Sharad Kelkar remembers how people had trouble following him for he spoke too fast

Mumbai, May 27 (IANS): It's not very often that an actor leaves a signature with his voice. It happened with the deep baritone of veteran Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, who, surprisingly, couldn't secure a job at All India Radio. Actor Sharad Kelkar, who has voiced several iconic characters for the celluloid, is another addition to this list.

Like Big B, Sharad too wasn’t considered for a radio job owing to imperfections in his speech, as he used to stammer and speak very fast. However, the actor didn’t let the experience bog him down and polished his voice to become the voice of the titular character of the box-office juggernaut ‘Baahubali’ franchise.

Sharad, who is receiving a great response to his work in the Disney+ Hotstar animated series 'Baahubali: Crown of Blood', spoke with IANS about his new show, the process behind voicing a character in the absence of a visual reference, and the need for a solid support system for an artist.

Much like his earlier series 'The Legend of Hanuman', in 'Baahubali: Crown of Blood', the animation is done over the voices of artists.

Sharing his process for the style of animation on voice-over, Sharad told IANS: "When the animation is done to the voice-over, it helps an actor to enhance their ability to visualise a scene or a situation because you visualise thinking you’re in a particular surrounding and the proximity between the characters. The difficult part for me is that while dubbing for the character, actors don’t get into the costume and the look of the character.”

The actor said that for him, as an actor, it is very important to slip into the character’s look.

“Half the work is done there, for me. You don’t get this luxury while recording a voice-over sans any visuals. Another thing is that you don’t get to work in tandem with your co-actors. When you feed off the energy of your co-actors, it becomes easy and exciting, also because then it becomes a more spontaneous process,” he shared.

The actor added, “Having said that, all the actors who lent their voices to different characters in the ‘Baahubali’ film franchise, have also worked on ‘Baahubali: The Crown of Blood’. So, I had an idea about how they talk and their vocal texture.”

Growing up, the actor never realised the power of his voice. It was his friends, close ones, and the audience that made him understand that he has a voice, which can make a huge difference on the screen.

Sharad told IANS: “While growing up, I used to speak very fast. When you speak fast, the quality of your voice goes down, the bass gets cut, and the treble goes off. A lot of people back then would say, ‘Arre kya bol raha hai pehle wo bata’. My friends told me, and the feedback from the audience made me realise that I have a voice which needs to be taken care of and honed.”

He further mentioned that he worked with dubbing director Mona Shetty, who helped him greatly.

“She asked me to start off with small characters. So, for me, it has been a journey from a character of three minutes to a whole film of 120 minutes,” he added.

The actor then spoke about the need for a good support system for artistes, saying that it’s imperative for an artiste to have a solid support system, more so for those who work in cinema.

Sharad said: “Artistes by nature are very sensitive, as they feel the emotions deeply to project them in their artwork. An artwork without the depth of emotions has no soul. Our industry is very unpredictable, and every day is a new challenge. The only system that the industry follows is that there’s something new every day, and that’s where creativity is born.”

“In such a situation, it can prove to be emotionally overwhelming for an artist, and that’s where a good support system can help you. It keeps you on track and lends you a certain objectivity and emotional support,” he added.


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Title: Sharad Kelkar remembers how people had trouble following him for he spoke too fast

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