My dance shows give me an opportunity to travel and meet interesting people from all over the world, on my recent trip to The United States of America. I met with the legendary dancer cum actor who is now a renowned acting coach in Los Angeles Bobbie Shaw Chance is Hollywood’s iconic “Acting Coach to the Star’s”. American International always cast plenty of female pulchritude in the beach party films, but one of the most beautiful actresses to work at AIP is Bobbie Shaw. Shaw starred in the final AIP beach party films, including ‘Pajama Party’ (1964), ‘Beach Blanket Bingo’ (1965), ‘How to Stuff a Wild Bikini’ (1965) ‘Pajama Party in a Haunted House’, ‘The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini’ (1966), She was often teamed with the iconic comedian Buster Keaton. She is a true legend in Hollywood, I spoke with the dynamite of a lady about her dance and acting journey, excerpts from the interview:
Were you always artistic?
Yes, I always loved the Arts, be it Acting, Music or Dance they were my language, my spirit. As a girl in school my friends and me would play African drums and dance for hours. At the age of 17 I was casted in 2 Broadway Shows “Anything Goes” and “High Button Shoes” opening in Las Vegas. I simply loved being on stage entertaining and bringing joy to people. Soon Hollywood came calling and I was put under contract to a Major Film Studio and starred in 6 Films known as “Beach Blanket Bingo” or the Beach Party Films, soon followed a series of Independent Films and Hollywood’s 1st Comedy Improvisation Group. So life has been a beautiful ride.
Tell me more about your famous and iconic acting studio?
I opened my acting studio “Hollywood Actors Showcase”, 30 years back, I feel happy that it is an iconic studio today. Here actors are driven hard to reach dazzling heights. Richie Chance, my multi talented son is the CEO of RAW. He runs Hollywood’s best online acting sessions now, offering actors the opportunity to do the work and to Showcase their online work for Hollywood’s top Producers/Directors/ Casting Directors/ Talent Management and Agents. I am happy to see my Hollywood A lister star students like Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Reynolds, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Drew Barrymore, Giovanni Ribisi, Steven Dorff, Kathryn Morris and even the Kardashians.
Have you heard of Bollywood and what do you think about it?
Oh! I simply love Bollywood films, their song and dance are so unique. Also the style of acting in Bollywood is so different from Hollywood and it is extremely interesting. You know, Sandip, one of my goals is to bring “Hollywood acting style” to India’s talent via online sessions run or even a student exchange program if that is possible. And I want to get Bollywood dance to my Hollywood acting classes I think this exchange will work wonders for both Hollywood and Bollywood.
What is keeping you busy now?
Dance will never leave me, as that is my life, but now I don’t dance professionally I dance for myself, as it is the calling of my soul. I am currently directing a TV Pilot called “The Fixer” starring Gershom Sikaala. I am still following my passion of acting and I recently starred with Bruce Willis and Megan Fox and Emile Hirsch in “Midnight in the Switchgrass”.
Everyone looks up to you for guidance, what advice do you give young dancers and actors?
Yes, after the success of my shows, films and also after receiving 3 Humanitarian Awards and various Hollywood Awards, people started to come to me for advice. And all I say to talent everywhere is, “Follow your dream! no matter what! It is your gift from the universe, Talent wants to be shared, Dance, Music, Acting, feed our souls but, we must be generous and brave by sharing our gifts, bringing joy into the lives of others.
Sandip Soparrkar is a World Book Record holder, a well known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with two National Excellence awards and one National Achievement Award by the Govt of India. He can be contacted on [email protected].