It’s Never Too Late” is a series that tells the stories of people who decide to pursue their dreams on their own terms.
ByMost accounts can be accessed online. Richard KleinI had a very good life. A solid job as an educator at a university. Hebrew day school in Oakland, Calif.; close friends who were like family and a passion to sing and dance that ruled his nights. ButHe woke up one morning at 45 and realized that he was not living up to his full potential. HeYou would like to break into Bollywood.
“I’ve always loved performing, and I was listening to Indian classical and devotional music a lot,” at the time, Mr. Klein said. The 2001 Bollywood epic “Lagaan” inspired him to try and make his passion his profession. “Things have come full circle,” he said, adding that he appears in the 2022 film “Lal Singh Chaddha” with Aamir Khan, who starred in “Lagaan.”
SixMonths later, Mr. KleinThe couple, who are divorced and have no children, moved to Mumbai. AtHe first lived in the coastal city part-time. HeAlternate between editing subtitles for a gig EnglishTelevision shows in -language MumbaiTutoring back in California, where he would earn enough money to pay for another six months of trying hard to make it in performing arts. India.
EventuallyIt paid off. Mr. KleinNow 55, he has appeared in dozens IndianFilms, television and commercials. He plays many roles such as a scientist/doctoral, chef/spy, and, due to his ability of nailing a role. British accent, quite often, a “mean British officer.”
MakingThe change was not easy. StillHe said that he would do the same thing over and over again. “I’m in India, you know, the land of reincarnation,” Mr. Klein said, “but as far as I’m concerned, I have this one life that I’m dealing with. I want to make the most of it.” (The(The following interview has been edited.
WhatWas your life before you made this change possible?
I was living in the San Francisco Bay AreaFor approximately 20 years. MostlyI was a teacher in math, science, and computer lab. MyNights and weekends were spent performing some form of performing arts. I’ve always had an affinity toward music. As a kid, I remember walking through the park singing. I was kind of quietened when a stranger passed me. My mom said: “Don’t be shy. You sing out loud and don’t worry about anybody else.”
WhatWas this the watershed moment?
I was a teacher at a Hebrew day school, and one morning I woke up and thought, “If I don’t do something, I could be here for the next 20 years.” That wouldn’t be a terrible outcome, but it wasn’t the one I wanted.
I studied IndiaWhen I was in graduate school, I was studying a degree in religion. LearningAbout IndiaInspired me to adopt the nickname Bhakti, which I’ve used since 1991, though I never changed my name legally. InA broad sense BhaktiIt means love and devotion. TheWord is a reminder to me to lead with my heart rather than my head. Every time I hear my name I think about that.
MyFirst trip to IndiaI was a backpacker in 1995. It was an amazing experience. I returned several times thereafter. SoI thought: What if I went there, stayed, and see what happens? OnOne of my first nights in MumbaiI went to a Jazz Club. AllThe performers were all foreigners. WeAfter the meeting, we got to talking and I was offered to join their group as a singer. This was my first venture into the performing arts industry.
WhatWas that the biggest challenge you had?
WhenWhen I first arrived, I stayed in a very basic place. There was often no hot water in the bathroom. A lot of times there wasn’t even a shower — most of my time in India, I’ve taken a bucket bath, which is actually great.
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HowDid you switch from editing subtitles to acting? Bollywood productions?
AboutFour years after moving here MumbaiI started to receive voice-over opportunities: corporate presentations, radio commercials, and radio commercials. AmericanOr British accent. ThenI began receiving calls to dub Bollywood movies. ThenI was invited to audition for the role of an actor.
AtFirst, I acquired background parts. And then, because I’m blessed with an AmericanI received vocal training and an accent, and began auditioning for speaking roles.
ItIt was a blessing. ItAnother miracle of the century was India. ToIt’s so beautiful and amazing to be able now to learn a new form of art.
What’s next for you?
I want to keep doing the acting. There’s so much more to learn. I’m getting a lot of good feedback, and the parts are getting better, and they’re getting more varied. I don’t always play a mean BritishNo longer an officer. I’m getting other kinds of roles, bigger roles, and I’m getting more respect. I’m in a beautiful, sci-fi love story called “X = Prem” that comes out in February. It’s my fourth time working with the director, Srijit Mukherji.
OtherwiseI just want every day to be in this amazing country.
HowHave you been changed by this new act?
BeingHere I have the chance to be the best version me. I wasn’t feeling that opportunity in the U.S. I feel like people see me the same way I want them to. I don’t know why. It all boils down to the absurd love I have for this place.
WhatWhat advice would you offer people who are stuck and want to make big changes?
DreamStart with a big dream and then work out the steps to reach it. Then, take each step one at a time. ThereThere are always obstacles. LovedOnes can be a problem, but money can be a problem. It’s not easy. There’s lots of sacrifice involved, but you can dream a big dream and make it come true.
We’re looking for people who decide that it’s never too late to switch gears, change their life and pursue dreams. ShouldWe talk to you or someone that you know. ShareYour story Here.
Source: NY Times