Manasvi Sharma at a landmark theatre

Manasvi Sharma Interview

Legend of the Chalk Circle is a theatrical piece that combines music, puppetry, comedy, and modern language to explore what it means to be a parent, and how can one truly matter in a war-torn world, when the world insists on doing what’s right, instead of what’s good.  Manasvi Sharma portrays the role of The Spiritual Storyteller at the prestigious American Theatre of Actors.  It was a pleasure to chat with Ms. Sharma to learn about her artistic journey and the exciting show that she’s in.


With training on both coasts, Manasvi Sharma was ready to take New York by storm.  “My name is Manasvi Sharma. I am a New York based actress and I got my training from Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York and Art of Acting Studio in L.A. After I graduated, I  continued my acting training at T. Schreiber Studio. I have experience working in various theatre, short film productions and commercials. I was born and brought up in Himachal Pradesh, India. I came to US to pursue a career in acting in 2021. I look for the opportunities to learn and grow as an actor. I strive to work on projects that support a cause and have an impact on society. I believe in the power of art and how it can bring change in oneself and others.” 

     Sometimes a very special person enters our lives and inspires us in ways that nobody can imagine.  For Ms. Sharma it was one of her acting teachers.  “My teacher Ron Burrus at Art of Acting Studio helped me change my outlook for acting. He taught us to study life outside us, to experience glorious sunset and sunrise, to be in the nature  with oneself. He taught us how to build awareness without judgment. I was in awe of this 77 years old acting teacher who sometimes would sit near to his window in his apartment or  sometimes in the hospital, teaching us acting through his zoom calls. His teachings changed something in me when I was dreaming about becoming an actor sitting in my room in a small  town of Himachal Pradesh. I met him in person in LA, that was the best day. He passed away on December 14, 2021.” 

     Ms. Sharma’s creative process entails character study, research and exploration.  “I like to do things that helps me bring closer to my character. I also like to do vocal warm ups and study characters through documentaries, films, theatre, real life people, books and try to  find similarities that I can study and use. I allow myself the freedom to explore and see what works and what doesn’t work for my character. I also like to research thoroughly about my  characters.”  

     When an audience goes to see a piece of theatre, they want to have an authentic experience provided by the actors.  Ms. Sharma is prepared to deliver just that.  “I just want to keep acting and try to bring life to the characters that I perform. I want to play my characters truthfully and let my audience experience the truth through art of acting. I also wish to bring this art form back to my home where it’s still a farfetched dream that one could only experience through TV.”  

     Ms. Sharma’s acting teacher had such a huge impact on her, working with him set her on her artistic path.  “After taking classes from Ron Burrus, I had decided that I wanted to learn more about acting.  Ron Burrus taught Stella Adler technique and thus I decided that I wanted to join Stella Adler Studio of Acting. I came to US in January 2021. It was a difficult decision to take but my Parents and my brother supported me financially and emotionally to make this dream a  possibility.”  

     Being the melting pot that New York City is, one would think that a foreign accent wouldn’t be that much of an obstacle these days.  Unfortunately having an Indian accent has presented some challenges for Ms. Sharma.  “I have faced a lot of challenges since I came to US. The first major problem I faced was the accent. People were not able to understand my accent and I had to repeat myself constantly. I remember days when I was hesitant of getting even a coffee of my choice. I also experienced major cultural and behaviour differences. Professionally speaking, the biggest challenge I face is fighting with the minds who cannot see characters beyond their accent, physical  appearance and color. I speak with an Indian accent, I’m petite and I’m brown. I take pride in all these characteristics because that’s what makes me a person with a different past. And I just hope someday, somebody will be able to see beyond this and can collaborate with me in  making art. I love playing around with scripts which is enough to drive me through facing all the challenges.” 

     Ms. Sharma would like to be on equal footing with other artists without being seen as solely a woman or a woman from another country.  “I believe the hardest part of being in America and as an Indian woman is to be seen and heard equally as any other artist in this field and not to be stereotyped on the basis of my culture and nationality. It’s hurtful when people treat you differently. However, I believe there’s good in everyone and their perspective is capable of changing or at least accepting.”  

     Ms. Sharma had some positive outcomes from the Pandemic.  “After the Pandemic I feel, everything has started to fall back to its place. I have learnt to find peace in living with oneself, to take care of each other and to give physical and mental health  our priority. I have learnt how fragile life could be and thus to live our life to the fullest and with content.” 

     Ms. Sharma is hoping to continue to make Ron Burrus proud with future acting endeavors on stage and screen.  I have a feeling he’s looking down on her accomplishments beaming with pride.  “I wish to keep working as an actor in theatre and film in United States. I’m currently working in a play Titled as Legend of the Chalk Circle by James Cougar Canfield at the American Theatre of Actors and I’m really grateful for this opportunity.”

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