Gautam Tawade, an actor who edits, directs, and produces
Learn more about this extraordinary person by reading his responses to our exclusive questions
New Delhi : Meet Gautam Tawade, a Los Angeles-based actor and former editor-director. Learn more about this extraordinary person by reading his responses to our exclusive questions.
Interviewer: Greetings, Gautam nice to meet you. Can you give our readers a little background on who you are?
Gautam: I grew up in Mumbai, the Bollywood capital and city of dreams. As a kid, I was always exposed to live performances. A leaning towards this field of work was a logical progression. The path that led me from editor to assistant director began with that job. Since I was already familiar with the company and was eager to expand my horizons, they put me in the position of assistant director. After working on a few projects, I was able to go into directing as well. Taking up work as a Creative Producer was the next step on the path. Putting it all together, I was able to launch a production company called G7 Productions. I had a great time contributing to a wide variety of films under this label. After a few years, the epidemic stopped operations, but it gave me time to consider my actual vocation. I improved my abilities in my field throughout this period.
I’ve always been interested in acting but never thought it was for me until the epidemic prompted me to leave my safe zone and give it a try. I was first hesitant because I was aware of the cameras, but after that fear subsided, I flew out of the nest like a freed bird. I embarked on a quest to learn about myself. I put my trust in fate and applied to the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. I can vividly recall the day I got my admission letter. Having to pack my luggage and leave my loved ones behind was a bittersweet experience. It was complicated by the pandemic’s attendant dangers and rules. It was all worth it when I finally stepped foot here in May of 2021, heading towards a reality I had previously only dreamed about.
Interviewer: Absolutely Fascinating. No country offers a fast track to a successful acting career. During your travels, you faced what difficulties?
Gautam: I’ve always hated driving on pavement. It’s rather dull to drive on a lengthy stretch of straight road. For a road to be enjoyable to me, it must have twists and turns, hills to climb, speed bumps, and potholes to avoid. I like the difficulties of a demanding profession since they force me to improve my skills. But there are other challenges to overcome. Obtaining the VISA itself has been a challenge for me. The US Consulate in Mumbai was closed because of the epidemic and only processed a small number of urgent applications. I was able to get my VISA issued barely a week before my flight to LA by working some ropes. After arriving and settling into my shared flat, I counted 22 or 24 other individuals living there. I had to get used to having no personal space at all due to sharing a room and a bathroom. It exposed me to a brand-new way of life. There’s never a moment of boredom.
Using the underground to navigate about Los Angeles and discovering new stations has been yet another exciting experience for me. The first two weeks of school were a whirlwind for me. I couldn’t go to sleep because I was so worried about my performance and how I would seem in front of the camera, especially since we were filming in a public park. Throughout my very first lesson, I was overcome with anxiety. Being a student means living on a strict budget. My first few weeks back at school after having worked and earned money were a roller coaster of emotions. Managing to dine, travel, and hang out with friends while on a strict budget is an experience to remember. I can vividly recall going almost an entire year without eating anything other than tuna or chicken salad for lunch and a sandwich for supper. Looking back, I can see that everything worked out for the best since I saved time by not having to pick out what I wanted to eat. It allowed me to get back on track with the good stuff. Although it may seem that I have a lot on my plate, I am quite content with the life I have crafted for myself. It shaped me into the person I am now.
Interviewer: Though these challenges are similar to a quarter of new actors, I am sure you have created your unique path. Tell us more about your work.
Gautam: For a decade, I worked behind the camera. Now being on the other side of the lens has added immense value to my craft and honed my overall skill set. For someone, who can edit, direct, produce and act – I’m surely proud of my capabilities that I can bring to any project. Though I have worked across different genres, my work in comedy and drama is something that sets me apart. I attribute my success to my innate qualities that bring attention to detail, the minutest observations and being a quick learner. My ability to quickly learn, adapt and grow has always kept me in high spirits with the people I work with. You’ll never find me complaining while working on a set, there is a different energy altogether that embraces me. I get along easily which makes working with me fun and engaging.
Interviewer: I am already feeling that energy. For sure, the Gautam effect has put me at an ease while interviewing you. Who are the people that push you to be the wonderful person you are?
Gautam: It definitely has to be my parents. Their constant support and unwavering belief in me has pushed me to adorn the various hats I wear. I consider myself lucky to have an amazing set of friends and wonderful family that is continuously checking on me and encouraging my work. It truly is a blessing. For me, the little actions have always meant a lot and the people I am surrounded with do not leave room for a bad day. Their love and support has pushed me to fly through every thick and thin.