Living a dream!
RJ Hemanth enthralled the Hyderabad audience with his radio jockeying skills, also dabbles with hosting and acting. He has appeared in many Telugu movies and TV shows…with his superfluous talking dexterity he has stepped into the world of cricket commentary. Hemanth is the Telugu commentary panel for the ongoing India tour of West Indies on Sony Liv.
Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us about the cricket commentary experience.
Firstly, it feels surreal to be part of a commentary team. Because while growing up I have listened to great personalities doing commentary. In fact, many people like me have learnt commentary and the cricket language which was used in commentary. When I was in my college when we used to play cricket and used to make fun of the opposite team with commentary. I still remember Tony Greig shouting out when Tendulkar bating during the desert storm or Ravi Shastri saying when Tendulkar got his 200 'The Super-Man of India does it'. I remember all these beautiful lines and I wanted to use it someday and now I am living my dream and I am more than happy.
How did you prepare for the commentary?
I have done a lot of preparation, and the reason why I have prepared is to sound like a professional, and not be blabbering just because I have a mic. Every day before the match, our production team gives us facts about the match. We make notes and highlight the important points and then prepare properly to go ahead. Unlike a film you do not have a take two, it is on air and if you goof up all you can say is sorry. And it is not something that you want to do, so I am more than prepared, and I am on my toes all the time. I have done radio, TV, etc. But I haven't been as focused as I am in the commentary. I guess my IQ levels, my heart rate everything just goes up as I am so focused.
How do you balance your work when you are so many things professionally?
All I have is time… I have done films because I always want to be an actor on the radio I have jumped to TV in some way. Commentary is one thing that I always wanted to take up one day. Once I started doing commentary the amount of focus and hard work I do, it makes me happy. I am going to take this as serious as possible and take this forward.
What kind of role do you prefer as an actor?
Roles like Vennela Kishore… He is not just amazing but an absolute inspiration for me. My personality has four facets, in films I want to be like Vennela Kishore; on stage, I want to be like anchor Suma; in terms of fitness and money I want to be like Akshay Kumar and for cricket commentary, I want to be like Harsha Bogle. So, every morning I wake up and say I want to be these four most important things, I want to conquer in terms of profession.
Which one of your professions did you find challenging?
I would say it is commentary right now… because I do not have a take two. Radio… I have done it for 12 years, and I know I can do it if I wake up in the middle of the night. The most challenging profession is commentary for two reasons one is that it is live on air and it is about Indian cricket which is like another religion in the country where millions of people are watching you and you are being judged. The second reason is that you sit with legends like the best of people in the commentary when you speak you cannot afford to do any mistake. And in films, I am portrayed to be a funny guy, so I have to keep that persona up.
What would be your next step in your career?
Honestly, I am just living my dream now, the next is to excel in whatever I am doing in terms of hosting or commentary.
Every day before the match, our production team gives us facts about the match. We make notes and highlight the important points and then prepare properly to go ahead. Unlike a film you do not have a take two, it is on air and if you goof up all you can say is sorry - Hemanth