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The tone that resonates

Your favourite radio show host could just be the person dipping his hands in television, cinema and playback singing, with some success.

November 12, 2015 04:46 pm | Updated 09:05 pm IST - Hyderabad:

CHENNAI, 06/11/2013: Radio Jockey RJ Balaji during an interview with The Hindu in Chennai on Thursday.  
Photo: R_Ravindran.

CHENNAI, 06/11/2013: Radio Jockey RJ Balaji during an interview with The Hindu in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: R_Ravindran.

It’s your inner voice that may take you places. No, really! Just think about that impressive voice of an RJ you adore on a local radio station and you might just see them branch across television, cinema and even playback singing in due course. What’s in a voice we may ask? The chirpiness of it all to keep a listener glued, the emotive quality to sustain a brand of your show slot and the spontaneity of the exercise open many opportunities to unleash one’s intuitive skill.

Does that always work on the visual front? The answer is a challenging yes; there’s some grooming needed, the pressure of looking aesthetic and yet delivering with the voice, dealing with the camera, etc. It’s not a generalisation made but yes, you can’t deny the natural instinct of being spontaneous when it comes to a performance, especially when an actor puts his humour bones to work besides delivering those lengthy page-long lines. RJ-turned actor Nani is a major case in point to prove this.

RJ Chaitu too, who’d done his bit for IPL earlier this year, switches between television, stage shows, dubbing and singing jingles opines, “To make that leap, you must be equally sensible yet entertaining at work and not talk just about anything. There’s always the question of how good you look too, but if the content you deliver stands, such barriers would pass.”

Hemanth, who anchors a show on radio is an equally popular example embracing the medium exchange with tact. With his occasional character and comedy roles, say a brief part in Veyyi Abaddhalu and a blink and a miss appearance in Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu , you see he’s equally at ease on-screen too. Knowing the limitations is the key here, on how seriously do they take the other careers, knowing their visual appeal along with the vocal side.

The case of RJ Adonica’s not-so successful transition, the seamless transformation of RJ Balaji in Tamil films, the ease in Suchitra’s turn to playback singing and a stint as a dubbing artiste from being a talk show host offer clues in taking this forward.

Srinivas Avasarala, handpicking RJ Priyanka to dub for Raashi Khanna in Oohalu Gusagusalade adds, it’s the freshness with their voices that helps with the choice. “Whenever you listen to a voice in a film, I wouldn’t want to particularly have a viewer identify the voice behind the face. The unfamiliar nature when it comes to new voices helps the film’s flavour. However, you don’t hunt for RJs just for that. The film still remains important and if their contribution’s significant, we’re game.”

The vice versa works well too. Eminent television anchor Swapna, who started her career as an RJ is back to home ground for a morning show alongside RJ Shekar Basha. The latter too has consistently switched back and forth his career as a VJ, proving it’s not a tough deal after all. The familiarity of knowing the face does enhance the curiosity factor, when you listen to their chatter every morning. It’s easy to forget the pressure of looking perfect, as they bring on the radio microphones.

In the same league is character actor Uttej, who’s having a ball in the radio space, anchoring a talk show in an evening prime slot. The response, he admits, is unique, with people consistently expressing interest if it’s the very same actor who’s doing it. From seeing him occasionally in character roles to listening to him on a daily basis, you see a tighter bond developing.

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