We recently caught up with singer and recording artist Rita Shukla about her life in showbiz and the wonderful and inspirational advice she gives to others. Here is what she had to share:
Please introduce yourself to the readers and how and when did you first get into performing?
My name’s Rita Shukla. I’m from Campinas, one of the major cities in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’m a singer and actress and started learning music when I was 4, so that was basically my first time on stage as well. I was playing percussion in the music recital from a music school that I used to take lessons from. Since then I have loved being on stage and knew that is what made me happy and fulfilled me.
What inspired you to get into the entertainment industry?
I knew that I wanted to be in the industry since I was 4 years old. From music school, singing to recording myself on my dad’s cassettes, watching soap operas with my grandma, dreaming of doing that one day -and from the Sunday theatre matinees my parents would take me to. At that time I felt very strongly that I wanted to be an actress, adults would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and of course I would always say, an actress.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I’ve studied music since I was 4 years old, dance since I was 12 and acting since I was 16. I have a bachelor’s degree in acting and theatre in Brazil, certificates from other acting schools, music school and a certificate in dance from IDA- Hollywood. I also graduated in Musical Theatre from AMDA-LA.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
Probably my first role in theatre, from a famous play in Brazil called ‘A Receita’ by Jorge Andrade. I gave my all in that. I played the lead role of Jovina and it was a very challenging one for me since I was only 16 and I was playing a much older character. The character battles so many family, social, and economical issues and having her son sick and almost dying. It was a lot for my 16 year old self to understand -but it was memorable and my favorite role, because it made me understand this woman and put myself in her shoes. It brought up so much compassion. In a way I was giving life to the character, which made me find a piece of who I am.
What has been one of the most exciting achievements of your career so far?
I love acting, but these past 4 years that I’ve been more focused on music, and playing with different bands, have been the most exciting so far and have led me to other singing related work. It helped me to meet new and talented people who I’ve been collaborating and writing music with, or who I’ve performed with. It’s been fun and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
What projects do you have coming up?
I’m writing songs with a music producer friend of mine and I’m one of the lead singers of the band Lloyd Moss & the Rock Collective. It’s an original rock and roll band and one of the main influences is Fleetwood Mac. We are going to start recording next year and we have many gigs lined up.
Who would you most like to work with?
I would like to work with so many people. But if I could choose to collaborate with some artists I would say: Guns n Roses, Aerosmith, Heart, Pat Benatar, and P!nk. As for movie directors I would say Pedro Almodovar, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, and Baz Luhrmann.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m focusing on music, as I mentioned, I’ve been writing and recording with a music producer friend of mine. When it’s done, we will be putting the album out. I’m also focusing on the band I’m in Lloyd Moss & the Rock Collective. We start recording soon and will continue to expand our gigs for bigger ones, possibly tour in the future.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Find what you love, follow your heart. Be your authentic self and be confident of you who you are. Don’t try to fit in a box or be someone else to make it in this industry. The ones that make it are not afraid of being who they are. Nobody wants to see fakeness, they want to see realness and the key is for you being yourself, because we are beautiful and unique in our own way. Don’t listen to haters or people saying you can’t do something or that you’re not good enough or that you won’t make it in this industry. They’re probably saying that because they don’t believe in themselves and think they would never make it, so they want you to believe the same about yourself. Have compassion for others, be confident about your talent and about who you are. Don’t be afraid to go on auditions, to perform, or of getting rejections. Do it because you love it, and believe that you can do it, because it’s all just a matter of time.