By Asif Khan
Mustafa Changazi is a fitting example of how when you bring forth a balanced combination of good looks, style, versatility, and abundant talent…you are destined to attain great things in life! From RJ to theater, modeling, TV and film, one would find him belting out tremendous performances which are memorable and make a lasting impression. His love for theater reflects how after watching Phantom of the Opera in Copenhagen, he came up with his first commercial play “The Crucibles”, later on also directing and producing his own play called “V for Vendetta”. His profound love kept multiplying and eventually with a group of likeminded friends he created a theater production company Plan-A Productions. Shah Sharabeel magnum opus “Tom, Dick and Harry” and Nida Butt’s musical “Grease” brought him dollops of applause and fame. Later with serial Bari Apa, he forayed to the mini screen followed by serials like Humnasheen, Meethi si lagan, and Tumhare Siwa. In 2014, he surprised everyone when he debuted in cinema with the movie Operation 021. and voiced over for movie 3 Bahadur.
In a rendezvous with Social Diary the young actor stated how his experience and commitment has led to his heightened focus and complete determination for his upcoming projects:
SD: What led you to prefer theater over other platforms to make a landfall in showbiz?
Mustafa: I find theater holds a major clairvoyant prowess which allows for you to create a better and stronger connection between various issues and characters representing them. It is also a major way to make concepts coherent and allows for a far realistic and impactful way to represent intense social situations through realistic story telling. Theatre has definitely been the stepping stone for me.
SD: How did the local showbiz fraternity react to your presence?
Mustafa: You meet all kinds of people in every walk of life. Good energy attracts good energy. I intend to focus on that.
SD: Do you agree that acting is highly based on good and creative imagination?
Mustafa: That depends on how the actor perceives it. He or she needs to have that imaginative connection with the character in order to bring it into realization with a full spectrum of emotions.
SD: How faithful does an actor have to remain with his own vision, expression and art to enact a role, so as to make it look picture perfect?
Mustafa: At the risk of sounding crude, I feel these days being a successful actor is more about how you market yourself as compared to your acting chops. People who are not as talented, have succeeded in becoming immensely popular amongst the masses. For me success is relative too. If you are happy with what you play at the end of the day or you get excited revisiting your work, then you are a successful actor.
SD: What kind of scripts appeal to you as an actor ?
Mustafa: Scripts revolving around family politics and drama is just not my cup of tea. I go for anything that pushes me out of my comfort zone. It has to be different from the dearth of old formula scripts.
SD: Most of the aspiring actors fail to attain modest success. How would you guide them?
Mustafa: To all the young talents, I would want them to understand the definition of success. After that, try to figure out your own worth. Be aware of the kind of work you take, and research and give your input into the character. Do not show desperation for work! If you are a good actor, the work will come to you! That apart, seek out a mentor. Look into how to market yourself. Please don’t be vain! Study your idols’ careers. Aspire to be different! Draw out a path and follow it and I promise, you will get there in no time.
SD: From the characters that you have enacted, it is vividly visible that you made a cognizant choice not to dwell on accepting whatever comes your way. Have you had to pay a price for being that choosy?
Mustafa: To be honest, I act for myself and for me, it is a medium of self expression and catharsis. If I am not proud of the work I am doing, I will not do it.
SD: Your transition from modeling to acting-has it been anything less than a roller coaster ride?
Mustafa: Not exactly but I have welcomed every change with open arms. Acting, especially theatre, helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. So every project that has pushed me out of my comfort zone, has been an excellent learning experience.
SD: We rarely see magic realism and visual audacity in our drama industry. Why?
Mustafa: I think it’s high time we break from the mundane topics and focus more on finding literary genius in our storytelling formula. Forget the ratings and the presumption of what the “masses” want. Educate them, treat them to better things and use that magical realism to sell better dreams!
SD: Are you satisfied with the present league that is taking drama ahead?
Mustafa: To be honest I am not. Cashing in on family drama and politics is what our content is revolving around mostly. Of course there are exceptions, but we are mostly promoting stereotypes and do not dare to venture out towards fiercely challenging avenues. Lets stop selling myopic stories and instead educate and enhance intellectual paletes! I am optimistic that we will see an improvement eventually.
SD: Don’t you think despite having hundreds of channels, our drama lack that punch that has been our trademark two decades ago?
Mustafa: I cannot generalize. There are works out there which are brilliant and definitely pack a punch. But yes, I do think that it’s time to improve our content quality.
SD: What suggestions do you have to improve the quality of drama to get a better viewership?
Mustafa: The world has shifted from the big screen to the small screen and that’s the power television holds. Treat our TV dramas like you are making a film! Bring innovation in all the production processes. By that, I don’t mean to go too crazy on the spending. I just mean think of better ways of telling that story and shoot it like no one has ever shot a TV drama before!
SD: Acting is a time consuming job. What hobbies do you have a heart for? Do you have any peculiar interests ?
Mustafa: I’m very much into Brazilian jiu jitsu and have been practicing it for almost 3 years now. For those who don’t know what Brazilian Jiu jitsu is, It is a form of mixed martial arts.
SD: Where do you want to see yourself; let’s say in five years?
Mustafa: Currently I’m focusing on creating something for the digital media but want to see myself starting up a successful Tech company in the coming years.