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Stage to screen Shazahn Padamsee
Stage to screen Shazahn Padamsee

After theatre and modelling, Shazahn Padamsee has set her eyes on films

Theatre, writing and acting run in the Padamsee family. And proof of that is 21-year-old Shazahn, daughter of Alyque Padamsee and Sharon Prabhakar. A few years ago, Alyque Padamsee discovered by chance that his daughter could take to theatre effortlessly. He asked her to read out a few lines from Shakespeare and when she did, he was impressed. Shazahn, now a model and an aspiring actress, says, “You can either read Shakespeare or you can’t. And there is nothing you can do to improvise on the lines. The fact that dad liked my narration gave me the confidence to consider theatre and films.” A short stint in theatre later, Shazahn turned executive producer for the play “Unspoken Dialogues”, a conglomeration of 11 monologues and dialogues.

“‘Unspoken Dialogues’ is Shazahn’s idea. During one of Alyque’s acting workshops, Shazahn felt there could be stories culled out of thoughts running in the actors’ minds at that point of time. She went up to them and asked them to put down their thoughts on paper. She then developed it and we thought it could be a play by itself,” mom Sharon Prabhakar pitches in.

The play, Shazahn describes, “is inspired by true incidents. I have written one part and enacted it too. Called ‘Audition’, it’s about an aspiring actress who goes for an audition. She doesn’t realise one needs to have her lines ready and be prepared to face the camera. There is also a bit about how she faces the casting couch.” In the last two years, Shazahn has been wooed by Bollywood. “There have been some good offers and I will finalise my debut film next year.” While mom Sharon believes Shazahn will be the new face of Bollywood, the youngster is grounded. “I took Hindi diction and acting classes and learnt Kathak. I will train in martial arts too. I want to be prepared. I am keen on acting in regional films in the South as well,” she says.

The interest in acting happened by chance, she says. “I used to be a shy child. A friend of my dad had a small part in one of his plays and tricked me into acting in it. I enjoyed it, got good feedback and got hooked. After my college at St. Andrews, I decided against doing postgraduation. I can concentrate only on one thing at a time.”

Shazahn sees modelling as a stepping stone to films. She walked the ramp for designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil and Pallavi Jaipur at the recent Lakme Fashion Week. “I felt honoured when Shantanu and Nikhil asked me to be their showstopper. Then, Pallavi too wanted me to be on her show. Walking the ramp boosts your morale,” says Shazahn.

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

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