Monisha Jaising Vaid proves that dreams can become a reality. All it takes is lots of hard work, determination and the right creative platform.
The first thought that crosses your mind on meeting Monisha Jaising Vaid is ‘what’s she doing behind the camera instead of in front of it?’ “It’s a tough job facing the camera, it takes a lot of courage! I’ve always had stage fright so being in front of the camera was never an option. I chose the easy way out!” she confesses.
The “easy way out” involves captaining a team of 100 crewmembers and working in sync with the various departments that put a show together. Monisha’s responsibility lies in ensuring all departments — production, technicals, post-production, creatives, reality, celebrities — function cohesively to achieve a shared end result — an entertaining and feel-good package. Working in sync with all and holding all facets together — be it show rundowns, briefing the talent, production design, working with the writer, anchors, judges, editing, etc. are all in a day’s work for this creative director of Indian Idol Season 6.
Monisha’s tryst with television began while pursuing her BA in Communications at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore: “I interned with TV 18’s Bangalore bureau on shows like the Amul India Show, MTV U, Public Demand. Fortunately for me, the bureau head recognized my potential and offered me a job immediately after I finished college”. And like they say, the rest is history.
Her first job an associate producer for Channel [V] required her to shift base to Mumbai in 2000, which, according to Monisha, “was a great opportunity to break into the entertainment capital of the country. It was a difficult decision to leave home and go to a strange new city, live by myself, pay my own bills and focus on my career. Within the first month of moving there, I met with an accident and broke my hand and almost moved back … but Mumbai has this quality of just sucking you in. Its warmth and accepting nature and energy gets you addicted to the city. I worked hard and partied harder and met a lot of beautiful and intelligent people along the way. I met my Prince Charming on the job and married him, all in Mumbai. There’s never been a dull moment.”
With Freemantlemedia India since 2009, Monisha has been the creative directive of prestigious shows like X-Factor, and Indian Idol 5 and 6. Her fondest memories of being in this field? “Getting the opportunity to work with the living legend Asha Bhonsle! She’s one of the nicest and simplest human beings I’ve ever met. Her energy, her youthfulness, joie de vivre is really something that puts any of us to shame, all this at the age of 80! I never thought in my wildest dreams that my phone would ring with her name flashing on the screen … I consider myself truly blessed!”