Barkha Singh: I wasn't cut out for saas-bahu soaps
Ready with the second season of Please Find Attached, Barkha Singh on charting a career in digital entertainment after breaking away from the television
The worlds of television and digital entertainment may be poles apart, but Barkha Singh — who started out as a child artiste in Bollywood with Mujhse Dosti Karoge (2002) and made her debut on the small screen with Yeh Hai Aashiqui — has seamlessly shifted gears. With Engineering Girls and Home Sweet Office to boast of, the actor has carved her niche in the web world. As the second season of the Dice Media series Please Find Attached drops online, Singh talks about wanting to break the girl-next-door image and fighting self-doubt with positivity.
Edited excerpts from the interview.
Was the second season already on the cards when you were shooting for the first season?
The first instalment, which was a mini-series with three 10-minute episodes, was experimental. The characters of Shaurya [Ayush Mehra] and Sania were well-received, and the show got a lot of traction, which convinced the makers to create a full-fledged season.
How has your character developed in the second outing?
The time gap in the storyline is barely three-four days. So, there isn't much character evolution. That said, Sania is more relatable this time. From failures to personal victories — it all seems real. Most stories idolise the protagonists, but that is not the case here. Sania has her share of self-doubts. I tapped into my personal life to portray these emotions.
What are your personal doubts?
The constant query that plagues me is, am I doing enough? Will I be what I want to be? Am I doing it right as an actor and content creator? In corporate jobs, appraisals and performance ratings clearly indicate whether you are on the right track. As a freelance actor, these self-doubts often play spoilsport.
How do you combat them?
Though I struggle with these doubts day in, day out, I try to stay positive. Believing in myself and the universe [makes it easier to tackle them].
What, according to you, was the turning point in your career?
My entry into digital entertainment changed things for me. Before that, I was doing saas-bahu soaps. While they deserve due credit, I wasn't cut out for them. I took a risk by making this shift; dropping three years of television experience and starting from scratch was intimidating. But now, when I look back, I am glad I took the decision.
What is your long-term goal?
To be part of web shows or films wherein I get to break out of the girl-next-door image. There is a lot more to me as an actor, which has not been tapped into yet. I have largely done happy-go-lucky college kid roles. In the Netflix original, House Arrest, the directors [Samit Basu, Shashanka Ghosh] gave me complete freedom to make the character as wacky and obnoxious as I could. I want to show my versatility as an actor.
How do you cope when a show is not received well, like House Arrest?
The scariest part for a film or series is when no one watches it. While people had mixed feelings about House Arrest, it was the year's sixth most-watched content on Netflix. Liking or not liking it is up to people, you cannot please everyone.
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