Actor and Corporate Trainer

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Professional Profile

When I started performing in theatre, I found the audience a connection with people that had thus far eluded me in life. Theatre gave me confidence and skills that transformed me.

Over the past 15 years, I have conducted over 50 workshops with corporate bodies, NGOs, educational institutions and children and youth groups. My programs specialize in leadership, communication and team building in the work place.

I expand upon the theatre techniques that have learned through my experiences on stage and has devised a workshop experience which is fun, effective and original.

Theatre thrives on instinct. This is within each of us, but we need to learn how to control and guide these feelings and adapt accordingly. In theatre at work, you have a role to play, you discharge your duties and responsibilities and you get measured. Reshaping how you see, percieve and react to situations opens up a whole new world.

An Experience with me, will help you discover yourself, find your energy, and help you perform in your respective roles. The experience will help you break your shackles and channel your energy and dedication toward your work. If you view your work as a performance in the present that you can explore and optimise, you will find it rewarding and inspiring.

The workshops are designed to draw people out of theor comfort zones in terms of thinking and to challenge them, all of this while having fun!

An Experience with me, is an active and participatory training that encourages participants to engage and listen. Compared to typical classroom-style trainings, my techniques ensure the workshop are impactful, collaborative and results-driven.

Basic info
Maharashtra, India
English, Hindi (हिंदी), Urdu (اردو), Marathi (मराठी)

Freelancer, January 2000 - Current
i'm an actor and trainer who - from my own experience - has learnt the value of using theatre-based techniques and applying them to bring benefits in both work and non-work situations. I'm passionate about helping people understand how these creative techniques can be used to hone personal skills and behaviours - my theory being that nurturing and developing one's personal skills is the key to many positive improvements in life. My personal journey has taken me from a small town in India to big city of Mumbai, and from the corporate world to the theatre world, I have designed training programmes in which I not only use Theatre based learning techniques to communicate but also train the trainers in them, and have done so far a range of corporates, teachers, student teachers, children and others. The feedback I receive from clients reinforce my opinion of the power that theatre-based creative learning techniques have in changing lives.

Key Training Conducted

I was invited to conduct a theatre-based leadership orientation programme for the new intake of Young India Fellowship (YIF) students at Ashoka University, New Delhi. YIF is a one-year residential programme for recent college graduates selected from a wide spectrum of backgrounds who show exceptional ability, willingness to learn, and leadership potential. As part of Ashoka University's objective to provide the Fellows with a world-class education, the students participate in leadership and skill-building workshops delivered by well-known leadership trainers in different skill areas. Over two days, I led 200 students in methods of how to approach leadership from within, equipping them with the skills and confidence to excel in the programming.

Reliance Life Insurance requested me to design and conduct a 3-hour session for 12 of their senior team leaders to help them become more responsive to their customers, as part of a company initiative to inculcate a more people-oriented culture. I took the participants back to basics, using the theatre techniques to teach them how to listen and observe, to brush aside their conditioning and embrace change. He illustrated how to internalise and make the new company ethos a part of themselves, how to make it intrinsic by knowing themselves better. Asif showed the participants how shedding their corporate habits could help them not only motivate themselves but also their colleagues, to respond spontaneously and naturally to their customers.

I conducted a tailor-made 3-hour session with 20 senior level managers, with the brief to push the boundaries and the objective to encourage further excellence and to demand it from each other. Using theatre techniques, participants were encouraged to break away from their inhibitions, reinvent, and trust in their talent in order to cultivate it further.

Asif Basra worked with me in one of my early directorial ventures in theatre, Girish Karnad's Tughlaq. The first word that comes to mind when I hear the name Asif Basra is sincere, and the second, congenial. Mixed with talent, I would say that it makes for a healthy combination; one that makes working with him a splendid experience.

I was a participant in Asif Basra's Personality Development Workshop during., where we - NIFT(Mumbai) - went to Panchgani (a hill station in Maharashtra). It was a transformational trip for many of us! Through four days of simple games, we learnt to work together, trust each other, and be a good sport. The teacher taught us how to mingle with us as students. At the end of it all, we had grown to respect each other as individuals. We went back refreshed, confident and rational. This helped us big time during the last crazy last months at NIFT. Now, on hindsight, I realize that a lot of those games allowed me to discover some tools that have helped me a lot in decision-making and to have clarity on one's goals.

Not only an actor par excellence, Asif Basra has the knack to interact and draw people in his vicinity to communicate. Very chirpy, intelligent and coupled with his sensitive attitude, makes him a multi-faceted persona. He is a jack-in-the-box, always full of surprises, so working with him is always a live act.

His ability as a leader was clarified over the years, as he has not only participated in many Seeds of Peace activities but has launched new initiatives, and participated in several global conferences as he strives to make an impact in India and beyond. For Seeds of Peace, in 2010 Mr. Basra traveled to Lahore, Pakistan leading a group of young adults from India and Pakistan through s series of interactive workshops aimed at increasing mutual understanding and respect among the participants. Further, at various points over the past few years, he has facilitated a process based theatre workshops for our program alumni (referred to as Seeds) as they become emerging leaders within their society. Mr. Basra is a person characterized as thoughtful, creative, innovative, and ambitious. He would be a true asset to add to any workshop being conducted for youth or adults.

Asif did a stupendous job at the workshop by connecting with his audience the right way. It was a unique occasion for the participants to take a different perspective on the Cardinal drives of their personal and professional life through a journey depicting various human emotions of life. Imagination, communication, and self-confidence are the prerequisites in any professional field and Asif helped the participants understand the finer nuances through theatrical enactments.

The workshop was a great . women share their feelings and opinions were our objectives and you achieved it in one workshop. The session was full of fun and activity and it was one of a kind experience to many of the participants.

Asif reintroduced us to the art of listening. I discovered that listening makes us unfold and expand.

Asif will teach you leadership, integrity, and skills in a way that you will remember. He pulls you out of your comfort zone and makes you think outside of the box without you even realizing.

Having attended many motivational programs before, I was quite surprised by the intensity of this session. Whilst others talk, Asif does. Then he demands the same of you.

Leadership lessons learned through activities with a theatre veteran was completely unexpected. His artistry and creativity are personified. He was truly inspiring and surprisingly spiritual as well. He helped shed my inhibitions. I feel very privileged to have experienced this.

It's amazing how just going back to basics can make things so much clearer. In this work environment where stress overpowers your performance, you need something from time to time to know yourself better and motivate yourself and your colleagues.

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