Australian Indian Actress Ria Patel Shares Creating Authentic Relationships With Industry Professionals
Ria Patel is an Australian Indian Actress, Dancer and Writer. She is well known for her lead role in Season Two of the first ever Gujarati Web-Series; Varta Re Varta, and her recent award winning shorts; Bandaid and Two Paper Nightingale which also choreographed and the film was also a finalist at the Student Academy Awards last year. As a creative she wants to connect with her audience, help them feel understood and ultimately evoke change.
Tell us about your credits. What projects have you worked on?
I have worked on a Gujarati Web-Series Varta re Varta, the story follows an Gujarati Indian girl who is pursuing her acting career in LA and along the way she is exploring her sexuality. It is her journey of self acceptance. This story was so important to me as this can still be a topic that's brushed under the rug in this part of India (Gujarat). I have also worked on a lot of independent films: Bandaid which picked up a few awards at the festival. A short film: Nice, this was about a girl who loves fries and she is marrying a guy who follows Jainism (they don’t eat potatoes - they believe in non-violence therefore uprooting potatoes kills microorganisms), this story highlights the choice women have to make when they get married and sometimes have to give up their identity for their husband and his family.
What are you working on right now? Anything cool?
Currently working on a few projects. One is a story about estranged sisters and finding their way back to each other after the death of their parents. I am very excited about my web-series Fi and Me. The series portrays two best friends (one is Indian American and the other Indian Australian) who are navigating the ups and downs of adulthood. It explores the taboo topics within our South Asian society such as female pleasure and masturbation, colorism, and mental health.
Another project close to the heart is a film “Sifter”, it is about an Indian Lesbian couple celebrating their first Karva Chauth (a Hindu festival) together. I love this project because these two characters have already embraced their sexual orientation and are in a different stage in their life of trying to make their relationship work.
What’s your favorite TV show of 2021?
This Is Us and Sorry For Your Loss (technically this released 2018 but I watched it this year so hopefully it still counts). I love stories about human relationships, where you can be a fly on the wall and just listen to them connect.
If you could work/be on any show, what show would that be?
This Is Us and The Sinner!! Another favorite genre of mine.
What advice do you have for others looking to break into the industry?
Training! You don’t have to have a degree but put yourself in an acting class, even after my acting degree I still do classes and workshops, as actors it is so important to work that muscle. It’s like going to the gym. And ask yourself your why and write it down and keep it close. It’s important throughout our career with all the ups and down we remind ourselves of our why, to help us keep going.
What’s one insider tip to success you’d give for others in 2021?
Go into the audition room (nowadays zoom room) with the intention of giving to them (CDs, producer, directors), this is simply a mindset thing but very important, this changes the dynamic and no longer are you in the audition with a sense of desperation.
Connect with Casting Directors and other industry people, reach out to them, via Clubhouse or DM them (sometimes CD workshops aren’t the best place to have a casual conversation) and ask questions about THEM! You want to create a relationship in a casual setting so it doesn’t feel forced. A lot of times actors have the mindset of “what can you give me give me give me”. When you talk to them, ask: “What are you excited about in your career or life”. A lot of CDs get so excited and surprised when I ask this. They are human too!
How can we follow you online?