"Follow your dreams" is a statement we hear often but is undoubtedly easier said than done. It requires courage, passion, hard work, and a "never give up" attitude. Fighting against the odds and all the voices that tell you that you can't isn't easy.
But actor Dhanish Karthik persevered.
Karthik was raised in New York to an Indian family. He recalls feeling an indescribable thrill every time he would enter a movie theater growing up.
Watching the actors on the big screen inspired him to one day join them.
Karthik started acting part-time in 2009 in college. After graduating, he started working at J.P. Morgan, but he decided to resign in July 2013 to chase his dream.
At this point, many people told him directly and indirectly that it was a mistake to quit working at such a well-established company. In their eyes, it was silly, but Karthik knew that acting was the sole career that would make him truly happy.
He began taking classes at Stella Adler Studio of Acting and The Peoples Improve Theater. In the years to follow, he acted in multiple short films before finally landing the role of Jim Junior in "JFK – Eulogy," a theatrical tribute to former U.S. president John F. Kennedy directed by K. Shrikanth Iyengar.
As time flew by, more and more people started pushing back on his dream.
He says he knew that becoming an actor, especially in the Indian community, is a difficult task as not everyone is receptive to the idea of acting as a career choice. However, he continued pushing through the nay-sayers. He believed in himself and the talent he possessed.
It was this determination and faith that led him to his breakthrough, a debut role in the Malayalam film, "Ivide."
Working on the set of the film with notable director Shayamaprasad and actors such as Nivin Pauly, Bhavana, and Prithviraj Sukumaran was a dream come true.
"Ivide" is a crime-based Malayalam thriller filmed completely in the United States, the first Malayalam film to achieve this feat.
"I am blessed to be where I am today. I am incredibly thankful I decided to follow my dreams instead of being miserable working elsewhere," Karthik told A Plus.
"In my fifth grade yearbook, I wrote acting as my dream profession; what I knew back then has proven to be still true today. Each day, I wake up happy and excited for what's to come next. Remember, becoming successful isn't about one big effort, it's the compilation of many small ones," he said.
Karthik is just further proof that sometimes, if you work hard enough, you can make what seems impossible possible. Be brave and follow your dreams.