Ms. Aneesh Sheth is a singer, actress, producer, director, writer, educator and activist. Born in Pune, India and relocating to the United States at an early age, she quickly found a passion for music. At 6 years old, she began studying piano and by middle school she had also picked up the flute and began voice training. Having sung classically up through high school, she then attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for Musical Theatre. After receiving her BFA, she travelled the country performing in musicals including A.R. Rahman's Bombay Dreams as Sweetie in 2006.
In early 2008, Aneesh began her journey as a transgender woman. She returned to New York University to pursue a Master's Degree in Social Work and dedicated her time throughout the next few years working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth as a counselor with The Trevor Project. After spending her life thus far in the Big Apple, she relocated to the San Francisco in early 2010. She returned to the stage and has worked with several companies including PlayGround SF, Playwrights Foundation and The Asian American Theatre Company. In early 2011, Aneesh was a guest star on NBC's Thursday night sitcom Outsourced playing a transgender character, placing her as one of only a handful of transgender actors in Hollywood and marking the debut of the first South Asian transgender woman on network television. In March 2013, Advocate Magazine honored Aneesh Sheth on their 40 Under 40 List.
Now residing in Seattle, Aneesh has done numerous corporate videos for Microsoft and recently shot her first feature film, Force Play with Honey Toad Studios. Additionally, she embarked on her first producing venture for the Seattle Fringe Festival with the one-act play Sexual Healing. She also took on her first project as director for The Hansberry Project's Represent Multicultural Playwrights Festival at A.C.T. in the fall of 2014. In the beginning of 2015, she spent her evenings playing the Indian Princess Aouda in Village Theatre's production of Around the World in 80 Days. Most recently, her original series CRAVE has completed production on the pilot episode, available to watch now, alongside a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for the rest of the season.
Along with her work in television, film and theatre, she has been an activist, panelist and committee member with many national organizations.
What’s Your NativeAdVantage:
What do you do best?
I am great at what I do for a living - creating performance art. I love directing and producing, and most of all my first love, acting.
What makes you the best?
My dedication and passion to my profession, my experiences in a variety of artistic mediums and the exposure to a diverse population of other artists have all helped me develop and continue to develop my craft. I try not to have the attitude that I am ‘the best’. Part of my growth as an artist, and a human being, is to know I have not yet reached perfection and to keep trying to better.
How will you become the best?
Keep working hard! Sometimes you want to jump off the moving train when things get too hard or it seems like you’ll never reach your destination. As I get older, I’m learning that that cliche line is indeed true: Life isn’t about the destination but the journey itself.
What are your aspirations?
I aspire to make a name for myself by doing good work. I’d much rather be known as a great actress, than a celebrity. The ability to make a name for myself doesn’t, and won’t necessarily, come from ‘big breaks’, hollywood contracts or stardom, but from work that I connect to and am passionate about, no matter the medium, production budget or marketability. As an artist, my deepest aspiration is to continually put out the best work I can, no matter what job I’m doing.
What fascinates you?:
I feel there is a huge political divide in this country, now more than ever. Matters of social justice are extremely fascinating to me, yet at the same time, especially of late, extremely disheartening. Watching the way this world works is fascinating. Every day is an adventure, and the possibilities that await me every morning is what inspires me and keeps me on this journey to create more art.
Be the change in the world that you wish to see. - Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ K. Gandhi
My grandmother Jane Nirella, who taught me how to be an adult. My college professor, Alix Korey, who taught me how to be a true artist.
New York City, London and San Francisco
Lately, it has been my new DSLR camera. I’m obsessed with taking pictures of everyone I know!
Theatre, Music and Friends. Dogs, too.