THE ARTI-FICIAL EXPERIENCE

aka “Reel Life Confessions of a Fictional Teenager” by Jaya Prasad

A heartfelt coming of age romantic comedy…
A stealthy, conspiracy-driven escape into unknown territory…
A sordid account of trust and subsequent betrayal…
An ode to the prevailing strength of family ties and values…

Are you wondering why I’m just listing plot themes for various movies? Keep your dhotis tied because you’re in for a surprise. I’m actually describing ONE movie! That’s right, you can find all of the above in Family…wait for it…PARTY.

Hi, I’m Arti Jaya. As an actor in Family Party, I got way more Pari Points acting experience than I could’ve hoped for from any one film. I’d like to share some of those experiences with you and talk about what I’ve learned from the movie.

Before I start, I should probably mention the fact that I got to play the best character in the entire film. Arti is a somewhat entitled but likable high school senior for whom things usually just work out. First of all, as Arti, I got to play out each of the above plot themes. And second, my character puts the PARTY in Family Party (almost literally, since her name is secretly hidden in the film title. See it?? Still think you’re the star, Nick?). Third, Arti has a way of making you wish you were more like her, before realizing that you’re actually more like her than you thought.

ArtiAnd that’s why Arti is the best character (sorry, everyone else). I bet 100 Pari Points that by the end of this post, you’ll agree with me.

1. A heartfelt coming of age romantic comedy.

I play a teenager in this movie. And I’m not one in real life. Yes, in the occasional event I’m sitting in the occasional waiting room, I’ll take the occasional Seventeen magazine quiz and find out whether I should ask my crush to the back to school bash or not. But overall, I thought I’d have to work hard to act younger. Thought. Turns out “coming of age” is a never-ending process that is more about the journey than the result (lesson 1). This becomes especially apparent around awesome 16 year old guys who force you to think twice about this thing called maturity. Despite thinking she had “come of age”, my character had a lot to learn as well. The point is, her journey is fun to watch because deep down, regardless of age, we’re all going through it.

Oh, and the romance part of it all? I know you’re dying to get in on the deets, but I’m not going to kiss and tell. Even though I totally want to because it was actually a hilarious experience. Trust me, for all you aspiring actors out there, strive to exit your comfort zone (lesson 2) because you’ll come out the other side realizing that it’s just. your. job. Plus you’ll probably get some really funny director quotes out of it, too.

(Bonus: Drop me a line to get insider dos and don’ts for picking up a girl at a family party.)

2. A stealthy, conspiracy-driven escape into unknown territory.

I get to manipulate, deceive, and scheme, all leading up to…stepping out of frame. Stealthily, of course! Didn’t I tell you my character is the best? I don’t want to give too much anyway, but if you want to get pumped, go watch Ocean’s 11 in the meantime.

3. A sordid account of trust and subsequent betrayal.

I’ll only say a couple of things about this one: 1) I’m a seventeen year old girl who gets what she wants. 2) this is a family party. Clearly there are going to be some trust issues floating around. So why does this make my character the best? Because I respond by flipping off another character. And as someone who’s never flipped anyone off in real life, it’s just one of those things that makes you embrace the disguise even more and go all out (read: lesson 2). Even though apparently, the first couple takes were a little pathetic before I really got into it. (And no, Mom, I’m not gonna go start flipping everyone off now. Everybody relax.)

4. An ode to the prevailing strength of family ties and values.

This is a great one because it truly is the essence of Family Party. And let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. Raise your hand if you thought your parents understood you when you were a teenager. No one? It was so much fun to play the family scenes because nothing came more natural than this.

The best part is that almost immediately, the set began to feel like an actual family party (despite returning each day wearing the same outfit). It was amazing. During our down time, the guys became like brothers to me (annoyingly so). My “mom” gave me life advice. The “kids” and “adults” effortlessly interacted and even took it upon ourselves to snap some lovely family photos. As an actor, I couldn’t have asked for a better environment. Speaking of family – THE CREW. How amazing were they??? Stand-in family amazing, that’s how.

KidsThat brings me to my conclusion. Family Party was my first feature film, and it was a powerful experience in so many ways. Within a week of shooting, I was challenged to go from crying, to laughing, to hoping, to whining, to scheming, to you name it. But I WAS Arti. And I WAS at a family party. Pari must’ve known when he wrote the script that he was creating characters for us to be, not act (lesson 3). *gives congratulatory hug to Pari for doing such an awesome job as creator/director of this super enjoyable movie.*

I’ll leave you with a few last thoughts to keep in mind…

1. For actors – Strive to be. And understand. And stretch your comfort zone. And earn Pari Points.

2. For Indian teens in a modern household – If a pundit ever tweets at you, it’s probably best to tweet back.

3. For everyone – There ain’t no party like a Family Party. And this Party needs your help. If you’d like to help us bring Family Party to the big screen, please donate to Fractured Atlas. Currently the film is in post-production, a very demanding phase of the project (read about it HERE). Donations are tax-deductible and extremely appreciated! You can also join the Party in other ways by liking us on Facebook to get updates and spread the word 🙂 Thank you!

Wrap
With Love,

Jaya Arti

That’s a wrap!

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