“As we rest on weekend evenings, taking the much-needed refreshing break from the everyday drama in life, the shows and podcasts airing during this time are not only good forms of entertainment after a hard day, but they are also a source of hearty laughter. In a conversation with Hello Vizag everybody’s favourite weekend entertainer Salil Acharya talks about VJ-ing, acting, and remaining relevant and creative as he dons many hats!”
Weekend shows have some magic that lifts us up, don’t they? Such magic is hard to find in television dramas where the bahus are always crying because of their evil mother-in-laws! But what makes these weekend shows so good? Great hosts! Hosts who not only make the audience laugh but also bind the entire show together with their antiques and energy. So is the job of an actor who now turned host and podcast-runner and has managed to impress the audience with his great sense of comic timing, high levels of energy and the passion for hosting. We’re talking about none other than well-known VJ Salil Acharya who made his Bollywood debut in Mohit Suri’s film Awarapan.
From working for movies to being an RJ and now interviewing A-listers on his podcast, he has made his mark since the advent of television and radio, when there were no footprints of anything called ‘YouTube’ or ‘Podcast’. The world of entertainment welcomed the wonderfully earnest and innovative Salil into hosting and podcasting in a way that his unconventional method of hosting makes the entire set of celebs look more like family than just people working together.
Sticking to the roots
I choose to stick to television and radio despite the booming emergence of new arrivals like YouTube and Podcasting because the old delineation between television and other mediums can’t disappear just like that! Not everyone can be an opening batsman like Sachin Tendulkar, television and radio will always remain an extension of show business. We can always level up on it as we did with podcasting! And, what gave me a sense of affirmation was Spotify coming to India asking me to host a show interviewing people. It made me feel ‘okay this is what I am known for and I must continue it,’” he shares.
Being loved by the masses is actually the pointer towards the massive success that Salil has achieved all these years by donning multiple hats. But has it ever led to a point where his creativity had begun to dim down? Nothing held him back from reaching his true creative potential. Focussing on what went right, whatever passion he has taken up, he mastered it.
“I am not one of those people who’ll be a bait for memes or crack jokes around. In fact, I don’t even do any- thing that’s scripted! Instead, I am one of the few emcees who doesn’t use a teleprompter either, because I want to keep it organic. My expertise and creativity pops from the knowledge I have gained after all these years, I am no Sunil Grover or Kapil Sharma, but if you put me in an event about the stock market today, I’ll be up for it, as I believe I have sufficient about it,” he adds.
Known for his gifted eloquence, Salil is immune to the fear of public speaking. He was always encouraged to be a boy who could express, express and express more which led him to choose professions as such. And even in the age of emojis, animated GIFs and Snapchat interviewing is still the most filters, effective way to inspire others around you. With the introduction of podcasts in India and Salil Acharya’s podcast trending on number two across the world, it only etches the fact that sharing ideas is more important than physical presence.
“It’s more feasible and time-saving. Although, we still, as a country, aren’t too open to hosting a podcast the way we want to, as we are bound to certain rules and regulations, yet I was given a free hand. Being able to access a podcast some- times in our native language is also a big win, isn’t it? The variety of content that we have in the new audio industry is like an untapped market altogether. The chat shows have been wooing the audiences since a very long time now, and we are just getting better at it,” he concludes.