October 2, 2023
Meera Joshi is an all rounder personality, from working as an assistant choreographer in dance reality shows such as ‘street dance’, being a contestant in ‘Dance India Dance- season 4’ and holding 3 world records and 3 Indian records along with being a dubbing artist and an influencer. She had won all of our hearts. Let us see what Meera has to say.
Meera Joshi’s instagram:
Meera Joshi: So my journey as a dancer and a choreographer started with participating in the ‘local mandals’ and that’s when my mom realized that I like dancing, and then I joined dance classes. My father was a bank manager, and he used to transfer every three years. So, in Ratnagiri I learned Kathak for two years, Bharatanatyam for seven years in Satara, and in Pune I learned Latin American dance styles. By then I started participating in inter-college competitions and I won prizes. That’s when I realized that dancing is not just my hobby, maybe I want to pursue it as a profession. Then I joined many dance groups in Pune and became a side dancer and danced behind Marathi celebrities.
After that I started giving auditions for dance reality shows as well and finally got selected for my first ever show in 2010 “Street Dance”. It was a group dance competition and so I was a part of a group. I used to go from Pune to Mumbai. In 2011, I got into another dance reality show. By the time I graduated in German language, I stood third in University. That was the time to decide whether to go for post graduation or go to Mumbai.
My family was a little skeptical about this profession because living in Mumbai- a completely different city and getting a job with this profession was a little difficult. So my family wanted me to go for post graduation and then join some IT company or become a translator. But with the help of my mother I went to Mumbai, and that was the first time my mom let me travel alone. I was going to Infinity (there are a lot of rehearsal halls) for the rehearsals and I asked the auto guy what the fare would be and it was a shock for me hearing the price. But some lady overheard me and asked to share the fare and that was my first ever ride in Mumbai. And overall it was really welcoming.
Then I freshened up. And that was my first day of work, in 2012 as an assistant choreographer for “Dance India Dance- little Champs” where Faisal Khan was the winner and I was assisting Prince Gupta, that was a team of Faisal Khan. After that eventually I got recognition and I assisted many choreographers such as Jalak Dikh Jaa… and simultaneously I was improving my dance styles such as hip hop and contemporary dance etc because it is difficult for a classical dancer to catch up. And finally in 2013, in “Dance India Dance, season 4” I was a participant.
But then a few rounds later I realized that something was wrong with my back and the channel people took x-ray and things. And they found out that something was wrong with my spine and they suggested that we should stop here due to the medical emergency but I insisted on being a participant as it was my dream. And Mithunda insisted for me that if I was that willing, then let me continue as a contestant.
But I knew somewhere that my back won’t be able to support and after top 14 I got eliminated. And then I started helping people by assisting them with choreography. I assisted Sumit Shahil, Puni Verma for Bajirao Mastani then again Shimla Mirchi film and for Poster boys etc… And after almost 13 reality shows I realized that I can do something more. And I decided to do something on camera which had less dancing and eventually started auditioning for acting.
Meera Joshi: “I think people will keep expecting till you die” whether in a professional life or personal, people will expect something or the other and that’s a natural human behavior… and if you’re a stage performer, people will keep on expecting more and more the next time.. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That is something which motivates you to grow. And do better than before, going to an upper level. And that’s why I’m here today, I expected something from myself. My parents, my well wishers, everyone around me expected me to grow. And that’s what led me to give auditions, become a side dancer to the main dancer and even start acting. “Expectations are the key to growth.”
Meera Joshi: Well i really cannot pinpoint any one profession among these, i like dancing cause that’s where I started and as a choreographer if I am not able to do any dance steps or if I don’t fit in the dance or the song. I have this vision which I portray through others by teaching them and reaching to the audience. The vision that I have, I love to share it with others. So, I love to choreograph as well.
