Sriram Parthasarathy is a Chicago based actor who has appeared in many short films and in the series Outta Air; here is a link to his Vimeo page:
Q: What made you interested in acting?
A: From the moment I first saw Terminator 2, I knew that my only dream in life was to become an actor. From 1992 onwards, this has been my conscious and subconscious thought pattern, to somehow find a way to live it.
Q: You’ve been in a lot of short films. What do you look for in a role?
A: Typically, I will take on short/independent films or series that have a principal role that will actually teach me something about acting. Whether it’s an antihero, villain, or protagonist, I am constantly able to absorb depth,
Q: What is Outta Air about?
A: It’s definitely a redemptive story about not wasting time in righting your wrongs. I have never in my heart believed in letting things go, especially if I am responsible for royally screwing something or someone up. The only way the heart can truly rest is if the truth is told, consequences are understood and embraced, and life is lived better as a result. If one waits around for self-created problems to hopefully go away and just be moved past from, they are damning themselves to a life of dishonor. This film shortens said life 🙂
Q: What role do you play?
A: I play two roles actually: the first is a fellow named Reggie who’s told by some magical voice in his brain that his life will expire in 24 hours. I also play said voice and its corresponding silhouetted figure 😉
Q: What did you do to prepare for the role?
A: The main thing was to NOT memorize dialogue, which is my normal m.o. I have no idea if it’s actually effective or not, but it allows me to absorb the story and environment, and not be self-conscious of my lines, which of course shows on screen J. For 99% of the films I’ve been a part of, if the director was not a theater director, they have been ok with not hearing dialogue verbatim.
Q: You have a real job as an IT manager. How does your job affect your ability to pursue acting?
A: God bless my employer, Carevoyant software, that knows very well what I do outside of the day job, in between fashion and film on evenings and weekends. They have been angels in knowing that if I ever miss any time, as long as I am reachable during the time for emergencies, they will get my undivided attention and loyalty and overcompensated hours in return 😉
Q: What is your strangest onset story?
A: It actually took place in my own condo. An independent feature, The Great Chicago Filmmaker, had required a few scenes to be shot in my place. My character was actually a film producer that allowed the “director” in the film to shoot scenes in my condo. Unfortunately, as we were shooting scenes that day, the crew decided to wire up and use very extensive lighting out in the public hallways of my building. The building management started banging on my door (as I was actually in my bedroom taking a nap, as the scenes being shot didn’t need me yet), and told me (in the midst of 25 cast+crew in my place) that the building was going to fine me 500 dollars for all of this. Luckily, the gentleman was a sweetheart, and mentioned that if I could donate to the Christmas fund for the maintenance and regular building staff, he would not write it up, and would not document any more complaints from other residents. 100 dollars later, we continued shooting everything inside my place, and wound up reshooting the scenes, where my character actually goes through the same exact problem, and casted another actor to play by building management staff J A grand total of 3 people laughed when they saw the reshot scene at the premiere. I was one of them 😦
Q: Why Chicago and not LA or New York?
A: Mainly because I have no background whatsoever as an actor, and also due to my age. Since I never took acting classes/workshops and had no stage background whatsoever, I could not throw caution to the wind and head out east or west; also, thanks to my lovely mortgage payment and my parents who stay in the suburbs of Chicago, my heart will always be here. If either NYC or LA do call me, it would be based on the results of the works that I’ve been a part of, that the world would ALLOW me to head out to those places, and not as a result of my taking six months out there and hoping that something works out. Although, I may change my stupidly idealistic tune in 1 year 🙂
Q: What would you change about the film industry?
A: I would completely eliminate gofundme.com etc as forms of investment for films. From all of the legendary stories I’ve read from productions like Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, Superman I, even the battles between producers/directors/investors/cast based on actual budgets, battles in the background were part of the mystique and aura of a true film, and not just simply collaboration, showing up and doing your job etc. Unfortunately, mystique is a long-lost concept in the entertainment industry in general, where our heroes and idols are destroyed the moment they become public figures. I would rather know them and admire them as talents rather than TMZ-related fodder for all 😦
Q: If you could spend a year in the world of any short film you have been in which one would you pick and why?
A: It would be in a film called Corvus, where I played death in human form. Everything I touched would turn to fire, except for humans, and any human I came in contact with would take me on a journey through their life that took them to the moment they met me. I would have no control of whether their time was up or not, but it would allow me to understand the human soul in ways I could never fathom. And the next day, I would hopefully treat the world better as a result of knowing that it does not revolve around me and any ego I may have 🙂
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.