Many aspire to become actors but then it’s not that easy of a job. There is so much involved in playing a character that you need to have your facial and body stance just right to communicate the message effectively. While all these are the primary things in acting, attending any drama or entertainment workshop can understand how acting or even screenplay writing is executed. For those looking forward to one, then Shahjahanpur Prosceniums LLP is the one you should not miss.
Shahjahanpur Prosceniums LLP is a company that teaches aspiring actors the art of acting, screenplay writing, directing, and even producing stage theatre and audio integration as well. It’s a one-stop-shop for those looking to fine-tune their talents in any entertainment industry field, starting from acting to producing and even video editing. With so many things on its tab, Bangalore Insider was excited to learn more about the company and had a brief conversation with Manil Mayank Mishra, the founder of the company. The entire interview is provided as follows.
Give a brief info about your company?
Shahjahanpur Prosceniums LLP is a production house registered as a limited liability parternership company incorporated with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 02nd September 2020 as a part of entertainment industry.
The name ‘Shahjahanpur’ derives its roots from the ancestral place of the Thinker Founder of Shahjahnapur Prosceniums, Manil Mayank Mishra and ‘Prosceniums’, an ancient name for stage, also shows Manil’s affiliation for stage theatre along with 4 other ‘Inspirers’ behind this production house and they all share like-mindedness together.
The production house is founded by actor, writer, acting teacher and script coach, Manil Mayank Mishra with Neha Pathak, a research scholar and Botanist, Jamila Khan, a communications coach and a professional singer, Smriti Rastogi, a Television Journalist and a Journalism teacher and with Ashish Pandey, a Television legal debater and lawyer of international corporate affairs.
The company works on three verticals – teaching acting to aspiring actors and script/screenplay writing to aspiring writers, writing, directing and producing stage theatre and making viable audio – video content for media.
The company in the coming days aspires to launch an interactive and communicating online market place for all content creators/performing artistes who can have close association with each other over work, creative discussions or job clarifications upon creative ventures and projects.
The company also aspires to build an online library which shall be enriched with literature – books, articles, scripts, infographics, videos, audio content etc for the intellectual growth of the artistes.
The company also expects to launch an online audio podcast for content creators and artistes to have a wholesome platform for discussions, interactions over opportunities and creative growth.
The company has its headquarters at Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) with a corporate presence at New Delhi (Delhi), India.
What made you start this and what problem does it solve?
Shahjahanpur Prosceniums has been established keeping in mind years of journey of the processes, struggles and that social reluctance an artiste goes through. The entertainment industry in India does not have a formal structure and therefore opportunities, projects etc. does not come easy. Plus, the skepticism in Indian households for making a ‘career’ in film/theatre industry discourages talents to enter into the profession at an apt age. This social understanding, coupled up with lack of financial resources, heavy impact of local region on language and culture of the artiste and conventional understanding that an artiste needn’t be ‘well read’, factors like these make the quest of an artiste all the more difficult. This is where the ideation of actor, writer, acting teacher and script coach, Manil Mayank Mishra comes in place as Shahjahanpur Prosceniums.
This production house is a result of Manil’s own personal insights, struggles and journey to make his own mark in the film industry as an artiste.
The production house is a well thought decision along with its ‘Inspirers’ – Neha, Smriti, Ashish and Jamila who too have their beautiful stories as creators. The team Shahjahanpur Prosceniums strives to provide one stop solution of communication, interaction, opportunities and learning to all content creators and performing artistes through their upcoming website and other social media channels by creating a dedicated online market place for better communication, a well enriched online library with literature on acting, performing art and content creation. We also strive hard to bring in industry experts to create and provide job opportunities to aspiring actors and creators.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this?
I have been an actor, acting teacher, writer and a script teacher for about 10 years now. An alumnus of KiroriMal College, which has a massive presence in Hindi Film industry and then again, went ahead to do my Law from Delhi University, my journey has been very colourful till now. I have worked in some of the most mainstream Bollywood films, worked with celebrities like Mr Shahrukh Khan, serials for Television, digital Ads, Tvcs, Web Series etc. I have also given and imparted workshops and sessions upon acting in premiere schools, corporate houses of Delhi and elsewhere, raised annual stage productions, imparted script writing workshops for individuals and students like Shiv Nadar School etc. I have also been teaching ‘theatre and acting’ at National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi and very recently have also given acting classes for one of the most reputed casting agencies of Bollywood, Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company (MCCC). In terms of theatre, I have raised, directed, written and acted in about 10 stage productions which have been covered by almost all the national dailies including Times of India, Indian Express, Hindustan Times etc. When I am not on stage, or working for camera or not in my acting sessions, I adjudicate poetry competitions and recite some Urdu poetry.
Before venturing into content creation, I briefly worked at several places – with a vertical of Times of India, an American Legal Process Outsourcing firm etc. However, in the quest of solace, my directions took me somewhere else.
Where is your company based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Technically, the company’s headquarters are at Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), Also, we have a strong corporate, creative and physical presence in Delhi and Mumbai both. Most of the work goes online these days though. Practically, our creative collaborators are from all across the world.
