Mithila Palkar: The Rising Star
The digital queen Mithila Palkar kept running away from the stage but art has its way of finding talent
Blenders Pride Reserve Collection presented Entrepreneur India’s 35Under35 2020 list which included some leading names from the field of entrepreneurship and Mithila Palkar made it to the coveted list.
There was something about her at a tender age of 12 that knew academia wasn’t her calling. In Seventh standard, Mithila Palkar consciously realised that she wanted to be an actor but who would have taken a kid seriously?
Today Palkar is one of the most popular faces in the Indian digital world. However, she was told that she couldn’t take acting as a profession. Coming from a middle-class Marathi family her grandfather was quite clear about what he wanted. She kept running away from the stage but art has its way of finding talent. It’s said the more you run away from something that your heart wants, it just finds its way back to you. That’s what happened with Palkar.
"My grandfather was always very skeptical about me stepping into the entertainment industry. I stayed away from it. He said that no matter how many extracurricular activities you do it's fine, but professionally you can't do it. So I chose science as a stream, and graduated as a Mass Media student. And somehow I've always said that acting found me, the stage found me because I kept running away from it," she said.
Eventually It all Started
She was in the second year of Mass Media when she volunteered in the youth theatre festival Thespo and a year later she was one of the directors running it. "I had my massive exposure to the industry in general because I met a lot of people from the theater and met a lot of people who've made their way from theater to films."
As Mithila found where her heart lies through Thespo, this festival has also found a base for names like Ali Fazal, Rich Chadha, Shweta Tripathi, Nimrat Kaur, Anand Tiwari. Recalling the time she said, "The more I was watching these plays, I realised how much I craved to be on stage and not behind it. I think somehow I just found my way."
Soon she sat down with her grandfather and explained to him how this felt like this was the thing she wanted to do. "We made a deal that I give me some time with it, if I with my discretion, realize that this is not working out for me. I wouldn't pursue it. But I have never given at a time, and I feel like I should. So he was very reluctant, but he did agree."
That one yes changed life for Palkar. In 2014 she started auditioning, 2015 she got her first film called 'Katti Batti'. Soon she started working with Filter Copy and in 2016 her videos went viral. Mithila became the perfect millennial face on the digital platform that everyone loved and adored.
Making a Mark
From being the next door girl in 'Girl in the City' to show us what a relationship equation goes through in 'Little Things' to playing a teen with her issue in 'Karwaan', she has shown us different shades of her acting. When asked what kind of actor she is trying to be, she said, "Versatile. Jack of all trade and master of none. I think I don't like to limit myself to like one thing. As an actor, I enjoy the most as I get to do so many different things. I get to be so many different people; I get to empathize with so many different people through the characters I play."
A spontaneous artist on screen and she is purely a director's actor. When the camera is on, she is on! For her, the only thing that matters is if she can translate the writer's story through the director's vision on the screen. Overthinking doesn't help her with my acting.
It's interesting to see how she experimented with the digital medium when people were skeptical about it. When actors certainly didn't think it was a place to look at. Talking about the medium and herself as an actor she said, "I feel right now is the best time to be part of the entertainment industry. I cannot say this enough, for once we are not telling stories of heroes and heroines. We're telling stories of people about you and me. It's not heroism anymore in terms of superhero-superstar. You can be the hero of your story. We just want to tell a story. And that's how simple it's become. I guess that's what I'm trying to do. I'm here to tell as many stories as possible. It’s the story about you and me."
The way Palkar has made her space in the industry, she has won millions of hearts. However, she says her grandfather is her biggest fan and that feels her heart with delight like no other thing. Most importantly three things that her field of work has taught her is "Hard work, patience, and resilience."
(This article was first published in the February issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)