All the world’s a stage | Sunday Observer

All the world’s a stage

20 January, 2019

Life sometimes can be defined as an act. We have to act many roles in a lifetime to keep it going. “It isn’t that simple to cast yourself aside for a while and blend into another’s character,” ushering me towards a chair, Chanuka Prabuddha puts his feelings of being a novice in the field of acting into words. 

“I’m so happy about the responses I get from my audience, although I’ve been on the small screen for such a small period of time. I feel this is success when thinking of how I got started. I’ve got a main character, and the story is beautiful too. People got to know me through this teledrama. I believe that I’ve done my best so far”.

Chanuka is a model and an amateur actor who dreams to be a professional actor and model. He comes to his audience as ‘Malaka’ in ‘Sakuuge Kathaawa’ on Swarnawahini. ‘Malaka’ is a music teacher, a ‘Visharada’ in music who comes to the city from the village after winning a reality program. He comes to the city with a lot of frustration after losing his love in the village.

“Why do you love this character?” I asked him.

“Well, it was not just acting for me. I haven’t studied music much. I had only a pinch of knowledge in music, from what I had studied when I was at school. So this character became a challenge for me. I had to play the guitar, the chello, the drums and had to act the role of a singer and musician. I learned how to handle a guitar and the drums also.”

When I asked him about the two characters he portrays in ‘Mithuu’ and in ‘Sakuuge Kathaawa’, he was delighted to speak of how he bumped into acting through the character of a lover in ‘Mithuu’ at a point when he had to start acting from scratch and then having the chance to play the main role in ‘Sakuuge Kathaawa’.

“ ‘Mithuu’ was more like a trial for me, I had to make a great effort then and I couldn’t come up with a memorable performance to last in the hearts of the audience. But ‘Sakuuge Kathaawa’ made the auidience see me, I’m so blessed to be a part of the masterpiece of Priyantha Colambage’s creation. He’s such a great director.

“Was becoming an actor incidental ?”

“Yes. I was in Australia for my higher studies. But I had to come back home. I have been a model in Sri Lanka for four years and have made a name for myself as a model. But I didn’t have any idea about acting and about being an artiste at all, yet I always loved the field. So I think I’m fortunate to have stepped in.”

After stumbling onto modelling, with his height, good looks and by being a student of Rozanne Diasz, Chanuka recalled how modelling then paved the way for him to take the first move in acting.

“I didn’t have a definite dream or a goal. I had many things lined up, in my mind. But I got myself there by being a model. Rozanne Diasz got me to learn from her after seeing me. Afterwards, I learnt so much more.

‘The Colombo Fashion Week’ is one of the most spotlighted, prominent fashion shows in Sri Lanka. I took part in it for four consecutive years. That’s my best achievement so far as a model.

I was a model for ‘Salon Nadeesha Illangakoon’. There, Shantha Soyza had seen my photos and he invited me to his teledrama as ‘Mithuu’. That’s how I got in. When I got this invitation, to be honest, I knew nothing about being an actor. It wasn’t that easy at all and was a big challenge at first. Acting is something that should be done like meditation. It’s so much more than modelling. We can’t act by being ourselves”.

The future

Chanuka is an old Anandian who is currently working on his MBA. When asked about what he wants his future to be, he said, “I don’t know how it’s going to end, but for now, I just think of being a professional actor and about continuing in modelling”.

He wanted to mention the names of his well-wishers and mentors, and to thank them all. I noticed the sparkle in his eyes amidst the conversation. “My first director was Shantha Soyza. If I say my dialogues properly, it’s what I learned from him.Then, from Priyantha Colambage I learned even more. I didn’t actually act, he made me act. He had a lot of faith in me than I had in myself. That’s why he offered me such an immense and important character. He took a big risk in letting me act this role. So I believe I’ve done my best for him and the character I play, up to this point.

Besides them, everyone I’m working with is very welcoming and helpful. They always encourage me. They are my teachers, not just directors. Above all others, I thank my family and Nadeesha Illangakoon and Nayomi Rathnayake for their immeasurable backing throughout these years.