“At 22, I was doing Broadway in NYC,” says actor Parvin Dabas

At 22, where were you career-wise?

I was studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts doing the acting course in New York and also working as a host and waiter, in a restaurant called Sequoia.

And the money situation…?

I had just started working, and I was making some money and thus, had some in the bank.

Was there any romance in the air?

I was in New York from the age of 20-23 and single. I lived in a place called the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), where students from all over the world stayed. So use your imagination!

What was your focus in life?

Finishing my acting course and doing Broadway plays in New York.

And, your mindset…?

Single and carefree 😉 A New York state of mind. 

Tell us about your family, then.

My family was in Delhi. I had a few Indian friends in New York and they became my family there and I used to visit them now and then for good Indian meals. I also made quite a few friends at acting school and at the restaurant.

What was your fashion sense like?

My fashion sense became more ‘New York’- I used to have a black leather motorcycle jacket, which was my favourite and a pair of cowboy boots that I also wore a lot. Otherwise, it was T-shirts and jeans.

What did you do for fitness?

I used to workout regularly as there was a gym in YMHA, where I stayed and used to play a lot of basketball as well, and ran a lot. 

Share an interesting anecdote from then.

I once bought several tickets for the U2 concert by standing in line at 5am, and sold the extras in black to co-workers in the office so that I was able to get a ticket for free for myself and a girl I invited and a little something on top as well.

If you could rewind and change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I think I was too focused on my acting school and work, and could’ve been nicer to some of the ladies and given them some more attention. I’d be too afraid of getting committed and ‘stuck’, which led me to wiggling out soon.

Finally, what’s the biggest life lesson you may have learnt at that time?

Bad times never last and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to keep persevering.

From HT Brunch, January 3, 2021

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