From child artiste to a class act – Shenaya Pereira
J P Pereira
Having received an award for best child singer at the age of 6, in the tiatr titled ‘Chuddet’ (meaning a palm leaf) by Augie D’Mello, Shenaya Pereira has come a long way. Director Augie had watched her perform in a drama staged in her village in the year was 2007, and thus a star was born. Today, Shenaya continues to display plenty of style in her acting, singing and overall performance. Hailing from Penha de Franca, this student of class 12 in the Don Bosco High School, Panaji, passed her SSC with distinction from Mary Immaculate Girls High School, Panaji, thereby proving, that studies as well as the acting are equally important.
Her parents Maria and Agnelo Pereira encouraged their daughters to perform on stage and her elder sister, Steffi, acted in many competition dramas. “My father is the source of inspiration for my acting, for guidance and overall support, while my mother has been the inspiration for my studies”, says Shenaya.
Augie soon booked her for ‘Pissud Nakat’. Derrick D’Mello another participant at the Kala Academy Competition cast her next in ‘Kallokhi Uzvadd’ and ‘Vaddoll’. “I bagged various awards and was quite a regular in plays performed at the Competition”, she adds with a smile. She also acted in dramas that participated at competitions organised by the Vandana Productions, Borim and Taleigao Cultural Association. For three consecutive years she bagged the award for best child artiste (female) as well as the Dr Jack Sequeira Award for the year 2010.
Offers then began to come in from commercial directors but there was also the question of her studies. “I have kept a good balance between my studies and my tiatr career. So my parents had no problem and they had faith that I would never forsake my studies”. Mini Mario cast her in ‘Kiteak Bhurgim Amchi Girestkai’ and this was followed by C D’Silva’s ‘Xikxea’. Then there was Roseferns ‘Bhurgim Tim, Baulim Nhoim’ and ‘Fugue’ as well as Peter Roshan’s ‘Goem Soddun Paule Ghanttar’, in which she recalls an incident. There was a trio to be performed, imitating the erstwhile trio kings. She had to imitate Anthony, who she had never seen on stage. Her father helped her and she pulled it off well. The audience offered her cash prizes in many places that she performed. But the best appreciation came from Anthony himself. “The veteran came to see me perform and came backstage to congratulate me with a big hug. Both of us were extremely happy”, she recalls with joy. The actress is also known to mimic stalwarts like M Boyer, William de Curtorim and the well known couple, Sabina-Greg, who she imitated along with her sister Steffi. She has acted for many commercial dramas and that is quite an achievement in a career of 11 years. In ‘Dhirvem’ by Edmund Vaz she played a negative role and this season she enthralls the audience as a single mother in ‘Thank You God’ by Pal Soares. A good singer, Shenaya renders solos based on social issues, love and even politics, in great style. She has also lent her voice to audio discs released by Socorro de St Cruz, Fr Joaquim Fernandes and Victor de Verem.
Apart from acting Shenaya dabbles in drawing. Some of her works have been published in newspapers and awarded prizes. She has been felicitated for her achievements in her village on more than three occasions.
Shenaya wishes to act in films in future and hopes that offers will come in. “I am grateful to God for my talent and to my parents for their support and encouragement. This is a blessing! I shall work hard to achieve my goal”, Shenaya concludes with a big smile.