I'm not the best dancer, just a good student: Meiyang Chang
He should have been behind a dentist's chair, but fate put Chinese-India Meiyang Chang in front of an audience instead. The trained dentist who went on to be singer, actor and is now the newly crowned winner of "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4" says candidly that he's a good student rather than a natural talent.
"I think my hard work and dedication has somehow appealed to the audience. I wouldn't say I'm the best dancer of the world. I would rather say I'm a good student and I love to learn," Chang, perhaps the first Chinese-Indian in mainstream showbiz, told in an interview.
Chang, 28, was trained by choreographer Marischa Fernandez for the competition. Along with the cup, the Chang-Marischa team was awarded Rs.50 lakh - both took home Rs.25 lakh each.
Chang, 28, is firmly Indian though his roots are in China.
"My forefathers were from China, but the last few generations are born and brought up in India. We are all Indians. Why they came, I don't know but what my grandmother tells me is that they actually trekked the mountains, passed through jungles, survived the attacks of cannibals and reached India," said Chang.
Chang, whose family has moved all over India, would have become a practicing dentist like his father but his sister recognised his singing talent and persuaded him to try his luck in the singing reality show "Indian Idol 3".
"I was determined to be a dentist and was going abroad to pursue my studies. I have a sister in Kolkata who said I should go for the audition of 'Indian Idol'. I went and since then my life has changed completely.
"I am very, very happy," Chang, who tried his luck in movies with "Badmaash Company", said.
"Dentistry is a sort of family business; moving away from that lucrative business and trying something else from the level of a struggler is a very big thing. I am glad that my parents have supported me in this," he added.
After the "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa" triumph, he has proved himself as a complete package - singer, actor and now a dancer. Does he think it would help him in getting more work in the industry?
"I really don't know. There are millions of people who are complete packages and are hoping to get a break in the industry. I was really lucky that I have got so much. I believe that you needn't be a complete package. If you have one thing that people like, your job is done. When I came here, I was a pretty imperfect package in terms of what I could and could not do," said Chang.
Asked to choose between singing and dancing, he says he prefers going behind the mike.
"I won't choose between the two. I would say dancing needs more hard work. The best part of singing is that you can sing in any situation, but for dancing, you need that space, mood and a lot more hard work. In singing, you can escape mild mistakes but not in dancing," said Chang.
"In the long run, I would love to pursue a career in singing and acting. Dancing I have to learn more because I am bit lazy, but I will just keep doing it."
No immediate film plans, however.
"No films in the pipeline as of now. I got a few offers but somewhere they fell through because the script wasn't good enough; or the script was very good but there was no backing. So I am still looking forward to a good acting project."
Next on his list is another television show, but Chang is tight-lipped about it.
"I will return to my live shows that I had to give up during 'Jhalak...'. Talks are on about another TV show. Let's see what happens."
He says categorically, however, that he would not be judging any show.
"No way am I going to be a judge. I believe you need a lot of hard work to be a judge coupled with experience," said Chang.
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