Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chetna Mehrotra - Image Expression Artist, a Drama Based Learning Facilitator, a Creative Movement Artist

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship?

I am Chetna, an Image Expression Artist, a Drama Based Learning Facilitator, a Creative Movement Artist (practicing), and a mom of a 10 year old.

 I was born and raised in the beautiful valley of DehraDun. Fresh air, cold mountains, genuine people and a community culture have been an intrinsic part of my growing up years.

My parents always had a progressive mindset. I could do a javelin throw, present the “thodas” and ‘aamad” of Kathak, perform at contests, run relays and lead my school as a council member. I didn’t live in “stereotypes”!

The stint at National School of Drama, New Delhi as a TIE student made me realize the power and faith in “me”, while I also explored the domain of “performance”!

Hence training and coaching as a career, added a dimension to this love for “acting” and “discovery”. And the love for colors, fashion (external) and spiritual guidance (internal) comes from my mother. Combining these two, I formed “Chetna Mehrotra Image Consultancy”.

Now, I work as a presenter, coach & a consultant, specializing in appearance, behavior, communications, and work with individuals, organizations & educational institutes.

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

Under the umbrella of my consultancy firm, I work with organisations, schools, and
universities in the domain of Like Skills, Behavioural skills, and Image expression and therapy.

I create learning spaces through the tools of art, like drama, theatre, art therapy, dance in storytelling etc.

I conduct workshops on Gender Vulnerability and Gender Inclusion at Workplace, Wardrobe Management, Professional Etiquette, Body Language & Emotions, Art of Public Speaking, Communication Effectiveness, Trust-Empathy, Exploring Image “inside-out”, Voice & Diction, etc

I work with schools in the space of Drama Therapy. I use tools of Drama and Theatre as an active engagement approach to learn Life Skills

Q3.What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

“The walk on your own path is never sans obstacles”. I did encounter obstacles and they haven’t disappeared. Every challenge is an another learning.

In an entrepreneurship, there are no Saturdays and Sundays. You have to constantly keep networking, strategize to build your firm, looks at fresh business, upgrade your skills etc.

Though, it is energizing, yet at times muddling!

So, I do take constant breaks to “neutralize” myself. It could be going away for few days or giving myself the luxury of attending workshops or watching a play! I also de-clutter through spiritual healing.

I come back with a clean slate and fresh perspectives!

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

As I added “Image Management” as a part of my work-box, I trained and coached individuals, corporate professionals, teachers, children, home-makers, and actors. Through this journey, I gradually realised that every being that is present in a workshop room has a unique “image”. They play a role of a boss, a team leader, a mother-who-is-also-a-marketing head, a father-who-is-also-a doctor, a new-confused mother-who-wants-to-work-again, homemaker-who gets-troubled-by-a jealous-neighbor, a-child-who-drops-other’s-tiffin-at-school-because-she-wants-to-seek-attention and more.

Some portions of their image is expressed, some unexpressed. Sometimes, a part of their image is not talked about and at times, a part of their image needs attention and appreciation.

I, for sure, coach them on external “image management” tools; however, to understand and make them “emotionally” well equipped to project an “emotional and social literate” image, it is important to bring in tools which un-layer their emotional baggage and make them feel themselves.

Therefore, I introduced “Art Forms” in Image Management workshops. I used tools like Drama Based Learning, Theatre-in-Reflection, Creative Movement, Dance Drama-in-Storytelling, and Expression Through Arts.

I am India’s first Image Consultant to have evolved Image Management modules and incorporated these new approaches. And yes, it has yielded some revealing results.

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

So, after my discovery period, I employed these Art Forms in various training situations.

Art Forms have special ability to make people express their innermost fears, wishes, feelings, or doubts. Expression through Arts is an effective process, wherein people and clients have divulged the innermost state of mind and heart and confessed to some unsaid feelings. A woman who is not confident about her “image”, in the first instance would only talk about how she wants to look slim or learn to dress up gracefully. Through Arts Expression process, it is revealed later that there is some neighbour in the apartment who has always taunted her for not being able to talk well.

And there goes the “self-image” of this woman.

Drama based learning is a powerful tool to build sessions like Trust and Empathy, combining it with Creative Movement. Through facilitated movement based exercises, participants bond, interact and shed their inhibitions. Specific drama based exercises make them experience emotions and they learn to empathize and accept other’s in their sphere.

At an interesting session on image of women and men at workplaces, in a session called “Gender Vulnerability”, I employed “Dance Drama-in-storytelling”. A piece of dance drama act, followed by a facilitation from the audience, got everyone interacting and talking about they feel for the gender at their workplaces. A sales head at this workshop said at the send of the workshop,

“I would from now on not only be more sensitive towards women employees, but from today onwards I would understand what my wife goes through at her workplace”. What an example of empathy!

Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

I work with children in schools. I am closely witnessing everyday what they encounter. I wish to create and establish a school which works on the passion areas of each student. I want to introduce concepts of Drama, Theatre, Arts, and other experiential forms of learning.

So, if a child wants to learn programming and wants to develop games, she/he can learn this through an integrated curriculum that educates him on knowledge on science, computers, history of that subject etc.

What a happy world will that be!

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business?

I would say, learn the trade, apply it, explore your failures, accept them and then recharge double!

So not limit yourself! This is a career with immense opportunity to be imaginative and creative.

Do not hold back that “idea’ there. Get it out and show up!

Keep re-inventing! People will re-invent, don’t apply all what you learnt five years ago. Add something new.

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link : 

Q9. Facebook profile URL link : 

Q10 Twitter profile URL link :

Q11. Personal blog URL link

Q12. Company website & Company blog URL link: