A huge diaspora of Indian immigrants exists in the United States. It’s unsurprising, considering India is home to nearly 1.4 billion people, and many actively wish to immigrate elsewhere to lead better lives. However, despite the large Indian immigrant population in the US, the reality is that moving to a foreign country is never easy. Immigrants must overcome hurdles and adversities to succeed in a distant land, and Lak Rana’s story follows a similar pattern. Born in Punjab, India, Lak moved to Orange County, California, when he was seven. Thus, he began his journey to prove himself worthy in a new country.

Growing up as an immigrant can be tough as it is. Unfortunately for Lak, things were even more challenging because he was raised by a single mother. His father passed away in India when he was only five. As a result, his mother’s financial situation was also quite dismal. In addition, he didn’t speak English, wore a turban, and his skin color made him an easy target for other kids to bully. But life is all about persistence, and that’s exactly what Lak did. After all, the only other option involved folding over in the face of adversity and giving up, and his mother had always told him that wasn’t an option. Instead, she reiterated that he needed to work twice as hard as everyone else to get ahead in life because he was an immigrant in a foreign land. 

After moving to the United States, Lak Rana along with his mother and brother, found themselves cooped up in a small, one-bedroom apartment infested with roaches. Their situation looked as grim as their apartment, prompting Lak’s worried mother to tell her son to focus on his education because that was the only way to become successful. She implored him to study well in order to get into a good college. He took her words seriously because even though he enjoyed life as a child, he focused his energy on his studies, refraining from pursuing anything artistic as a career. As a result, he never had the opportunity to do things that most ordinary children would, like going on vacation or attending his high school prom. 

Like most children, Lak was a big Hollywood fan growing up. Even though his mother wanted him to focus solely on his studies, he would use whatever opportunity to watch television and American movies secretly. It’s how he learned to speak English. Eventually, during high school, he thought that acting in a TV show or movie would be fun. He was enchanted by the silver and golden screen and hoped to appear there one day, but he knew it wasn’t something he could realistically pursue, considering his situation. As a result, he put his dreams on the back burner.

Finally, he graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and then started working as a Financial Analyst. However, his passion for acting still lingered within him. Thus, he decided to enroll in the Playhouse West acting school, attending night classes after his day job ended. At Playhouse West, he learned the Meisner technique, which he still uses today. After two years of regular classes, this ambitious young artist knew he had to go all-in to become an actor, but he didn’t want to disappoint his mother by quitting his day job.

Hence, he devised a master plan. First, he enrolled for an MBA at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The university’s proximity to Hollywood would allow him to attend auditions. Meanwhile, his mother would be delighted to see her son get a Master’s degree. The plan worked perfectly. By the time he graduated from USC, Lak was already doing commercials and making enough money to support himself. As a result, he didn’t graduate as an MBA professional. Rather, he graduated as a full-time actor with an MBA degree. During that time he was also taking comedy classes to develop his craft before finally landing a lead role as Dr. Rashi in General Hospital. 

Since then, Lak has also written multiple film and television scripts. He has also discovered a real passion for writing novels and is currently in the process of selling his debut novel to a publisher. In addition, he now has a television series and a feature film in development with a major studio. He intends to become a household name soon with his work in Hollywood. He also hopes his prominence will dispel certain myths about Indian characters within the industry.

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