A variety of musical talent will be on the stage for the first production in the Sutter Theatre for Children. We thought it’d be fun to preview these singers who will lend their talents to our world premiere production of Gandhi! while also discovering where they found their love of singing.
I was raised on South Asian classical music as well as American pop. I would imitate my favorite artists for fun. In high school I would sing for our cultural events and that’s how I got on stage and that led to acting and theatre.
My parents are both singers and have been all throughout their lives and it’s how they paid their bills when they were younger! They sang in theme parks, bands, cruise ships, for weddings, you name it! Hearing their stories, watching them sing, and listening to recordings of them from their early days inspired me to begin learning. It just so happened to be at the same time I starting forming an interest in theatre, so the two passions eventually merged into one as I began pursuing opportunities in musical theatre!
I started singing when I was in second grade in my school choir and eventually in my church choir! As you can see, singing is something that has been ingrained in me from the beginning. I have found so much joy in singing because I associate it with childhood, family, and freedom. There are certain songs that I sing that are memory recall to certain locations, people, and walks in life. In high school, I was in the school choir and I saw that there were auditions for the school play and thought I would give it a shot. Little did I know I would also fall for acting as well. I started a career in theatre because I fell in love with portraying real life onstage rather than extravagant singing, choral music, and dancing onstage. I love what I do and I am blessed to be a part of an amazing group of artists in the musical, Ghandi!
It was my senior year studying musical theatre at UCLA, which is a wonderful and rigorously intense program. The stress had taken its toll on my voice. I was so obsessed with sounding good that it physically hurt to sing. I was convinced that my voice had been permanently damaged and that I had no future as a singer. In my first voice lesson back from the summer, I shared my fears and anxieties with my voice teacher Jeremy Mann. He calmly listened to my neurotic freak out and then said, “Okay, why don’t we do some singing and see what’s going on?” After a few exercises and scales, he said that he couldn’t hear anything wrong with my voice, and then gave me a true gift, “I think what we need is to remind you of the joy of singing. So your assignment from here on out is to sing, every day, in your room, the car, the shower—not for an assignment or grade—and start reclaiming the reason you love singing in the first place!” I did as he told me and it transformed my voice and my whole relationship to singing!
I remember hating my parents for pushing me to learn Indian classical hymns at the Sikh temple. But even at five years old, I did have a knack for performing them and was encouraged by the whole community to do so. Fast forward to 4th grade music class where we learned about Mariah Carey’s five octave range- hers was the first album I ever bought, learning every song front and back. I joined the school choirs and when it was time for the coveted 8th grade play, I got a solo! Man that felt good! From then, I auditioned for every play and musical offered in high school and eventually decided to jeopardize my future career as a doctor by auditioning for NYU’s theater program. Well, I got in and never looked back.
Tickets for Gandhi! are still available. Contact our Box Office and see this world premiere musical at the beautiful Sutter Theatre for Children.