We had a chat with Sunny Moza, an MC, Host, Actor, Radio Jockey, Standup Comedian, and overall an incredible inspiration in life.
1) Tell us your story. How did you start acting, and why is it your passion?
As a kid, I loved making people laugh with my antics even before I knew what ‘acting’ meant. Hailing from a small town in Jammu-Kashmir, I didn’t have much exposure to life. And this was during the pre-internet days. But one thing was always there with me – my affinity towards Hindi movies. Whenever a class got canceled or the school bus was late, the teachers would call upon me to ‘do something to entertain everybody’. I’d sing and perform a song mimicking actors or do an impromptu skit.
The very first acting gig that I remember was when I was in school. I was asked by a teacher to act in a play because she thought I had a ‘good voice’.
2) You’re also an MC/Host. What do you enjoy most in that aspect of your career?
I like to view myself as an entertainer. And I treat acting, hosting, standup, and radio jockeying all as a part of entertaining the audience. Being an MC/host needs a different kind of skill set. And being an actor and a standup comic, hosting came naturally to me.
I’ve been fortunate enough to host shows and share the stage with some of my favorite artists like Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghosal, Pankaj Udhas, Nitin Mukesh, Arjun Rampal, Sushmita Sen and many more. I’ve got a partial list of all the wonderful artists that I’ve worked with on my website – www.sunnymoza.com.
3) What do you believe is the most unique thing about you? Do you think this translates over into your acting career, and if so, how and why?
My USP is that I’m a jack-of-all-trades. In addition to being in the entertainment field, I also have a Masters in Computer Engineering, which gives me a big advantage because I can be creative as well as analytical. Plus, I’ve written, edited, and directed many projects, so when I act, I’m better able to understand what my director wants from me in a particular scene because I know the technicalities of camera angles, continuity, and editing.
4) What’s the weirdest thing a fan has done for you?
Does getting asked for a selfie in the restroom count? 😉
So far, I only have ‘quality’ people who follow me, and they have done a lot of nice things for me. And I’m very thankful to them for their encouragement and support.
I guess if and when I have a ‘quantity’ of fans, the weirdness might creep in. I’ll keep you posted on that. Either way, I have a lot of gratitude for all my well-wishers.
5) What is your acting process? What about for your stand up comedy?
I can write a book on just these two topics.
Acting – It’s very difficult to separate the acting process from your personality. So, the more you know in general, the better the acting process becomes. And acting for film and acting for stage are two very different things. For the stage, you rehearse for 2-3 months and then perform for 15-20 shows. For the camera, you need to have a very effective on and off switch because scenes are filmed in a non-linear fashion. You have to be ‘on’ whenever the camera is rolling and then be consistent with retakes. Anupam Kher once very aptly said that being an actor is like being a yogi.
For any acting project, I try to understand the character’s background and motivations, add my color to it, memorize lines, rehearse, and then perform.
Standup – Standup is a very different craft and much more challenging. A joke is funny only when the writing is good, delivery is superb, and the audience can relate to it. Each joke goes through multiple revisions after each performance. Sometimes a joke can just ‘come’ to you, sometimes you have to slog for it, and at times, it comes to you while you are performing on stage.
For any standup comedian, nothing beats the high that you get on hearing the collective laughter of the audience on a joke that you’ve written.
6) If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Superpowers are usually viewed as being able to fly, turning invisible, etc., but the superpower I’d be interested in is ‘peace of mind’. I’d love to have a superpower where I can have peace of mind at will and also impart it to others.
7) What was one challenge in your career that you have surpassed and taken care of?
Life is full of challenges especially when you are doing something different and don’t have a guru or mentor per se. And every phase of life has a different set of challenges. One of the perpetual challenges is juggling time between your different assignments. Although I had to let go of a few projects due to date conflicts, overall, I’ve been very lucky that most teams are willing to work around my schedule.
8) Do you have any advice for rising artists in your industry?
Just do it.
If you want to do something, then prepare and just do it. No one will come to you with an offer on the platter. Do what you want to do because YOU want to do it and not because you’ll make so much money or get some fame – those should be the by-products, not the main thing. I know it’s easier said than done. Either way, doing something and failing is much better than doing nothing and blaming others.
9) Any other last comments you would like to add for readers?
These days many of us are focused on our ‘rights’. But not many are actually focused on improving themselves. There could be improvement in any field, in any aspect. We are such imperfect beings, and there is always room for improvement. If we become better people, many social problems will take care of themselves. So, keep improving, one day, one step at a time.
For more of Sunny Moza’s work, visit the following links.
- Punjabi Film Songs of Silence Trailer –
- Kannada Film BABRU
For more interviews, visit Urban Asian.