'Akkad Bakkad' is about people, their circumstances, flaws and strong bonds, says Actress Sreya Muthukumar

Actress, dancer and Vocalist Sreya Muthukumar has debuted with the web series 'Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar', directed by Raj Kaushal which premiered on Amazon Prime video recently

'Akkad Bakkad' is about people, their circumstances, flaws and strong bonds, says Actress Sreya Muthukumar
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Kumar Raviraj Sinha

Tell us about your journey.

I love the performing arts, be it music, dance or acting. I’ve been training in these forms since childhood, and I’ve been lucky to have had amazing teachers as well as collaborators. I performed in plays at school, and in college I got the opportunity to co-write and perform at the Global Shakespeare Festival. I’ve also been pursuing a career in music, both with the band I’m in, Shorthand, and as a solo artist. My foray into acting for screen only began a year ago, and I am really enjoying it. I feel most alive and most myself when performing, and I’m so grateful that I get to keep doing it in so many different ways.

How has the pandemic impacted your work?

I’d be lying if I said it had no effect on me. Of course, I was very lucky to be safe and shifted back to Bangalore, but my career was drastically impacted. With no live music shows and no shoots, it felt like my entire livelihood was put on indefinite hold. As a performing artist, uncertainty is an occupational hazard, but with the entire world trying to grapple with a pandemic, that uncertainty became tenfold. I was forced to let go of a lot of plans during the lockdown. It was heartbreaking, initially. However, there was a flip side. Instead of focusing outwards, I went back to my craft. I adapted. I worked on my dancing, conducted workshops, read, and I wrote a lot of songs. All of this introspection helped prepare me for the opportunities that came my way. Akkad Bakkad was my first project in the ‘new normal’.

Do tell us more about your debut web series.

On one level, Akkad Bakkad is a story about a scam, and the various challenges that the team has to face in order to pull it off, but to me it’s always been a story about people - their unique circumstances, desires, flaws and the strong bonds that they form with each other. The show has many twists and turns, and has elements of action, drama, romance and comedy. I think there is something in it for everyone.

My character, Khushi, is someone who has a lot going on under the surface. Initially, she comes across as just another girl-next-door, but as time passes, her depth and complexity become apparent. Be it her sexuality or her traumatic past, she is a unique, strong character with a challenging arc. I feel lucky that I got to bring her to life. We all miss Raj tremendously (director Raj Kauhshal passed away due to cardiac arrest in June. Akkad Bakkad was his last directorial project). It felt very natural to be on the set, and working with Raj made the process even smoother. It was great to work alongside such talented and passionate actors. The entire cast and crew got along very well even behind the scenes: we felt like a family.

I don’t think I could have asked for a better debut.

What is your opinion on online platforms Vs physical theatres.

Online platforms (like social media) do provide a unique method to interact with audiences. As artists we are able to connect with viewers and collaborators across the country, even across the world. The possibilities with virtual creation are vast and definitely pose a solution to the problem of access. At the same time though, as a performer, there is nothing like performing on a stage. The palpable, visceral energy of a live performance cannot be replicated virtually. They are two different mediums. I didn’t do any virtual concerts during the pandemic; I much prefer live shows. It’s great that we have the option, though, and it all comes down to an individual artist’s need and personal choice.

What are your upcoming projects?

Currently, I’m back to auditioning! Now that theatres have opened up, I’m hoping to do a play. I’m also currently working on my solo music project, a three-song EP complete with music videos. This will be my debut as a solo music artist, and I’m really excited to share that with the world!

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