Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
I am grateful for the opportunity.
So, before I jump to what I love to do and why let me introduce myself.
Hey, I’m Sapra. I’m a South Asian actor straight out of India based in Los Angeles.
I have been in Los Angeles for 12 years; I haven’t been back to my home country for the last 7 years. I have my health, a car, a rented apartment, and about 25 projects to my name. This is what I have earned in the last decade. I have put my youth on the line to pursue my dreams.
I have a passion to perform, a desire to entertain. My passion to become an Actor/Performer, Musician, and filmmaker started at an early age and followed me through high school when, as my fellow classmates were taking their final exams, I was already on tour with productions around the globe. By then, I was accustomed to being different from kids my age as I’d been playing drums, tabla, and bongos at various events long before my friends were even old enough to attend. This cycle of performing and touring lasted five years as I completed my school exams in a vacant classroom long after school had gotten out for vacation.
Today, I am considered a triple threat— a multilingual East Indian performer who can act, sing-rap, and dance. With a Bollywood style of acting, I am often cast as the lead actor, protagonist, and hero in a variety of projects that have taken me around the world!
I believe in the power of youth and all my songs and art are focused on creating awareness and enthusiasm through arts. I like to make music and films on provocative topics like drug awareness, sex education, female empowerment, Covid-19, etc. When I see humanity suffering, my empathy level goes off the roof and I can’t help but want to create something impactful. I admire topics and concepts relating to equality and tolerance.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
According to me, the quality that makes me unique is an affirmation to hug and welcome the risks of life and trashing my ego.
Outside my success as a performer, I am also incredibly active in the community with organizations like the World Peace Organization. I’ve emceed events, fundraised, and participated in public service announcements for the RSG Foundation, Women in Film, and the Khushi India nonprofit organization in addition to serving over 500 police officers during a health event for the Los Angeles Police Academy. I’ve given live performances to boost morale and fundraise at venues like AIM FOR SEVA USA in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Indo American Association of Houston, Texas, Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, the Ohio Arts Council in Cleveland, the Victoria Theatre Association in Dayton, Ohio, and the Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
Deep friendship is the key.
I, being a part of Soka Gakkai, a global community-based Buddhist organization, always wanted to be in an energetic environment.
Since I’m born and brought up in India, a country of diverse cultures, my dream had been to create Indian music videos and films in the US as an extension of our Indian culture on an international level.
Living the dream to be able to reach and spread my content to people made me realize I’m doing what I’m born to do and would like to convey my gratitude to digital media.
Following the concept of Soka Gakki, my art content heads with clear goals on world peace and promoting the message of awareness of body shaming and drugs abuse, asides from fun, dance, rhythm, and victory.
In my music video song “COCO” one will not find me high on Cocain but would feel the suffering – depecting that of youth.
In my video song “ISHQ NASHILA” it is shown that love wins over addiction.
The idea is in order to love myself we need to love our meighbours -which in turn 0s down to world peace.
There were some arguments stating, Why Indian music in US, Which very less people can understand. When my mentor told me to stay true to my culture, that was another moment I realized my work would make fruits and I’m on right path.
I pursued mass communication, and in the theater performances my work could reach only 5000 people at a time but when I started to publish myself, my audience limit reached to Limitless, which is the biggest Mass Communication. That is when I realized I’m where I had to be at the moment and this is what I was born for. And hence, I’m an advocate to world peace.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
It has never been a smooth road-
Find a voice: It’s easy to get lost in the rat race of Los Angeles. You only get so many auditions and opportunities. So, the most difficult thing that I had to do was find my voice, i.e., creating my own content which is specific to what I want to do in my life and what I am passionate about. After producing, directing for others, I gained money but no satisfaction as I was not pursuing acting and performance. So I started producing for myself. I started with Indian rap music which focused on youth awareness and empowerment. I wanted to create awareness about drugs, body shaming, sex education, etc. and I started doing that through my music in a fun way. Now I create my own music, video, and market it myself.
Financial hardships: Losing your ego, doing odd jobs. Loving in Los Angeles is expensive and finding an open schedule to audition and making money is a task we all know can be challenging. So I learned to trash my ego. I decided to do whatever it takes to make my music and films and do whatever jobs I need to do on the side to pursue them.
Loneliness: Getting lonely is easy in LA and there have been times when I have gone through tough times as all of my family lives 200k miles away from me (abroad). The biggest challenge is to do all this alone and believe in thyself all the way. Never give up on me! You are and will always be the only person who believes the most in yourself.
However, I was able to find an awesome community world peace organization (sgi.org), where I made so many friends and worked together hand in hand for world peace.
Immigration Status: I have spent thousands of $$ on attorneys to be able to live here. It was not easy to maintain status legally in states.
Heart Break: Finding the right partner and working on an inner change is like looking for the right car or home to stay in. It’s not been easy to have time to put in the work to look for a girlfriend. However, this has taught me a lot and I have grown on the idea that love is to give, not to demand. Also, true love could only be fostered between two independent and mature people. But those heartbreaks add up to all the other struggles. Think of LA LA land, it’s real, haha.
I overcame my biggest challenges by making everything fun around me, nothing is work for me, my work is fun I do it 24/7! It’s my choice to do what I like and not just take projects for the money only. I enjoy my freedom and have kept myself fresh with that approach. I compare myself with myself but not to others. Being an independent, self-funded artist is challenging however when you see the final project and it reaches millions of people that joy is amazing!
Things have become easier now thanks to the internet! You run your own distribution and you can be someone big $$$ overnight thanks to the technology today. No one can stop you, the middleman is gone! It’s your art and the audience.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
The great personalities I admire and look forward to meet, that came up straight from my heart are –
Daisaku Ikeda, the president of Soka Gakki, the Japanese Buddhist philosopher, and doctor. He made the extra contribution to mentally boost me and purify my heart and soul and made me what I am today. He in a way already elevated my career.
Andrea Bocelli is a Spanish legend Opera singer invoked the feeling of positivity and self-confidence in me. His “Time to say Goodbye” is the one I’m absolutely fond of. I wish to be privileged to work with him someday on an Indian song.
The 3rd and most influencing personality would be Govinda, an Indian actor I grew up watching movies of. I like his energy and enthusiasm for acting.
I being very much into the topic of women empowerment, am very fond of the Vise President of the US – Kamala Harris. She has done amazing for all and every individual.