technopark. Surya's voice is her calling card. The vivacious VJ, RJ and dubbing artiste says it was her interest in stage shows that led her to the entertainment media.
Says Surya: “I have been involved in a lot of extracurricular activities right from school. In fact, I first acted in a documentary (Kuttikalum Cinemayum) that was made by artist Sasikumar, a family friend. Thus began my tryst with the media world and the connection just continued. Initially, it was an on and off hobby, but then after winning a few awards and recognitions I began to become more serious about my work. It never became my vocation but I never could cut myself away from it.”
During her schooldays in Holy Angels' Convent, Surya says she made her mark in monoact, theatre and stage shows by winning prizes for her histrionics. “The only event I did not join was classical dance,” remembers Surya.
Surya began her stint in television by presenting programmes on Asianet and then went on to dub for films. Her work for Rajiv Achal's film Made in U.S.A, won her the State Award in 2006.
“It was hard because Rajiv Sir was very particular about the way I spoke and my intonation and so on,” recalls Surya. But she adds with a laugh that her recent work for Meenakshi in the movie Alexander the Great was quite easy. “This is my first film with Mohanlal, whom I just adore and so I consider it as a milestone in my career,” gushes Surya.
Another work that she enjoyed was acting as the voice of Padmapriya's character in TV Chandran's film Bhoomi Malayalam. “That was one character that stayed with me even after my work was over. It was that of a journalist and I had to speak in English, Malayalam and Hindi. Chandran Sir was there right through the dubbing to help me get into the skin of the character,” explains Surya.
Another significant work was for Sharath's Sayanam, when she dubbed for Jomol.
No formal training
Although Surya was not formally trained to be a dubbing artiste, she adds that she looks up to seniors like Bhagayalakshmi, who, she thinks is just “awesome.”
“Dubbing,” she says, “is not something that anyone can do. You can improvise as you go along but you have to have a natural inclination for it. My language and communication skills help me a lot in furthering this talent of mine.”
However she adds that many of the characters she has dubbed for spoke a mixture of English and Malayalam. According to this multi-tasker, her best work was for an I.V. Sasi film called Abharna Charthu, which, however, was never released.
Surya also dabbles as a RJ for Hot Songs on Radio Joy Alukkas Internet Radio, for Saturday Night Fever on Ananthapuri FM and as a VJ for Rosebowl on Nine at Night and anchors Kumkumam, a series on Kairali TV. Serials like Autograph (Asianet) and Maya Ariyathe (Surya TV) have Surya lending her voice for young girls.
And no, she does not do anything special to take care of her voice. However balancing a job, home and looking after three-year-old daughter Advika is no easy task.
But Surya says that to fulfil your dreams you will have to give up a lot of your leisure hours. Doing more almost inevitably cuts into your leisure or time with your family.
Says Surya, “My work is my priority. I have never compromised with it.”