Meet Ishan Banerjee, a Model, an Actor, a Musician and an Entrepreneur, featuring in AdFilms, web series and he did a gig for JBL speakers, “blasting progressive trance music down the busiest thoroughfare of Bangalore in an open jeep.”
Ishan, a 24 year old; and a few years into the field of entertainment, in Mumbai, has always believed in hard work leading to the culmination of a man’s success. He has been a part of numerous stage shows, and now working on an independent TV series, ‘Name Place Animal Thing’ whose teaser is available on YouTube. An extreme hard and dedicated worker, and very passionate about his modelling and acting, plans to hit the big screens soon, as he is working towards it. Let’s have few words with Ishan Banerjee, as he shares the story of his path to success, inspiring a lot others in the manner.
In conversation with Ishan :
What is your educational background?
I was educated in England in my childhood, finishing my high school career in Siliguri, W.B., I moved to Bangalore after, spending four years, finishing a 3 year Media Studies & Psychology degree at Christ University, the extra year of which I took to travel as a sabbatical. I worked, struggled with my startups, loved, and lost in that city over 6 years before I moved to Mumbai, enrolling in Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares for their diploma programme in Acting.
Ok, so you have been very passionate about theatrics, acting and modelling.. How and why did you choose your acting and modelling career?
Around 2015 I had hit a slump. In terms of work and career, I was drained because my creative voice would not find expression in the things I’d been doing. I have been a theatre actor for as long as I can remember, starring in plays and productions all over the world where I’d lived, since childhood. The current chapter of my story began in Bangalore, I’d been struggling to set up a production, which was to make quality content for the web. That is about the time I realized there was a need for me to expand my horizons, both in terms of my skillsets and the contacts and leverage required to make a stand in terms of my art, and what better place than Mumbai, which has forever been the figurative frontier in terms of the entertainment industry in India. I moved here on the 1st of January in 2016, and started with my first small projects, art modelling shoots, which got my game on in terms of modelling. Thereafter as I bagged an advertisement with Raymond’s late in the year, I have dedicated myself to building up my portfolio, working on myself, and securing better networks in the industry so as to be able to launch myself independently. I am on a learning curve in the field of acting, and hope to make a breakthrough in terms of performance, which will enable a steady and hopefully respectable career.
Considering yourself as a model and on the ‘learning curve’ of acting, who were your main early influences and who do you look up to in the fashion industry?
I’m a method actor, it’s the only thing I know to do, and the only thing that gives me happiness. I would say I look to the greats for inspiration, from James Dean to Dilip Kumar, and of course the revered legends of the present. The writings and plays of Tagore influenced me greatly as a child and Shakespeare whetted my appetite for dramatic expression throughout college. I read a great many books, across genres and I’m sure I’ve been influenced, at least in part, by many significant characters that reside permanently in my imagination. I find inspiration in nature, in observing people, and interacting with them on a daily basis, appreciating their lovingly constructed facades, and peering with studious interest through the gaps in them.
“The first time I ever faced a camera was..”
Well, literally speaking I’ve always been in front of the camera, in stage productions and videos of bands that I’d formed growing up. I did my first professional shoot for a fashion related blog in 2014, and my first experience on a major set shooting for an ad was in 2016. I’ve always been a part of independent films and student films and love to do these as often as I can, to keep my head in the game.
So you have been performing since a very young age, all over the world where you have lived.. One of your most memorable acting experiences from those days till date.
The character I played in and ad for Raymond Made to Measure, with Nirvana films. I played a successful architect whose humane side is displayed in the short film that is the ad, as he strived to pick up sign language in the face of an interview candidate who is hearing-challenged. The ad portrays a hopeful image of humanity in terms of tolerance and compassion and the entire 15 hour long process of shooting was the best 15 hours of my life, as I learned about the intricacies of professional acting.
How has your acting and modelling career been through all these years? Do you feel you’ve reached your goals?
Someone wise, and I’m pretty sure it’s Bruce Lee, said that goals aren’t always meant to be achieved, they simply serve to be aimed at. While this is applicable in terms of Jeet Kune Do perhaps, in this field you need a solid plan. And I believe I’m actualizing parts of that plan as of now.
You have performed a lot of stage shows and faced the cameras. Acting, which is subjective in nature, is however construed in various ways depending on the audience. While some may like it, others may not.. How does criticism from the audience help in keeping you motivated?
Criticism, both positive and negative, have spurred me on and brought me this far. I rely on considered opinions of trusted mentors so as to grow as an actor and a person all the time. The one thing that I have a problem with is cripplingly negative commentary that does not serve to contribute in a person’s development.
Could you share with us a few achievements of yours?
As a musician I’ve had moments when I’ve played or DJed for huge crowds, most notable when I did a gig for JBL speakers, blasting progressive trance music down the busiest thoroughfare of Bangalore in an open jeep. (Video on YouTube)
Do you have any upcoming projects in hand?
I have a few production responsibilities at the moment, which I am doing for a few clients in the digital marketing sphere for commissioned videos and ads. I am also working on an independent series with my production, the teaser of which is out on YouTube – Name Place Animal Thing.
What struggles did you face for carving yourself up, for reaching on this platform where you are today? How did you cope up and overcome those struggles?
The path to glory is a collection of everyday struggles culminating in a man’s eventual success story. I fixate on the plan I have for myself, and exercise my body, my skills and meditate everyday.
Any advice you want to share with the readers out there.
There’s a lot of unsolicited advice you have to deal with to get where you want. In these situations, the only way is to follow your gut instinct, and always read the fine print. Cheers!