Even in acting, I got to explore many characters and that is what I love the most. Dubbing is also the same, that’s when I got to know that my voice is also a charm in itself. While influencing was also fun, back then not many Marathi influencers were there in the industry. I did some projects for clothing brands and beauty products and I remember not shopping for almost 2 years. And I loved the perk of free shopping plus earning out of them. So I enjoyed every profession that I perceived.
Meera Joshi: Before Bajirao Mastani, I was already pursuing several professions and as an assistant choreographer I thought till when will I just keep assisting. And getting a good movie where I can be the lead choreographer would have been a lot difficult plus it would have taken me years and years… As movies were the only option where we could choreograph or showcase our skills back then.
So I had to choose a profession which will give me recognition by face. And acting was it. That’s what I realized on the set of Bajirao Mastani. And then with zero experience in theater or acting I started giving auditions for acting. I had no mentor or a guide who can provide me with acting guidance or who can help me get a role in a movie. That’s where I had to struggle and even now after 13 years in the industry, So, I guess that will go on till the end.
For one and a half year I wasn’t able to crack any auditions and I still remember my first audition where I had to give an introduction and I asked them “what does that mean?” So yes it was my learning period and initially I did crowd roles such as praying in the temple while the hero and heroine are the main focus. And then I’m glad, my parents were really supportive, especially my mom was very supportive of everything that I did. Even financially but again I had this to earn money myself. So yes I did projects as well.
Meera Joshi: Thank you so much. I think every soul is beautiful in their own way but of course that is off camera. I have been called ugly many times and been rejected for that. It’s like maybe you’re pretty and cute but you’re not a heroine material. Even for the skin color, they said, “you’re not fair enough so you don’t fit into our projects.” Thank you again, but I don’t think there’s any secret to it. I guess being positive and being around positive people, living a healthy life can be called the secret.
Meera Joshi: The world record things actually just happened, it wasn’t planned. I love trekking and traveling. So, I got in touch with this man named Anand Bansode- he is the Everest man of India. He climbed Everest. He asked me if I want to join them to climb “Kokan Kada” and hoist the longest flag on 26th of January and make the world record. And I said okay I’d love to do that.
And then the second time in Lockdown, everybody was trying to be active on social media. That’s when five Marathi actresses decided to dance Antaksari, a kind of thing which included recording dance pieces. So I got to dance to a song that starts with ‘ka’. And I danced to “Kanta Laga”. So others did the basic dance steps as they were not dancers but actresses. So I decided to dance outside the house as it wasn’t able to shoot inside. And my mom helped me with it, literally climbing on top of the car to shoot me. Then I edited the video as I had a little basic knowledge about it. But the other actresses pointed out that my video was not shot inside the house despite the theme being ‘lockdown’ and they pushed me off the project which made me a little sad.
Then I thought of posting it on my social media anyway and it blew off. So I started creating dance reel content and at that time people didn’t shoot these kinds of videos. And then I was traveling to Kachchh, Gujarat and I told a passenger to shoot a video on ‘chaiyya chaiyya’ of me. There I shot a one minute video. And people loved it. So, I thought I should do everything together, traveling, dancing, shooting etc… So I clubbed everything together.
And then I was traveling to Chopta…we started at 3am in the morning and reached there at 7 for sunrise and we shot a video and I checked if anybody had shot a video here because it was the world’s highest Shiva temple. And nobody had performed surprisingly. So I contacted Anand Bansode and asked him if we can do anything about the world record. And then I sent it for approval and within fifteen days I got approved and I was the first actress to perform at the world’s highest Shiva temple. This news went viral and people actually loved it.
After that I went to Hemkund, which is the world’s largest Gurudwara. So I almost trekked for 16-17 hours and then I performed there and again sent it for approval and it worked out again. So yes that’s how the 3 world records happened.
Meera Joshi: Well my plan right now is to earn more money by working hard and my goal is to buy a nice house of my own and on my own in Mumbai. Like I’ve been living in Mumbai for 13 years and paying rent. And in my family everybody has their own house, it’s only me who doesn’t have anything on her name yet. So that’s my dream right now.
