Actor Kunal Nayyar made an appearance at the Tomlinson Theater on October 9th, 2015 for a Q&A about his time at Temple and successful acting career.
Nayyar is best known for his role as Raj on the hit CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Upon entering, the theater was filled with excited students, the crowd visibly energized when Nayyar walked on stage. As soon as the event began and Nayyar started cracking jokes with the audience, it was obvious he was looking for a conversation instead of a lecture.
During the Q&A, Nayyar provided lots of useful information and advice on being a college student, specifically a theater major. “Theater teaches you discipline,” he said, “It teaches you how to listen and be present.” Nayyar also gave tips on auditions, suggesting to not think about the lines when auditioning, but rather feel the lines as if it is being delivered the first time.
When asked about his experience as a Temple student, he immediately stated, “Well, first off, Temple has one of the greatest theater programs in the country.” He then went on to cite the sense of community and diversity that the school has to offer as one of his favorite things about the school.
The session was officially for a theater class known as 1087, a production practicum that brings the entire theater school into one room to be given professional advice, sometimes from a guest speaker. Ian Connite, a third year student in the theater program, said that a puppeteer who worked with Jim Henson was a guest speaker one of the years. Connite relayed an inspired feeling from Nayyar’s words: “Being theater majors, we are told that we have to fail a lot to become better. Kunal had a similar personal philosophy, and it was very motivating to see someone with similar ideals become so successful.”
Although open to all theater majors, any student was just a registration away from attending the event. Sandy Vogel, a senior political science major, even came to the Q&A. Being a huge fun of The Big Bang Theory, she, along with others, chuckled at the stories Nayyar offered surrounding the show, one being about his pre-show ritual of taking a nap before each shooting.
Students from all walks of life took value from Nayyar’s main message: “Enjoy life. If you do not have a happy life, you are not a happy student.”