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Mayuri Deshmukh: Doing a play is very different from working in a daily soap

‘Dear Aajo’ is a creation that stemmed from my thoughts and imagination. It started as a writing exercise but I got so much love for the play that it has given me the impetus to write some more. It has made me trust my instincts, thoughts and imagination so much more  	-Mayuri
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‘Dear Aajo’ is a creation that stemmed from my thoughts and imagination. It started as a writing exercise but I got so much love for the play that it has given me the impetus to write some more. It has made me trust my instincts, thoughts and imagination so much more -Mayuri

Highlights

Mayuri Deshmukh is an Indian actress, currently a leading face of Star Plus's show 'Imlie' has performed in several Theatre shows, television serials...

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Mayuri Deshmukh is an Indian actress, currently a leading face of Star Plus's show "Imlie" has performed in several Theatre shows, television serials as well as Marathi-language movies, popular know for Zee Marathi's Khulta Kali Khulena. She was from Dhule in Maharashtra and was raised and schooled in Pune, Pandharpur, Nanded, Nashik and Mumbai as her dad had a transferable job. After completing her Masters in Theatre Arts from Mumbai University, her creative journey in plays, daily soaps and films begun.

Mayuri shares, "My journey started when I was in the second year of my dentistry. I was quite content and happy that my studies were going well, I had nice friends but somehow, I could not see myself working in a clinic all my life. I knew that I had untapped creative energy within me that needed expression. So, I started figuring out ways to express myself as an actor. I joined an acting workshop to see if I was good enough to be an actor. Then I did a few more. After I completed my dental studies, I told my parents that I wanted to give acting a shot. My dad suggested I build my foundation first and join the Masters course in Theatre Arts from Mumbai University. It was when I did my post graduation that I understood the gravity and depth of this field, whether it was writing, acting or the other dynamics that I was unaware of. It kind of opened my mind to new horizons and showed me how much more there was to grasp, learn and achieve than I had imagined. From then on, I started dabbling with experimental plays with my colleagues and friends. I got picked to perform commercial plays and subsequently, did a daily soap. One thing led to another and here I am."

Mayuri wrote a play'Dear Aajo' as an exercise during her masters. She shares that 'Dear Aajo' has given a lot of confidence to her.

She adds, "It's a creation that stemmed from my thoughts and imagination. It started as a writing exercise but I got so much love for the play that it has given me the impetus to write some more. It has made me trust my instincts, thoughts and imagination so much more. I am so grateful to the audience for the love they have given to my first attempt at writing."

The character of Shanaya ('Shanu')

Shanaya is basically a 17-year-old brat who was born and brought up in Atlanta and she has not really imbibed Indian or Maharashtrian values. When she is forced to come and live with her grandfather who is a typical middle-class Maharashtrian, they have a lot of friction.

Mayuri shares, "For Shanaya's character, I had to work a lot on her accent. She brings with her a heavy, American accent that gets phased out by the time the story ends. The inspiration for this was my observation of my NRI cousins. I picked certain nuances from them. I learnt to roll my R's and to get the pronunciation just right. Because I had written and conceived the character, it wasn't very difficult to bring her alive. The picture in my head was very clear about how Shanaya would look and behave, act and evolve from a brat to a woman who has adapted to the Indian milieu and yet retained her own ideas. So, that was a beautiful mix to portray."

Mayuri shares that it is hard to predict what will happen next with the fresh spike in cases.

"If you try to take as many precautions as possible on sets. One thing I adhere to without fail is that whenever I enter my house, I maintain my distance and don't meet anybody. I straightaway take a hot water bath. I practice 'Pranayam', try to keep a positive frame of mind and take all the precautions I can. This is my way of coping and I am hoping that the cases subside and things get better," she adds.

The difference between daily soap and plays

Doing a play is very different from working in a daily soap. In a daily soap, you get the script in the morning, you work on the scenes, and there are retakes.

Mayuri says, "You need a different frame of mind and skillset to pull this off. Whereas in a play, you get the script almost a month or two in advance and you rehearse for a month and develop the character. It's all going to be performed in one take so you have to perfectly remember the lines, the cues and blocking instructions. So, memory plays a very important role in theatre. And with each show, you define and refine the graph of the character and make it evolve a little more. Whereas in a daily soap, everyday, you adapt the character afresh to the screenplay that you get. So, there is a lot of difference between both but I kind of enjoy them equally. In future, I want to write plays, films, web series and anything that feeds my imagination. I want to continue writing but I need a little more discipline to sit down and make time for it. Hopefully I will come up with good subjects and frame them in words in the near future."

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