Mistress of her fate
With her career in showbiz spanning almost a decade now, Anoushey Ashraf has carved a definitive niche for herself as a VJ and host. Modeling and more recently venturing into acting, besides starting a clothing line, are new feathers she has just added to her cap.
The adventure began in 2002 when Anoushey landed an audition for a newscaster but ended up auditioning as a VJ for the music channel Indus Music (later MTV). “I have been consistent if anything. Being a VJ, host, anchor and now to be dubbed as the master of ceremonies… it’s been an amazing journey so far.”
Anoushey equates hosting with a good conversation. “I tap on my fun-loving personality by just being myself as a host. The plus point is that there is a lot of variation every day as you come across new people and discuss fresh ideas — something which can never be boring.
These days the spunky gal can be seen in the Veet Miss Super Model, 2012 Season 3, a project that she considers to be the most difficult show that she has hosted so far. “It required a lot of hard work with extensive hours, endless waiting for celebrities and the models and the links that were shot late at night. It was all very tiring. I would get stuck in the long-drawn script for the links because after hosting game shows and talk shows where I am required to be spontaneous, it was difficult to learn the lines. At the time I didn’t realise how big it was going to be and how much I would learn from it, but it has also turned out to be a very fun project.”
The fashion industry is extremely competitive and making one’s presence felt for the newbies of the show must have been a tough ride. So did any catfights ensue? Clearing the air, Anoushey affirms that the contestants treated each other with respect.
“As a matter of fact we use to wait for catfights to happen so that we get the material that audiences love to talk about. But we never saw the contestants arguing or fighting, they are very close to each other with a great camaraderie going on. Also, hats off to the team and Frieha Altaf who kept the girls under control while giving them very good training. All the girls have great respect for Frieha and trust her impeccably.”
Shifting the focus to modeling, when it comes to being associated with brands like L’Oreal, she feels that it has added value to her work with people within the industry, “Even though my work is less commercial and sans the hoo-ha, it is steady, respectable and gives me a personal sense of fulfillment.”
On the contrary, Anoushey says working for TV ads is her least favourite, “Even though the money is good. Plus, it gives you a high when you see your face on billboards across the city. But as a model you are only trying to sell somebody else’s product.
Whoever says that s/he get a lot of creative fulfillment from ads is lying. It’s monetarily satisfying and that’s the truth, but having said that I have nothing against TV ads.”
Anoushey’s acting stint began recently with plays like Yeh Dillagi (TV One), telefilm Chand aur Chanda (Hum TV) and a few others. What took her so long to venture into acting? “I was happy being a host. I did get random acting assignments but I never took them seriously or saw myself as a serious actor. Acting is time-consuming and a tedious job. A certain amount of dedication is required but if your drama is noticed it adds value to your work. I have now realised that when you act your work profile diversifies and you add freshness along with creativity to your portfolio. I have just started enjoying my acting stint.”
With an abundance of morning shows all around and sensing my next question, Anoushey quickly adds about what’s different about her morning show. According to her, to grab attention it was decided to use good content with meaningful conversations along with guests who are experts in their field of work. “We decided not to indulge in what other shows are all about because if the audience needs crazy entertainment then that is already available on other channels. I feel our selling point is that we do a good show with integrity, giving viewers something that is not available on other channels. My morning show on Health TV brings me a lot of joy.”
Taking her multi-faceted personality a notch higher, Anoushey along with her sister Natasha also runs a clothing line called of Block Seven. “My personal take is that eastern wear has completely diluted, so the idea was to launch a brand that sells western wear that has good quality clothing, is affordable and at the same time fashionable.”
Anoushey also reveals her plans to move into production, hoping to travel to India early next year to do a series of interviews with Indian artists. “I don’t consider myself a celebrity. Showbiz is something that just happened to me. Today, when people come to me for an autograph or to take a picture, I can’t believe it’s happening. Morning show, hosting, ads and acting take up a lot of my time and energy but I have been planning to go into production for quite a while now. I was just looking for the right people to team up with,” she says.