We had the good fortune of connecting with Allai Kaushik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allai, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. It being the birthplace of Bollywood, film was engrained into culture. When I moved to the US toward the end high school and started to assimilate into American culture, I began to reflect on my time in India. My environment in India was vibrant but chaotic, therefore, my senses were always heightened. On the contrary, things are much more relaxed here. I believe this allows me to function much more efficiently when I am put into stressful situations. Your boss being upset at you is not as bad as swerving oncoming traffic while you are going in the right direction of a oneway street.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a 22 year old producer with two features and multiple commercials under my belt. I am currently working as a producer with a creative production and marketing agency called Blend. I was able to get where I am though a combination of support, preparation and luck. Having support meant that I was able to take the risk of pursuing my hobby and turning it into my daily work. Right at the end of college at UC Riverside, I was prepared. I knew how to produce, I just needed the right opportunities to produce on a large scale. I was lucky enough for an opportunity to have risen and at that moment and I capitalized upon it. My first feature “Room” was a Hindi film featuring Parvin Dabbas (from Monsoon Wedding). We shot it in Chicago and Wisconsin and it was great; both to experience and to learn from.
I really cherish the relationships I build and love to help out fellow creatives on their journey to fulfill their creative visions. This ended up paying off as the day I required help, I had a wide array of people willing to do the same for me. When producing my second crunch-budget feature, “Chindia,” we did not have enough money (like everyone else in this industry), however, I was able to call upon multiple talented individuals, who I had helped in the past, to create a well functioning team that would deliver high quality results. Seriously, each member on that team, from our cast to the PA’s were absolutely incredible. You could feel the energy of those who are going to pave a path in the new age of Hollywood.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is always so much going on in LA. Pretty much everything I do is food centric so some of my little too frequently visited spots are Holy Basil, Man Eating Plant, Tacos 1986, Lettuce Feast or some good old street food from Estilo Tijuana Angels Tacos.
Being in downtown, I think that Grand Central Market is a cheat-code. It is my go-to place for when people are over and by the end of it they think I am an LA local.
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?
Yes, multiple people. However, in order to keep it short and sweet. My direct and extended family, who created a safety net that allowed me to take risks. My girlfriend Ashlesha, who inspires me daily to be the best version of myself. Last but not the least, another person that deserves (more than a little) credit is Sikandar Sidhu. He was one of the first people to take a chance on me and mentored me throughout multiple projects.