This one's a total keeper!
With a quirky personality and hilarious anecdotes, this 25-year-old Practicing Marketer is far from your typical guy. Case in point? He can dance his socks off and kick some serious butt. Read on!
Q/ Let’s talk a little bit about your background and how it led to your current position.
A/ I’m kind of the black sheep in the family – everyone else is a lawyer, doctor or an engineer – but I took a different path. I’m very visual and detail-oriented. I love cinematography, but I might take it a little too seriously in that I look at the world through the frame of a camera lens, and the angle always has to be just right, because I want to capture every single detail. I work for an advertising agency, so this kind of thinking comes into good use when brainstorming a concept for an advertisement or commercial!
Unsurprisingly, I have an unorthodox method of leading: If the work load gets really stressful (which is often the case), I encourage my team to find a release, especially through dance.
Q/ How did you get into the performing arts?
A/ When I was a kid, I used to mimic teachers and conversations I’d overhear. I was also obsessed with TV commercials and would constantly act out certain ads! I also loved music and dance when I was little, so my parents sent me for lessons when I was about 7 years old. Soon after, I was invited to act in a teledrama and a movie.
I continued participating in drama, music and dancing at school. In dancing, I followed three styles—Kandyan, Bharatanatyam and Hip Hop. My interest in music came from my love of dancing, because you dance to music, and to be a good dancer, you need to have some technical knowledge about composition! So, I sang, took music lessons and even learned to play the flute. It all helped enhance my dancing—so much so that I am now a Visharad in Bharatanatyam.
Q/ Was there ever a time you had to step back from performing arts?
A/ With the tight schedule I had in school, the day after I was done with my A/Ls, I woke up with nowhere to go, and wondered, “Now what do I do?” My life had been a series of one thing after another, with little breathing room. To suddenly have so much time on my hands was a strange feeling. But, I had to put the performing arts on hold for a while until I finished my higher education. My goal was to finish all my studies, including my Masters, by the time I hit 24, and I did. After I finished, I applied for the SLIM Practicing Marketer status.
Q/ How did you wind up learning karate?
A/ The interest began with my family because my dad and cousins had trained in karate in the past. But I can’t deny that all the Kung-Fu movies definitely made an impression! I must’ve been about 6 years old when my sister and I started lessons with a sensei.
When I was 13, we were ready for the black belt. The training was really intense and rigorous. Looking back now, it almost feels like a movie, and I don’t know how I got through this period. I’d be up every day at 3 AM for a jog. After that was an exercise session, followed by karate practice. When it was all done, I’d head to school and take part in other extracurricular activities. I’d only get home late in the evening and do it all over again the next day. In retrospect, I kind of miss the discipline and the severity of the training—being on a schedule and a strict diet.
Q/ Have you ever had to use your skills as a black belt IRL?
A/ I believe, when it comes to martial arts, you need to learn it with respect. You shouldn’t desire to use this skill to show off or bully anyone. It must be used to protect yourself, those you care about and anyone who needs help. Something I learned during my training was that, before you work on your body, you need to train your mind. You see, picking a fight is easy, but avoiding one is hard. So you need to learn to keep your rage in the cage!
I have had to use it once or twice, but only because I had no other option. I avoid fights at all cost, and since I have a very high tolerance, I rarely lose my cool.
Q/ Any tips to those looking to get into karate or the performing arts?
A/ I would suggest starting as young as possible. The younger the better, because when you’re an adult you have other priorities and responsibilities, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. Plus, starting young means your body gets used to the training. You become physically flexible and more open to changes in your diet.
But regardless of the age you start, you should definitely take up martial or performing arts. They provide you with a release, allow you to keep your emotions in check and teach you how to control yourself, both physically and mentally.
Q/ What’s your favourite date spot?
A/ I love nature, so I’d probably take my date on a camping trip. I know—it might sound a little strange, (creepy, even!) for a first date, but I wouldn’t go out with a girl who isn’t into the same things as I am. We need to resonate on the same wave length.
Q/ So, you’re not old school when it comes to getting to know a girl?
A/ I can come off as rather intense, and I’m not really into romantic, candlelit dinners. I prefer less traditional dates. These days, getting to know someone takes place online. I get home and check my inbox—if there are any interesting emails, I reply and take it from there.
Q/ What does your typical weekend look like?
A/ I don’t get to workout during the week, so I typically hit the gym in the mornings. I also go for Hip Hop classes. I run errands and reply to a few work emails inbetween. When I’m home, I like catching up on reading, especially on plane crashes. (Yeah, I know, I’m weird!) I have a group of friends who are obsessed with movies, so we also tend to meet up and enjoy a new flick.
Rapid Fire Round:
1. All-time fave movie series?
2. If a girl was into you, would you play the direct approach or hard to get?
3. Favourite cartoon character?
Jean Grey from X-Men
4. Naughty or nice?
5. Celebrity crush?
6. Movie or Play?
7. Are you a dog or cat person?
8. Where’d you rather go: the hills or the coast?
This article was originally published as ‘The Cosmo Guy’ in the March 2017 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For information on more talented guys, grab a copy of our latest magazine.
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