I began my acting career when I was around 12 or 13 and was scouted from a school production. Suddenly, I was attending auditions and landing roles.
My first role was for a commercial – a two-day shoot in the middle of December. I remember being picked up about 5am and filming on a bitterly cold field. After the first day, I felt physically broken from having to run around and fall down all day.
Day two was more of the same. The last shot involved me lying down on the frost-covered field, with make-up showing a wound on my neck. I heard the director say: “Cut. That’s a wrap.” The crew helped me to my feet, covered me in a blanket and the director thanked me for being the most patient and resilient member of the cast.
I saw the footage and thought that it was all worth it. I knew that this was what I wanted to do.
I was 18 when I started dance training. My first dance job came in the strangest way. A huge Bollywood concert was taking place at the O2 Arena but I was unable to attend the audition as I was out of the UK.
When I landed, a friend called to say they were still looking for dancers and to go to the rehearsals that day. I shook off my jet lag and went along. After two weeks, the other dancers were still struggling to learn the routine. I had one hour to learn it and show the choreographer what I could do.
I got the part and performed in front of 12,000 people. I didn’t have time to think about anything else or feel nervous – I just knew this was my time to give it all I could.
I apply the same attitude I had then to auditions and work today: making sure to have a positive attitude, being confident in my ability and doing the prep that is required.
When I started training as a dancer, a lot of people told me I would never do big dance shows because I was ‘’too old”. I worked twice as hard and continued to push myself.
People will often write you off and make you question your ability. Ignore the negativity and concentrate on honing your craft. The more skills you have, the better you will become.
Training: De Montfort University
Theatre includes: The Kite Runner (West End and UK tour); Bring on the Bollywood (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), The Pereira’s Bakery at 76 Chapel Road (Curve, Leicester)
TV includes: Murder In Suburbia, Spooks
Agent: Victoria Lepper Associates
Bhavin Bhatt is playing the role of Assef in the UK-Dubai tour of The Kite Runner