Chasing Your Dreams with ABC Family Star ABHI SINHA

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“Acting” is a curious career choice that tends to lay out a lengthy path filled with yearning and uncertainty. However, the payoff for following your dream, clearly has the power to be huge. Abhi Sinha has made a successful career out of acting, and urges hopefuls out there to “believe in yourself” and plunge forward.

Sinha currently stars as Danny Gupta in the ABC Family series Chasing Life. His performance is a standout role that provides for light relief in an otherwise heavy show. Abhi took a moment to speak with me for NYCastings about Chasing Life, playing the saxophone, avoiding “type casting”, dropping out of school and more…

RP: Why do you love being an actor?

AS: Being an actor never feels like it’s a job. Everyday, it’s always new and exciting and I enjoy reading new scripts and ideas. I am always meeting new people and making new friends…
RP: Do you find it’s hard to stay focused in Hollywood where so many stars get themselves in trouble?

AS: I think this is often a personal choice and being well-grounded really helps. I am from the area, so I have an established group of friends and we are not into the party scene or seen-to-be-seen type thing. I think Hollywood can be overwhelming for actors who are not from the area and loneliness can certainly lead to a need to be overly social which can often be a huge distraction and one can lose focus. I also believe the need to survive from a financial standpoint can make it difficult to focus as well and I was fortunate to have a lot of support from family in this regard as well.
RP: Do you still train or take any kind of classes?


AS:
An actor can never train enough. Yes, of course I still train and always learn new techniques or delivery. I don’t take formal classes at the moment, but I do take coaching for auditions.
RP: You left USC after freshman year to become an actor. I imagine that was a tough decision. What made you take that leap of faith?

AS: It really became a necessary decision. It wasn’t possible to be a part-time student or a part-time actor. I wasn’t giving either 100%. Sometimes we have to make choices and believe that they are the right ones. Again, thanks to support from family, the decision was made a whole lot easier. Having loved ones validate your decisions helps. Today, I think it was a wise choice. Hindsight is always 20/20.
RP: Congratulations on Chasing Life! Can you tell me a bit about your role this season?

AS: Thank you! I play Danny Gupta who is a super competitive Harvard grad who is always trying to one up April. As April and Danny’s relationship progresses and he learns more about her struggle with Cancer – there is definitely a nicer and softer side to him.
RP: How is it working with Italia Ricci?

AS: She defines what it is to be a consummate professional. I have learned so much from working with her. Whether its how to act on set or off it.

RP: Chasing Life deals heavily with “young adult cancer.” Italia has said that she loves the responses from viewers who’ve dealt with the disease, and how the show helps them. Have you had any sort of experiences like that?

AS: Its been an incredible experience. Whether it be through Facebook or Twitter or Instagram – social media has allowed fans that the show is reaching to share with us how and why it has affected them. And the reasons have been humbling to say the least.RP: Fans love your character, Danny Gupta, because he provides for a lot of comic relief on the drama. Do you feel pressure to be funny now? How do you prepare for those scenes?


AS:
I think everyone in the cast is so aware of who their characters are in the show. Danny happens to be the comic relief and more than pressure I feel a responsibility to keep the scenes light hearted and fun. Especially when dealing with such a heavy theme as cancer. The writers do a great job of balancing it out.
RP: TV shows generally have various directors. Do you find it difficult to have a different director step in for the episodes?


AS:
Not at all. In fact I think it helps the creative process because you’re getting other perspectives. We’re all different and have different ideas- and when you’re in a business as collaborative is making a show, I think the more brains working together the better.

RP: You’ve discussed how you love playing “Danny” because he’s not a stereotypical Indian character. What’s your advice for actors constantly being “type cast”?
AS: Sometimes being typecast works. However, for actors trying to break away from this, I suggest different looks. I have gone from having a buzzcut to long hair, to being a clean cut type. I have done drama and comedy. Actors must be able to think outside the box and even when they believe a role “isn’t right” for them, just go in the room and make some strong choices.RP: What would you say is your goal as an actor?


AS: My goal as an actor is to have a steady climb and keep improving along the way. I will be 25 this month and while I feel very lucky to be where I am at, I hope I am nowhere near my peak. I hope to have a long uphill career doing what I love. An actor I would love to work with is Jeff Goldblum.RP: This is random, but I read your a pretty accomplished saxophone player. Do you still play?


AS:
I’ve been playing the sax since I was 9. I loved it, because there is so much improvisation which allows for creativity. In middle school and high school I played a lot and I even considered majoring in music in college, but then chose sports journalism instead. I don’t get to play as often as I like, but, yes, I do occasionally.
RP: I always end with this question because I think it really helps our readers. Would you mind sharing your most valuable piece of advice for aspiring performers?

AS:
Believe in yourself. There will be times when others won’t and the biggest mistake people make is thinking that matters. It doesn’t. The only thing that does is how you feel about yourself.

Catch Abhi in a new episode of Chasing Life tonight (Monday) on ABC Family at 9/8c!

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