Veteran screen writer and actor Vasay Chaudhry has never been the one to sugar coat things when it comes to problems in the entertainment industry. Being one of the most celebrated literary figures in Pakistan, both on the critical and commercial front, he has always kept it real.

To put it simply, the Jackson Heights writer, on a multiple occasions, has stressed on the reality one has to face in order to make a career in showbiz. In a recent interview with Rafay Rashdi, the Jawani Phir Nahi Ani actor shared some concrete advice for those looking to breakout as performing artists.

Acknowledging the economic and social reality of Pakistan, Chaudhry - first and foremost - stressed on the importance of formal education, be it in any discipline. “I receive a lot of messages where people are asking me for advice on how to enter the industry. I would like to share few things with them. Firstly, those who are studying and those that can afford an education should first complete it. After that, they can think about this field. This (not completing one’s education) I feel is the biggest tragedy with regards to the line of work I am in,” he said.

Adding on, Chaudhry talked about how there are no shortcuts to success. “I am going to use slightly crass terminology over here. Raghda khanaey sey nah darein (Don’t be afraid of the grind). A lot of people who want to become actors are not only afraid of this, they want to bypass it altogether,” he stated.

According to the Dolly Kee Ayege Barat alum, no matter how much following a person has on their social media, it can never substitute for hard work. “You might be famous on Instagram and TikTok but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to become a good actor. You might have a pretty face and reenact something with a song in the background but that does not mean that you are, big, good or great. Don’t confuse the two things.”

Elaborating further on this, Chaudhry shutdown people who have formed very high opinions of themselves purely on the basis of their social media followings. “You need to go out there. You will have to be pushed around in theatre. You will have to show grit on the sets. You will have to face all these things,” he said.

The Mazaq Raat star believes that such celebrities are living in a bubble. “This is happening a lot. People are being misled by their social media accounts. I have met a lot of youngsters who are ‘hit’ on Instagram and think ‘I am the thing’ but you aren’t ‘the thing.’ That’s the problem,” he said.

Among other things, Choudhary discussed broader measures the relevant bodies should take in order to ensure growth in the industry. According to him, proper regulation is the only thing that can ensure its long-term survival.