After finishing six years within the TV trade, actor Shaily Priya Pandey nonetheless seems like a brisker.

“One tends to feel like a newcomer because work is less, seekers are more and the competition is cut-throat. On TV, I can secure good work but web and film industry is like an ocean full of people where I am just nobody.”

Pandey provides that it’s not straightforward for a TV actor to shift to movies or net. “To be in films you have to keep yourself free for months or even a year. You can’t take up another project in between and to do that one needs to have sound finances, as life in Mumbai is tough. Also, there is no surety whether you will get a film or not, it’s a way to big a risk. Thankfully, web has opened many avenues so I am taking baby steps for now trying to find a foot there.”

Pandemic has been an eye-opener for the younger actor. “For many months we were without work. it was then we realised that to stay afloat one needs to take calculative risks! I am lucky that after the first lockdown itself I got socio-mytho show Jag Janani Maa Vaishnodevi and then title role in Pavitra Bharose ka Safar for new TV channel and also streamed on a leading platform.”

Now, Pandey able to debut along with her first collection Cyber Vaar the place she performs the central character. “It’s about two cops played by Sanaya Irani and Mohit Malik who are investigating a cybercrime case and I play that victim around whom the story revolves. I have done a mini web-series Kaun as well.”

Born in Patna however lived in Lucknow, Chandigarh and Delhi, Pandey provides, “I have lived in the state capital from 2004-6 and used to study in City Montessori School, Mahanagar branch. I have very good memories of my three-yearlong stay. Also, I got to visit Lucknow again for a promotional visit. In Delhi I graduated from Ramjas College and studied performing arts from Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House where I was associated with theatre for long.”

Within six months of shifting to Mumbai she bought her first present. “I started with TV commercials but then soon got to play parallel lead in Queen Hai Hum Se (2016) which was story of five girls. I was lucky that it was for a new channel and it was very different from typical saas-bahu saga. That was followed by Ae Zindagi, Aapke Aa Jane Se, Shaadi ke Siyape and Beats Season 3. So, I can say, Mumbai has been kind to me!”

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