From Makeup to Modelling to Movies- My Crazy Year in India!

Moving from Makeup in Canada to Movies in India

TV Presenting in Canada

TV Presenting in Canada

One year ago, I decided to switch things up a bit and move from Canada to my home country of India. I was happy enough working in the makeup and beauty blogging space in Canada,  but as I was also doing some TV presenting work and had trained in acting, I was curious what those industries were like in India. The plan was to move to Mumbai for 3 months and check it out. Little did I know, that was going to go out the window, and I was going to end up making my debut into the Indian film industry in a quirky, “masala” rom-com movie!  

I arrived in “The City of Dreams” as Bombay is called due, I think, to the droves of people who come here to India’s entertainment capital to try to make it in the biz. I found a flat in the sort of noveau-hipster arty neighborhood of Bandra. I started seeking out agencies to represent me as a beauty influencer and presenter.

I earnestly began reaching out to makeup and skincare brands to offer beauty influencer services and I became the digital face for a home grown Indian beauty brand called MyGlamm (read about my full journey with the brand here). But beauty blogging responsibilities started to become eclipsed by a busy modelling calendar. Every week it seemed I was flying to some new city in the South of India for TV commercials and photoshoots. I was curious as to why the South of India was such a hot spot for work and discovered its thriving regional cinema scene- Tollywood. The second largest film industry in India after Bollywood, with budgets and box office returns rivalling and in recent years, surpassing Bollywood. 

Creating makeup looks for Myglamm

Creating makeup looks for Myglamm

But at the time, my three month stay in India was coming to a close and I was casting my eyes back to Canada and a job in the beauty industry in Toronto. I guess the universe had some different plans for me, because quite literally out of the blue, I received a phone call explaining that I had to get on a flight to South India the next day because a director in the Tollywood film industry wanted to meet me based off some pictures and some TV clips he had seen of me. I got on the plane with no idea or expectations of what was to come… and that’s where the story really gets away from me.

The actual selfie I took before leaving the house to fly South for my audition!

The actual selfie I took before leaving the house to fly South for my audition!

I was given the role on the spot after auditioning and delivering lines to the director in a language that is completely foreign to me. I can speak Hindi, but in Tollywood they speak Telugu which is a completely different language- more akin to English and Greek then let’s say French and Spanish where maybe there are some cross over words.  I would have never guessed in a million years I would be making the transition from being a beauty blogger/model to an actor so quickly!

I was thrown into a world that was simultaneously so new to me, but somehow familiar. As a vlogger and presenter I was used to facing the camera. But I had never had to call on my acting skills in a meaningful way. All of a sudden I was exercising this new muscle and doing workshops with the production team, flying to new locations constantly, shooting insanely long days and trying to navigate a brand new culture. It was QUITE the experience, and I’ve tried to keep a little video diary of it all which you can check out here!

By the end of the shoot I was totally drained and exhausted but so happy- and yes, proud of myself. I had done a movie!! I had made new friends, had had a totally new and unique experience, and have opened the door to many more new things for me in India. I have lovely people sharing their encouragement and support for me and if any of you are reading this- thank you so much. I see all your messages and comments and they mean so much! That plan to stay in India for a short time has certainly changed a lot, as I now plan to make a homebase of sorts here and continue acting, modelling and yes, my original love- beauty blogging and travel blogging right here on Beauty Nomad! Hope you check in for more stories from this little hippie soon!

On set as “Sneha” in Sri Lanka

On set as “Sneha” in Sri Lanka