By Dinesh Correa, Pernal
Daijiworld Media Network
Melbourne / Los Angeles, Oct 12: A rising star to watch out for in tinseltown is Rachel Kamath. Born in Mangalore, brought up in Dubai and Australia, Rachel always had a passion for the performing arts since an early age.
“I was involved as a dancer in various shows when I was a child and I loved it”, she claims.
As a child, Rachel Kamath performed in various dance shows and being on stage was comfortable for her from very early age.
Apart from dancing, she was also fascinated with the art of stage acting but did not pursue it as more than a hobby until she completed her university graduation degree. “I didn’t think about it seriously as a career since I was excelling academically and was greatly curious about all things scientific and math-related.”
Fluent speaker of a number of languages like Hindi, Konkani, French and Italian, Rachel Kamath, a civil engineering graduate got into the passion of stage art and celluloid industry after exploring her enthusiasm in this form of art. “I’m glad I got the university experience, which made me be the person who goes after what she wants.” While at university, Rachel travelled to different countries as part of her course. She spent some time in France and Italy, and credits those experiences for making her more confident and adaptable to changes in her life. “I’ve travelled extensively all my life so the love for traveling and exploring new places was a part of me.” However, after completing her degree in civil engineering and French studies, Rachel felt that her calling was someplace else. She left Melbourne in 2014 and travelled to Los Angeles in order to pursue her dreams of being on the big screen. “There wasn’t satisfaction in engineering for me and my true passion has always been acting. So I took the plunge and decided to follow my dreams and go for it 100%.”
Relocating to Los Angeles all by herself, she got an opportunity to enroll herself in the prestigious Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theater, whose alumni include acting legends such as Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro. “Moving to Los Angeles by myself was scary and challenging yet I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and do acting full time” says she. Rachel has since worked in a number of plays, such as The Destiny of Me directed by Oscar winner Milton Justice.
“It was a challenging role for me but I learnt so much from that experience. Also being trained and mentored by Milton Justice was an honor.”
She recently completed her stint as the lead character, Priscilla, in Homebody/Kabul, a play by Tony Kushner. The play revolved around a daughter’s search for her mother in the harsh terrains of Kabul, Afghanistan. “It was about connection and healing and my favourite play so far”, exclaims Rachel.
“The journey so far has been exciting and rewarding. I get to work on different characters and explore new stories, which is exhilarating for an artist.”
Rachel started auditioning while still at university in Melbourne. Her attempts landed her Coles and Medibank commercials, screened on television in Australia. “Commercials are so much fun to do, it’s all about energy”, Rachel explains.
Her onscreen experience also includes short films, like Magnetism, which was screened at the Made in Melbourne Film Festival and Seoul International Agape Film Festival. She played an Indian waitress working at a café who dreams of doing other things like theater, kind of like her real-life persona. The film also starred Mahesh Jadu, who was last seen in the Netflix series ‘Marco Polo’. Her other short film called Best Before was shown at the Citizen Jane Film Festival in the US and the Loch Ness Film Festival in Scotland. Rachel says: “Playing a nurse in this film was nice, I seem to play nurses a lot. I’m like an expert in that field.”
Australian audiences would also have seen her on TV in the popular comedy show, Utopia, about mundane office politics and relationships. She recently worked with Mena Suvari, known for American Beauty for the LA Greek Film Festival, where she was part of the performing troupe for the closing ceremony.
In addition to that, she has a new film coming out later this year, Frenchman’s Flat, which highlights the plight of forgotten war heroes from WWII. “Frenchman’s Flat highlights a very important subject about the mistreatment of soldiers and the aftereffects of that.” Rachel is excited as she looks forward to her short film that she wrote and starred in, which will be submitted to major film festivals around the world. The film revolves around a girl stuck between two choices that could change her life. “I am fascinated by themes of emotional connection in contemporary society and topics such as morals versus ethics in our everyday lives.”
She has lived in USA for more than two years now. “Being in LA and doing what I love has made me really appreciate the opportunities I have. Working hard on the craft and being focused is the way to go forward.” The city is always buzzing with creative people at work and there are all sorts of material being made. Moreover the recent push for diversity in casting works in Rachel’s favor as she stands out in the crowd thanks to her ethnicity. “Having a more ethnically diverse cast in films and on TV is the current trend in the industry.”
The success of Rachel’s journey so far motivates her to continue her exploration of this creative path. “For me, it’s all about telling a story and moving the audience to experience and reflect on an idea - and I’m so grateful to have the privilege to do that.”