Meera Joshi: My first web series was Myra, it was in lockdown and we shot it on a sample flat in Nagpur. My second web series was “Indori Ishq” in which I played the role of Alia. And people loved it. Basically, I got a call from the casting director and he told me he wants my audition for a character and they sent me the script. So there were two characters, one was Alia, a 21 year old college passout student and the other was a prostitute. So I thought obviously, the second role would be for me as I was 29 back then. But the director told me he wants me to audition for Alia. And I was glad because I thought people still consider me as a young actress. And my co-actor was Ritik Shauri and he was 20. He was almost 10 years younger than me.
I was really conscious about how I would look because being a 30 year old and acting to be a partner of a 20 year old was a different thing. So matching up to him was a difficult thing but then people loved my character. And then I got selected for “Crimes Aaj Kal”, I was auditioned three times. And they asked me if I was an athlete and then I said I am a classical dancer. But then I wasn’t able to match three other guys who were really tall and athletic. And my director was like you said you were an athlete what happened but eventually we shot the scene…
Meera Joshi: I don’t think it’s a difficult task for you to find time for yourself if you love yourself. Because if you love yourself, you’ll find time for yourself anyhow. And in my profession we don’t have a routine so I get time for myself when I don’t have any work. I watch films, go for a walk, eat well.. And I love street food and I keep myself happy with that. I love to spend time with myself, I’ll always find “me time” even if I have a busy schedule. So finding time for myself is not a big task.
Meera Joshi: Every character that I played was different. So I don’t think I have any favorite character. In Marathi films, people viewed me as an evilish, villianish and glamorous personality while in Hindi films I was viewed as the soft ‘sanskari’ girl. People viewed me really differently, there was this contrast and it really confused me. Which also helped me portray many different characters though. In Marathi serial, I have played a Witch and then I’ve also played an evil daughter in law. And then in ‘Chandana’ a short film I played a poor girl living in a village, fighting for the right to basic education. That was something really heart touching.
“Indori Ishq” for that, i played a character of a 21 year old college passout student. Being a 30 year old I had to act as a partner of a 20 year old actor was a difficult and a different task. And for ‘Crimes Aaj Kal’ I played a cop, so again it was really different. And in Myra I got to be a heroine. So yeah, “There’s a lot and many colors to explore.”
Meera Joshi: I think I can be more ignorant about a few things and take everything a little less seriously because not everything needs to be answered. Let’s say somebody passing a comment should be ignored. And it’s not necessary to pay attention to everything that happens around you. I guess that will make me happies. Sometimes I really tend to give too much attention to trollers and that makes me a little dejected. Being ignorant becomes a necessity sometimes and I am trying to do that.
Second thing, I think I should be a little more patient. Not that I’m too impatient but the More patient I am the more things will come to me.
Lastly, this is a funny thing but if God could change my dusky skin tone, and make me a little fair then maybe… maybe I could get more work. In a funnier way though. Now I’ve got acceptance about myself, my skin tone, my body and I think I’m very comfortable in my skin. I love myself.
Meera Joshi: To be precise, Harry Potter. Back then when I was in school Harry Potter was the ultimate crush. And Hogwarts is something I would love to visit if it is possible and I am given a chance to.
Meera Joshi: For upcoming projects, there’s a new movie “Orange Lily” that is going to be released and I’m playing the title role and a few upcoming item songs are to be released. Keep loving me and keep giving me your love and support… Every artist needs that. Be careful of what you have to say to anybody because it might hurt them and rethink it. They might end up making different decisions which they would not if things were a bit different. So yes, keep loving everyone because everybody is working as hard as you are. Life is beautiful, live peacefully.
It has been a 13 years long professional journey in Mumbai and I’m grateful to my parents because of them I was able to pursue my hobby as a profession. Especially my mom, without her I wouldn’t be able to be what I am today. Also grateful to everyone who loved and supported me, without them growing wouldn’t have been possible. It inspires me to do better projects. So thank you very much. Please keep loving me.
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