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My First Break -- Raghava Lawrence



GUTSY Raghava Lawrence

How it happened

I was interested in dance from a young age. When I was assisting Super Subbarayan, I had an opportunity to show my talent to Rajnikant. He got me a Dance Union card and I worked as a dance master for Amarkalam. The song Maha Ganapathi was much talked about. When veteran director K. Balachander invited me to act in his 100th film Parthale Paravasam, I was floored. My first directorial venture was Muni.

How it felt

Whenever I ventured into a new area, my focus was on three things — I must not copy others, I must work hard and must always be humane. When I danced for Maha Ganapathi, I wanted the steps to have a fresh feel about them. When Balachander called me to act, I was nervous, but worked hard. When I directed Muni, I felt I had come full circle in the industry.

How life changed

Recently, when I went to Madurai I was approached by two elderly couples who told me that they were happy I was dancing, acting and directing, but the best part was the Lawrence Charitable Trust. The trust educates about 100 children, and 35 physically challenged kids perform the steps I have taught them. After hearing about my trust, Rajnikant and his daughter donate Rs. 15,000 towards it every month. If I get more funds, I can do more. I like this facet of my life most.

S. R. ASHOK KUMAR

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