An actor is fortunate to land a role on one good TV series. Shalini Bathina did just that with the Apple TV+ series “Little Voice” and then immediately followed that up with another first-rate production with Spectrum’s “Long Slow Exhale.” The two series – that have given her the opportunity to show the diversity of her acting skills in programs that are completely different – are both available for binge watching.

“Sometimes I feel like it is just a blessing to work and then you get two strong female characters that are very far from each other,” Bathina says. “It is like a dream.”

“Little Voice” has Bathina playing Prisha on the series produced by JJ Abrams and Grammy Award winning singer Sara Bareilles. Her character is the best friend and confidant to Bess (Brittany O’Grady) who is on a journey to find her authentic voice through the diverse musicality of New York.

Bathina had to change acting gears completely for “Long Slow Exhale” where she plays an associate head coach for a women’s basketball team. Her character is caught up in a swirl of mystery and murder.

The diversity of the projects makes Bathina very happy.

“To lock into that and know what the creators of the show want is really fun to be on a different project and a different wavelength,” Bathina says.

The wavelength of “Long Slow Exhale” is definitely unique. The series blends elements of a family drama with the sports backdrop. But, the key to the series is the way elements of the murder mystery are woven throughout the series. Each episode not only continues the thread of the chief mystery but adds to surprises.

Bathina – who calls “Long Slow Exhale” a sports drama – could not wait to read all of the scripts for the first season of the series to see where the story was going. Those scripts helped her create the character that was so different from the one she had played in “Little Voice” and it helped satisfy her curiosity.

Not only did Bathina have to decide how she was going to play the character, she also had to do some extra work to sharpen her basketball skills. She played basketball while she was in middle school in Northern California but had not been on a court much since then. The good thing was she only had to look good enough to pass as a college coach.

One thing that helped with the physicality of this role and with almost every acting project Bathina has done is her background in dance. She spent seven years of her young life living in India where at the age of 5, she started learning a form of Indian classical dance called Kuchipudi.

Bathina continues to perform as an Indian classical and Bollywood dancer with various dance companies all over Los Angeles. She is also the co-artistic director of MKM Bollystars with Shivani Thakkar.

“Dance was my foundation for learning anything,” Bathina says. “I knew the amount of hard work it took, the practice it took to perfect or master it. That’s why I am in awe of anyone who masters anything because I know it comes with a tremendous amount of work.

“Dance was a very good disciplinary time in my life and I thoroughly appreciate it.”

Acting is very fulfilling to Bathina but nothing compares to the joy she gets from dancing. Her passion for dance runs so deep that when the pandemic slowed her steps, it completely changed her mood.

Because a key component of Kuchipudi is storytelling through actions, music, dance and performing on stage that helped her transition into acting in high school.

After graduating from USC, she performed in theatre productions, short films and national commercials. Balini has appeared on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Baby Daddy,” “Life in Pieces” and “Raven’s Home.”

Her Indian heritage has always been a part of what she does but has not been the primary source of why she has been cast. The characters she plays in “Little Voice” and “Long Slow Exhale” could be of any ethnicity.

Bathina believes it is important to embrace her heritage while at the same time embracing the idea of being cast in roles that don’t depend primarily on that element of her life.

“I want to tell just stories and if it is related to my heritage, that is fine,” Bathina says. “But, you break open the box if it is not just tied just to your origin story.

“The best thing would be to have a character who is just going through daily life and you don’t ignore that she is part of an Indian heritage. That would be the best place. It doesn’t have to be about you being Indian but you can not ignore that you are Indian. It would be amazing to play an Indian character that has nothing to do with her being Indian.”