Tracy Dsouza runs ‘Girliyapa’, one of the pioneers and leading online entertainment channels for female-oriented content in India. She has also been able to create a voice/platform for women in India that not only addresses stereotypes, gender-based issues but also creates and infuses new thoughts and conversations through humor. Girliyapa is a platform that tells varied female-centric stories from a female perspective for both men and women.
Read along as she tells The MagZone about Tracy Dsouza’s journey to what she is today.
Ques: How did the idea of such a channel strike you and your team?
Half the population is female, then how come there are not too many female stories? It was a very natural progression because as female creators, we are bound to tell stories that were relatable to us and that we had experienced. And of course, the realization that there wasn’t any platform that was creating female-oriented content. If there was it was usually men giving a slightly skewed perspective about what they thought we as women felt.
Ques: Today, you’re an inspiration to many women out there who want to travel the road less traveled by. Who was that one woman who deeply inspired you?
I am overwhelmed and humbled to know that I’m an inspiration. Thank you.
For me, Oprah is one of my biggest inspirations. She is a woman who overcame all possible obstacles and didn’t accept no for an answer. She was told that she was not right for television and she went on to launch her own production company which became a huge success. Today she remains one of the most successful media tycoons and a philanthropist. She continues to touch countless souls globally through her work.
Ques: It takes a lot of hard work and a strong will-power to make a mark in the industry you now belong to. Tell us something about Tracy DSouza’s journey.
I went from being a fitness trainer to working in the advertisement business, I’ve been fortunate I guess to have worked with successful directors who have created a niche in their fields. My first job was as a slave or flunkie (which was a term used for all intern interns) with one of the best in the advertisement business. During this phase, I had one such encounter where in the midst of a meeting, I was at the receiving end of some very uncalled for behavior. Sometimes your abilities are questioned because you are a girl. I took that very personally and decided to take it as a challenge. I later learned through experience that this was one of his ways of teaching an individual to lose all ego. I spent a couple of years completely focused, working hard to the extent where my mom used to say I’m giving guest appearances at home. I went on to produce some very challenging ads for other directors as well for awhile before digital finally happened.
It was a lot of experimenting in digital as it wasn’t a discipline as yet. Since it’s a rapidly evolving business, you have to keep yourself constantly updated. Also initially a lot of times you are not taken seriously I don’t know if its because you’re a female! But I’ve now decided that it is irrelevant, what’s important is having a voice and most importantly being assertive.
Ques: What was your family’s reaction when they first came across your channel?
They take pride in my work and the fact that I’ve done well for myself on my own. My family is quite encouraging and they also keep me real and grounded. On another note, I’ve also had cousins and aunties call me and give me ideas for videos. I also realize that one of the constant threads in life is family everything else keeps evolving and changing.
Ques: The field you’re into is all about bringing a change. So have you encountered people in your workplace who themselves aren’t very supportive of these kinds of changes?
My immediate circle of peers or mentors are very encouraging and helpful. Media is the biggest influencer in our lives. There is so much of vibrant change everywhere be it films, ads, online content which is creating an openness amongst everyone about female-centric content.
Ques: You want more and more female scriptwriters and directors to come into the industry so that there’s a shift in the male-dominated content being produced. How do you make your platform more accessible?
A lot of writers, directors approach me and I’m always trying to collaborate with them. Then at times, even I also do reach out to female or content creators and other actors for our videos. I make it a point that no matter how busy I am, I reply or talk to people who are willing to work with us. So you see, there is a constant conscious and intentional effort to involve more and more female creators. Also as a team, when we receive requests and scripts, we do review and if possible produce such content.
Ques: Tracy, we don’t usually see you on the screen; other than the ‘Like, share and subscribe’ part of the video. When are you planning to make your acting debut?
Hahaha! I’ve been asked this a lot of times and I think since I’m so caught up behind the scenes making things happen that I rarely come on screen. But after a lot of coaxing, I finally gave into a small blink and you miss cameo in our father’s day video.
Ques: Since you write and scribble, what do you when you’re having a writer’s block?
Yes, I do scribble, though most of the times I’m usually ideating and not someone who does dialogues. But when I do feel creatively stuck I’m bound to alienate myself, go home and open the windows wide. I have a thing with open spaces.
Ques: Last, but not the least; what is your message to The MagZone family?
There is a need to tell more female-oriented stories even if it’s just for a fresher perspective to life. Let’s encourage more female writers/creators and everyone who wants to do so. More dialogues have to be initiated, maybe not to agree or disagree, but to bring an atmosphere of openness.Do reach out to me if required and also don’t forget to Follow, Like and Subscribe to Girliyapa 😉
Besides the professional Tracy Dsouza is, the way she continues to inspire us and bring about a change in the society; we all admire her.