A very very rapid fire. By a very very rapid fire girl.
Wait, did we say rapid? We mean rapid.
Say hello to Mallika Dua, the charming face behind the popular Girlyapa video.
What I was reminded of when I first spoke to her was "Beta dancer bann jaana, pehle MBA poora kar lo." My parents' consistent answer to getting sorted in life first, and then doing as one pleased.
Had I had the talent she has, of creating magic out of social media, I would have probably quit my job before I realised my talent could literally be banked upon.
Mallika Dua's spent time in the US, studying drama. Got back to India, realised that the fire hadn't really been lit here and moved into an advertising agency. A full time job. Something that made her tick, and learn about copy writing, production and post production.
I told her that I was massively inspired by how she found her calling and quit her job and I admired her guts for that. She corrected me and told me to hold on, and that quitting happened after she'd prudendtly realised that her passion could be something that replaced a full time job. And that without understanding how to sell something to a user, she would have never been able to build engagement with her short videos. All thanks to her job.
I disconnected the phone, feeling fairly inspired and trusted my parents for their advice a little more. Exerpts of a fairy tale growth of career coordinates that now seem to have shot up thanks to being signed by the company that manages AIB.
What would you say was your childhood ambition?
I wanted to be an astronaut. Then I discovered how terribly I sucked at science. I always wanted to be famous, don't know how.
After your BA in theater, what lead to a job as a copywriter?
I was super jaded with the theatre scene in Delhi. I didn't want to wait around for plays to happen and I wanted to be more than an actor at that point. So I got myself an internship at Mccann Erikson. The internship turned into a job and that was that.
What was the best thing about having a job?
It's very gratifying to have a job. The best thing is you have so many people to learn from, it gives you a break from the voice in your head.
What is the funniest thing you have ever heard?
How do you decide what's funny?
Creating a comic plot is hard work!. If it makes me laugh, I go with it.
Why do instagram and snapchat work as best media channels for what you do?
They're quick, give you elements to play with and don't invite much trolling or "perspectives".
How can you fit in so much and manage to create a hook in 30-second videos?
Thanks to my training in advertising; 30 seconds was the maximum time we got to say what we wanted, entertain you, hook you, promote a brand, and be memorable.
In a world without social media, what would you be doing?
Advertising and not being an introvert.
To all our SHEROES out there, please share tips on how to monetise one's passion?
I'm still figuring it out but if I had to give tips they would be to be in touch with the right people who you look up to and also never undervalue yourself. The first step is to truly believe that you're worth the price you're quoting.My tip to performing artists is to hire a manager. Artists are generally bad at talking money and they shouldn't have to, ideally. It helps to have someone who manages the fun chaos in your professional life, while you deal with the fun chaos in your own life.