From dance and television to social media, actor Jyoti Reddy traverses different mediums with ease. The actor from the Telugu small screen has won accolades for her Kuchipudi dance recitals, her roles and Telugu pronunciation. Now, Jyoti is also active with her ‘Oka Manchi Maata’ series on Instagram. Through her short 30-second to one-minute videos, she delivers messages without being preachy.
Jyoti was initiated into dance at the age of six to help her reduce the pain in her legs.
Love for dance
Jyoti was five when an overdose of vitamins affected her health. The supplements damaged her nerves, leading to excruciating pain in her legs. Upon a neighbour’s suggestion, her mother enrolled her in a dance class, thus charting out a new path.
She never looked back after her first public show at a Ganesh temple in Secunderabad in the ’80s. “I used to take part in many dance competitions,”adds Jyoti. During one such dance show, the late Devadasa Kanakala, a film director, was so impressed by Jyoti’s performance that he offered a role in his new students’ serial Damn It Katha Addam Thirigindi’ (1987) on Doordarshan.
Balancing television shows and dance performances, the teenaged Jyoti won a prize at the Festival Musica Sacra International in Germany. University, her first serial with ETV in ‘94, created opportunities. “I enjoyed my new role as a host and sometimes had to stay back in the studio for a week to complete shooting 20 episodes for daily serials.” With ‘Education is most important part of her life’ mantra, her stint in television continued while she became a graduate and also pursued M Phil in Kuchipudi from Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University.
From Mogali Rekulu on Gemini to Srimathi Srinivas and Rakta Sambandham on Maa TV and Zee Telugu…Jyoti has worked in different Telugu channels. Currently she plays a mother’s character in fantasy serial Nethra on Gemini.
Jyoti has 606K followers on Instagram. It was her co-actor Meghana Lokesh of Rakta Sambandham serial who opened her Facebook and Instagram account four years ago. “I had zero knowledge about social media but Meghana helped me to learn how to use it. I closed my Facebook account when it got hacked.”
She enjoys posting comic reels. Jyothi says,“ Hasya rasam is tough among the nava rasas. It is not easy to remain serious and make others laugh. But the real heroes are ordinary people who do wonders as content creators without any cameraman or makeup artist.”
Her ‘Manchi Maata’ videos on Instagram started as an outlet to share experiences. “Sometimes it could be something I saw on my way to the shooting locale. I just pick up my phone and shoot,” says Jyoti.
From explaining the Telugu adage ‘ Noru manchidi aithe, ooru manchidi avutundi’ (If you are kind with words, a village will be good to you ) to Appreciating others when they are alive rather than crying after they are gone … her content is simple yet engaging.
Mother of two sons, Jyothi is constantly juggling her personal and professional roles. Any dreams? “I hope to do web series and movies,” she signs off.