When I was all but 9, I sat at an inaugural function where my grand-father was a chief guest.. and it was on that day I decided I am going to condition myself in a way so as to be A SOMEBODY who gets invited places just to cut ribbons. And much to my amazement a few years down the line I was cutting a ribbon ! Alright alright – you didn’t have to do much to become a chief guest at Dominoes Pizza ! But it’s as if all these years my WISHLIST had been forgotten by GOD… and he has only just found it.
Ofcourse on top priority on this list is also lending my voice to a LIVE / a recorded PROGRAM ! And this is it -- ! Saturday I get a call from my soul brother – AAKASH SHAH. He auditioned me to do a voice over for a leading hair colour brand - they are partners to an upcoming movie Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara.. ! Of course, for all those who know me for donkey years, know that When opportunity STRIKES – I like to be number 1 in queue. And so I was… I rehearsed these promotional lines a couple too many times to get the wording correct over the weekend.
On D Day – which was this morning, I got to the Future Works Studio an Andheri. Now – if you are wondering whether it looks like that… array that… that yaa… That Entourage, HOLLYWOOD, MGM Studio types. Big modern building, large office spaces, big A/c Lobby, secret passage leading to a million other rooms, walking past the IN-SESSION Boards, quite corridors, heavily carpeted floors et all..!! Yes … Everything was just the same.. alright, maybe just a little smaller than you are now imagining… Yes, that’s perfect, just this much it looked !!
I reached to find The CORE TEAM of ARCHLIGHTS MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT PVT LTD all smiles. Mr Shashwat, Mrs Sonali and Mr Aakash – all dressed casually – no suits and boots here.. but once they started they were super professional in their approach.
It started with a small brief – with a couple of sample pieces which were discussed only to give me a rough idea of how it is supposed to be. The brief was simple and precise. There were 2 rooms, I in which the team sat – And I had to then walk to the other room – which is a sound proof room, all dark and dingy with only one spot light on the podium with the mike in front of me … And I got behind it then.
Yes folks, the mike is just like an Elvis Priestley’s mike with a little filter of sorts – just to make your voice clear and precise. Yes – at this point in time I was half tempted to break into a song to fulfil my weekend long khwaaish of recording a song at the studio ! That would have to wait I thought.
After doing a couple of takes and a couple of other styles of delivery – we were inching close to what they really wanted. For a person like me, I was feeling a little bit constricted. I speak with my hands and my eyes and my head bounce. And here I was – behind these shut doors with only my voice !!! That’s when I turned by back to them – and without them noticing I started using my hands and my rolling eyes etc while delivering !
IT WORKED !!! Everything after my secret actions started being approved. Line by line, and after patching bits of it…It was CUT – and PACK..!! Ofcourse they didn’t say that… I said the CUT and PACK UP also in my head.
I came out… We heard the pieces together. The equipment is also things we have never seen – except for in the making of films – especially when Anu Mallik sits on a swivel chair and goes like Kya sur hair, mazza aa gaya dialogues !!!
My VOICE OVER Assignment finished in less time than I had imagined ! But in all it was an amazing experience. MISSION VOICE OVER ACCOMPLISHED I SAY !!