On the heels of an amazingly attended fireside chat with Payal Kadakia, founder of Classpass, we host the June Edition of NYC LadyDrinks with Melanie Chandra, star of the show 'Code Black' on Thursday June 22nd.
Why did I choose her?
Well, as you know, I am efforting a line up of South Asian role models who LOOK LIKE US. Our struggles are different. Our painpoints are different. Our pathways to success are different. My dad picked himself up by his bootstraps from a very poor part of Burma to come to the United States andmake enough money to build a home in Delhi, & move his family back into India. He wanted to become a doctor,but didn't have the means. He expected me to carry his dream.
But my dream was different. I wanted to be a television anchor since I was four years old. In fact, that dream hatched, nestled next to my dad's feet as he watched Tom Brokaw deliver the Nightly News each night at 6:30pm. If I wanted this dream,he was explicit in indicating Iwould have to go it alone.Without them. I left home at 18. I paid for college. Paid for grad school. Paid for every move from Pennsylvania, to Washington DC to Boston, to New Jersey to Wyoming & back to New York again to become an anchor in New York City. But doing all that unsupported & alone, came with its share of pain & sacrifice.
Stories of women feeling like they must be'PERFECT INDIAN DAUGHTERS' interest me.
Melanie wanted to be an actress for as long as she could remember. It just tookhera whileto admit toher parents. And to herself. Shefelt alot pressure to be the 'perfect Indian daughter.'
So--- she went toStanford University (Ivy League school. Check),got a Bachelorsin Mechanical Engineering (Indian parent-approved profession. Check),got aconsulting job with McKinsey & Company (Good job. Check) While the job was intellectually fascinating, it just wasn't something she wanted to get up out of bed & do every morning.
On a lark, shetook an acting class----- absolutely fell in love with it. The rest is history.
We are going to learn a little about that history when Ihost the next fireside chat withMelanieatPenthouse I of Shetler Studios Thursday, June 22nd. Please join us for this engaging talk & Q&A afterwards.