We had the good fortune of connecting with Akshita Namjoshi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Akshita, how do you think about risk?
Taking risks has played a huge role in my life, and fortunately it has always paid off. Growing up, my family was constantly on the move and so I got the opportunity to live in six diverse cities. My parents always made sure I was comfortable with the decision to shift and each time I agreed to take the gamble and go with the flow, and pretty much got used to change. Now I think of every risk I take as the universe’s intervention in my life to make things happen that I wouldn’t possibly have planned out for myself. The biggest risk I took was probably choosing to pursue my Master’s in Screenwriting here in the states right after finishing my undergrad with an Engineering major back in India. I had no prior experience in the field of filmmaking and writing, but I applied to Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts nevertheless. I had no backup plans and no idea what I would have done had I not got in! I’m so glad I trusted my instinct and took this huge leap of faith that I can safely say has paid off.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Ever since third grade I had always wanted to be a writer, but due to a fateful turn of events (and an aptitude for science) I ended up studying engineering for my undergrad. Though I loved my undergrad experience, I soon realized that that working as an engineer was the farthest thing from what I want to do, and that the creative fields are my calling. So, as an extension of my love for writing and storytelling, taking up Screenwriting felt like an organic course of action. Getting into film school was a great experience as I got to try my hand at new things both in and outside of school. I’ve worked on a bunch of student films sets in various capacities and have fulfilled my artistic cravings by helping a production designer friend of mine with set design, props, painting etc. I’m currently writing a podcast that is being produced by a Chapman alum and have written two shorts for a Youtube series about the pandemic. In the pandemic I’ve also been able to start writing a novel based on my experiences with travel so far. I’m also finishing a feature script as part of my thesis that I’m really excited about. I think my art reflects the eclectic experiences I’ve had in life and I always challenge myself and never shy away from trying new things, and that is what I’m most proud of. I’m open to whatever life has in store for me as I finish grad school.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since California is a treasure trove for outdoorsy people and I’m definitely one, I’m going to take my friends to all the beaches, hikes and trails. Watching the sun set at Laguna, a long drive along the Pacific Coast, Crystal Cove hike and maybe a trip to Big Sur or Yosemite are some of the things I’d love to do. The visit would be incomplete without a quick trip to San Francisco because that city has my heart. Along with this, all the touristy things in LA- visiting The Hollywood Sign, Walk of Fame, taking in the epic view of the city at night from the Griffith Observatory and grabbing a bite at the Grand Central market would be the top things on my itinerary.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents are the reason why I could travel halfway across the globe to USA to try my hand at something I love, and the amazing journey I’ve had wouldn’t have been possible without them. Of course they are aware of the risk involved in choosing a creative career path, but they have always had my back. They have been super-supportive of every thing I want to do and it’s such a blessing to have my family always cheering me on. Also, a huge shoutout to Chapman University’s Dodge School of Film and Media Arts for accepting me into their MFA program solely based on my portfolio and writing samples even though I had no formal experience in the field of screenwriting. The two years I’ve spent here have been nothing short of a rollercoaster and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it, learning about the craft and discovering things about myself in the process.
Linkedin: Akshita Namjoshi