We had the good fortune of connecting with Chhaya Nene and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chhaya, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think we owe it to ourselves to take risks in our lives. It makes our lives exciting, allows us to live freely and with passion, and it gives you something to look forward to. I’ve always lived my life taking calculated risks. I knew at an early age what I wanted to do. I’ve lived my life listening to my heart and knowing when it was time to leap. It’s scary and sometimes things don’t work out. However, if I didn’t take risks, I wouldn’t have seen 11 countries in 6 weeks with a group of guys I didn’t know, but who became my good friends. I wouldn’t have gone undercover and reported on crime rings, I wouldn’t have covered the local election in India, and I wouldn’t be in California chasing my dreams.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
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.
Ooh! I have refined this list so many times. Let’s say we are pre-covid so locations are all fair game.
Monday: I would start the week in San Diego, get up early and head down from LA. If the Zoo is your thing, go early. The animals are up early and sleep in the afternoon. See the surrounding Balboa Park, it’s absolutely gorgeous! Then stop at La Jolla and see the sea lions before you head back up. If you’re hungry, grab a bite at ‘The Coffee Cup.’
Tuesday: If it’s the second Tuesday of the month, the LA Arboretum is free! It has a TON of peacocks roaming the grounds and it’s stunning. When you’re done, if you’re in a hiking mood, swing over to Eaton Canyon for a hike to see a waterfall. Here is my step-by-step guide for that: https://youtu.be/
Wednesday: I would head to Downtown LA and see the different districts: flower/pinata maybe see Santee Alley. Go see Staples Center. Next head to the California Science Center, grab happy hour at La Barca, and then head to the Tamix truck that is on Hoover St headed towards downtown. They have SUCH delicious food. I would then head to the arts district, walk around, hit up the local bars, and have dinner at Wurstkuche. The fries are incredible!
Thursday: I would start the day grabbing a bite at Porto’s in Burbank, tour Magnolia Park, and then try a studio tour! If theme parks are your thing, go visit Universal. I would have dinner at Salsa and Beer in North Hollywood. Get there early, the lines can take ages!
Friday: Go visit Long Beach! Have breakfast at The Coffee Shop, grab cronuts at Simone’s, and see 2nd street. If you want more of an adventure, I would book a ferry to Catalina. Catalina is gorgeous and is worth a day trip out. If you come back, I would eat dinner at Midici in Sherman Oaks. Look for manager Jesse, he’s amazing!
Saturday/Sunday: Go visit Hearst Castle and visit the seals on the beach. It’s absolutely stunning! I would continue the drive up to Big Sur and soak in the views before spending Saturday and Sunday in San Francisco. Grab food in the Mission where you can get a Mission style burrito. There’s a million things to see in SF, you’ll have a ton of options.
Monday: On your drive back from SF, stop in Gilroy and enjoy all the garlic! Stop in San Luis Obispo for a beautiful town, and then come to LA where you visit Griffith Observatory (the Observatory interior is closed on Mondays) before driving to Santa Monica and see the pier. Then head to Venice where you can catch local artwork and the canals before catching your flight.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family and friends are the most incredible foundation I have. I include my teachers and mentors in this group. Whenever I am happy, they have cheered me on. And when I’ve been crushed, they’ve cried with me and picked me up. I love them and owe them my successes. Thank you. You each know who you are and how much I love you. This shout-out also goes to every person out there wondering if they are good enough or can do it: YES YOU CAN. YOU ARE INCREDIBLE AND DESERVE ALL THE HAPPINESS. Just do it.
Facebook: Chhaya Nene Actress
For headshot: Tandem Photo