As a founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
As the Thinker Founder of Shahjahanpur Prosceniums, me and my team are not scared or paranoid about anything. We firmly believe in our uniqueness of being a one stop solution for everything. Infact, me and my team are not paranoid about anything however, we are a little skeptical about the aspirations and new ideation we have – how shall it be absorbed, how much time will it take to be accepted etc.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
Competitors are many. As ours is an ever evolving and organic industry and subjective in terms of interpretations, so it is not easy to control or move away from competitions. But then, what sets us apart is our identity of an populist platform for all content creators and creative collaborators to provide a niche solution in providing opportunities to a performing artiste.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a founder and how do you manage it?
I have always been a workaholic so working ‘more’ was never ‘more’ for me. But yes, maintaining that fine balance is something, I am still learning. What I believe, having that equilibrium between personal and professional lives is a little ideal as a concept as we all are humans and, somewhere down the line, we all get effected by emotional interventions etc. However, I am learning the art from people who are successful in doing that.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
No, we haven’t raised any funding. The kind of idea and its execution requires financial support. We are reaching out to funders and investors who have shown interest in our innovative ideas and thus we are keeping our fingers crossed however, we are calling out new supporters as well. Any interest in that regard shall be most invited.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
That’s a little tricky. I, infact, never tried to know what world around thinks about me, not that I am not concerned but then I see the larger picture and find opinions around me do not really matter much. Fleeting thoughts do not have stability. But, if you are truly asking, I think the world has misunderstood me as a strong headed, pure professional. But the reality is, I too have my own precarious stories to tell.
What gets you excited about this company?
Uniqueness, my team of ‘Inspirers’ – Neha Pathak, Smriti Rastogi, Jamila Khan and Ashish Pandey. What drives me more is the learning curve which I am being introduced to by building this Shahjahanpur Prosceniums brick by brick along with my ‘Inspirers’. Something like, communicating with multiple collaborators, getting to know their challenges, knowing technicalities of developing a website, legal processes to register a company, world’s outlook to our new ideas and very importantly, how much time one gives us when we have a new story to tell.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Like I mentioned before, I am more in to my work, so, essentially, passing time does not matter much (unless I have a deadline to honour). When I get up, I pray to an unseen mighty power, supreme being who I call God, who is beyond religious definitions and dogmas. Post this, an amount of time goes in newspapers and then begins a linear, simple life of having my laptop, club house discussions with creators till I hit bed. In my life, the difference between day and night is of the ‘sky light’ and not of time.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
So, we are a bunch of 4 people, who despite being in different professions share common interest of stage theatre, cinema and compassion towards untapped talents.
Thinker Founder – Manil Mayank Mishra
1- Neha Pathak
Neha is an avid Botanist, researcher and an entrepreneur. While she has worked with Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, at a responsible position, Neha has pursued and conducted workshops of national and international fame related to Botany and has won numerous awards and accolades for presenting botanical research papers. She takes deep interest in writing, guiding lost people and yes, plants – she nurtures them like children and takes care of them as a worthy parent. When is not in her lab making some great research happen, she loves to travel and interact with different people/Geographies and insists on an enviorment friendly life.
2- Smriti Rastogi
Smriti, an actor of essence with a literary vantage over English and Hindi, is a celebrated news anchor, presenter and an inspiring journalist. Working with the reputed Rajya Sabha Television, she is also a delegate member who represents India at Parliament Press for South Asia. Hailing from the ‘city of Nawabs’ – Lucknow, her dedication for teaching can be clearly seen while she gives journalism classes to her students in Delhi University.
3- Jamila Khan
Jamila has pursued her fondness for acting with a lot of success. A trilingual actor with an amazing command over Hindi, English and Urdu, she has done over 100 shows of the famous stage production ’Balle Balle – The Musical’ produced by Wizcraft in Mumbai & Kingdom of Dreams (KOD), Delhi. She has also performed in a stage adaptation of a story by Rabindranath Tagore, directed by renowned theatre director, Shri Arvind Gaur. She, apart from her acting achievements, is a versatile communication coach of accent and voice.
4- Ashish Pandey –
The managing partner of a New Delhi based full service law firm, a suave lawyer, Ashish represents various global entities and conglomerates on issues related to corporate and commercial transaction and dispute resolution. He has also been very instrumental in advising office of the Director General of Trade of the European Commission (EU) with respect to India’s compliances on her commitments made at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) thus redefining the influence of Indian economy at a global platform. Ashish, apart from his legal excellence, is a popular face on Television shows on legal and political debates.
Meeting all these ‘Inspirers’ behind Shahjahanpur Prosceniums, has been a matter of partially luck and partially work. Some studied with me, some worked with me and some where there, always with me, just like that. Interestingly, it’s not about why how did we meet, instead ‘why’ did we meet. Perhaps, to have that popular interrelated trust and encouragement to start an amazing idea in the form of Shahjahanpur Prosceniums.
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