When 10 year old Sunjay took to the stage as the lead role in his school’s production of Robin Hood he was bitten by the acting bug. Fast forward nine years and he’s starring in the award winning BBC soap, Doctors but it wasn’t plain sailing for Sunjay.
After his GCSEs Sunjay wasn’t sure what to do, he wanted to study acting at A level but his school didn’t offer it. He ended up enrolling on a performing arts course at another school while studying for his remaining A levels at his current school. However, Sunjay was so keen to focus on his acting that he just couldn’t get inspired by ICT, RE and business studies, and dividing his time between the two schools wasn’t working out. So after a couple of months Sunjay left both schools and set about finding a job while he planned his next career move.
But, like so many others, Sunjay found himself trapped in a cycle of being turned down for jobs because he didn’t have experience but not being able to get the experience because no one would offer him a job. After a long hard think and a good bit of research Sunjay decided to return to education and inspired by its ‘outstanding’ rating and attracted to the practical focus he enrolled at Walsall College on a Level 3 extended diploma in performing arts.
When the course ended Sunjay found that his classmates were all heading for university but, even though he applied and received an unconditional offer from Stafford University, he wasn’t so keen; he wanted to get stuck into acting and make use of everything he had learned over the last two years. He signed up with an agency and two months after leaving college he landed the role of Shakib Hanif in Doctors.
Sunjay’s talent was quickly spotted and his original five episode contract was extended. He’s become a central part of a current storyline and is off to the Soap Awards next month!
Alongside his acting dreams Sunjay has ambitions to set up an agency to find and help local talent in Wolverhampton. He wants to give back to his community and he knows that there are plenty of aspiring actors who just need some guidance and support to get them on their way. He already helps out at his church, where he has been a Sunday school teacher since he was 14 – teaching, leading activities and of course getting fully involved in the plays!