Oh, hai! My name is Rafiq Batcha. I am an actor and also the supreme creator of this website.
Grab a hot cuppa milky n’ sweet Indian chai and gather around for a story.
I kinda stumbled into acting in Atlanta. I was born in Mumbai, India, home of Bollywood. So the desire to act can’t be helped :). I’d acted in plays and break danced and sang (slightly off key) on-stage throughout school and college and grad school. I even performed the role of Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” 3 separate times – in elementary school, middle school, and high school. So you could say I am “trained in Shakespeare” J. I made short films and even took some classes but never seriously considered acting a real career.
Until one day in 2008, while dreading yet another trip to a client site when I was working as a management consultant, I realized I just couldn’t continue this. I was too unhappy. I had to make a massive change in my life. So I decided to make a full length movie, the first Hindi language Bollywood style feature film set and shot in Atlanta called “Mumbhai Connection”, about the struggles of an Indian IT salesman forced to sell IT services to the Atlanta mafia. Getting the movie made and released was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. The mistakes I made alone are worthy of a separate book. But I finally got distribution and released it in theaters across India in 2014.
Almost in parallel, as I was going through an existential crisis, in 2008 the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act got expanded vastly, and the number of film and TV productions in Atlanta began to really grow. So when I got done with shooting Mumbhai Connection and the long process of post-production and finding distribution was underway, I decided to try my hand at getting professional representation. I got signed by Houghton Talent, and since then have pursued professionally acting in Atlanta.
Looking back, fate/chance/luck has had some much of a role to play for me. Kismet got me to live in a city that’s turned out to be such a hot acting market, where I’m in a niche (South Asian male).
I continue to take classes, auditioning, booking and also sustaining myself day-jobbing at a large technology company doing product marketing – basically telling stories using PowerPoint. I’m grateful to have a job that gives me the flexibility to pursue this and makes not be desperate to book.
Since publishing this eBook, I’ve moved to LA. But I absolutely would not have made this transition if I didn’t get the exposure and credits in Atlanta to kickstart my career.
You can see my personal website here: http://rafiqbatcha.com. And this is my IMDB page: http://imdb.me/rafiqbatcha.