Minoti Vaishnav has accomplished more by age 25 than many will in a lifetime.
The CTVA screenwriting major grew up in Mumbai. By age 18, she was already an Internet pop sensation, a novelist and media specialist with a promising career at IMG Fashion.
Despite her successes, she was restless.
At 19, Vaishnav packed her bags and trusty guitar to board a plane to Los Angeles for a fresh start.
“I didn’t know anyone in L.A. or have any real plans,” Vaishnav said. “But I had to go. And when I stepped off the plane and looked around me, I knew for the first time I was home.”
Vaishnav spent most of her life surrounded by music. Her first album, “Psychologist,” was produced by an acquaintance of her father when she was only 16 years old.
More than anything, Vaishnav considered herself a songwriter. Upon coming to Los Angeles, she realized the stories she wrote could transcend to film. Her enrollment in CSUN’s CTVA program heightened her talents and fueled her passion for screenwriting.
“Music and television always went hand in hand for me,” Vaishnav said. “I wanted to be in L.A. because all my favorite artists and directors were here, and I wanted to be just like them.”
Vaishnav was never a big fan of Bollywood film or music and she often surprised California natives with her vast knowledge of American pop culture. She said she experienced quite a bit of ignorance from Americans, as many assumed she couldn’t speak English or that she came from a humble family set with strict traditions and bejeweled headpieces.
On the contrary, Vaishnav came from a well-off family with modern outlooks.
“People think we’re all the same,” she said. “I don’t need to marry a good Indian boy. My family is very supportive and happy. I’m here doing what I love.”
Ignorance wasn’t the only problem Vaishnav faced in the U.S., she said. Just recently, she was almost deported due to a clerical error with her student visa.
Vaishnav said it’s difficult to be an international student. Due to state regulations, she is not allowed to drive, nor is she allowed work outside of the CSUN campus.
“Because of the economy, no one is hiring international students. I can’t even get an internship,” Vaishnav said.
Vaishnav currently keeps busy with her YouTube Web show “TV Weekly,” in which she reviews films and television shows. She is also in the process of developing her own Web series titled, “Full Deck,” which centers on a group of friends dealing with college life.
Following graduation, Vaishnav aspires to continue her education and receive her doctorate in film studies so she can stay in the U.S.
“My ultimate life goal is to be super-mega-rich and famous,” Vaishnav joked.
In the next chapter of her life, she hopes to travel the world and cross Abbey Road like her heroes The Beatles, and make movies people love.
“Minoti has traveled a rugged road,” said Sandro Cabric, one of Vaishnav’s current housemates. “But somehow, she always finds a way to be tremendously successful.”