Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Hey Actor! Are You Thick Skinned Enough for Bollywood?

John Irvin on actor having thick skin
John Irvin on actor having thick skin

There are certain traits an actor has to possess to be successful.


  • A true, deep-seated love of acting is one of them.
  • Secondly, to follow dedicated and proactive efforts, followed by the knowledge of the fact that only you can make your career happen—all this wrapped up with a teeth-gritting determination are bare minimum essentials for success.

However, one trait that we haven’t talked about enough is the necessity of possessing “a thick skin”.

It is absolutely crucial to have thick skin—to an extent that one’s success in show business truly depends on this. I cannot tell you how many times I have encountered or worked with actors and thought, “Wow, this guy, so talented, but just doesn't have the stomach for this business.” 


  • Yes, get into your head once for all-this is a tough business not an easy pleasure game!!


These are often actors who need more hand-holding and cajoling who worry more about what people think, who spend hours on why they were not selected or brood about friends who they think never helped them.
I know some highly sensitive (thin-skinned) people have somehow managed to forge lasting careers in Bollywood for themselves, but in today’s highly competitive environment where thousands of aspiring actors are struggling against each other, such thin skinned people are in minority.

Remember, When you “make it as a known in the market actor or as a star," you open yourself up to even greater scrutiny". I have seen actors spoiling their career because of careless statements like why they hate XY or Z or behaving weird on social events or having an absurd and angry argument on a set.

  • The point is that if you don’t have a thick skin, and when you get to some level of success, and you react or brood or leave in the middle of a shot, on smallest comment on your performance, things you hear about you from third sources, failures, rejections, then for sure you will NOT be going any further from this “some level of success”

  • Having thick skin truly does revolve around your ability to say “screw you” or “go to hell” in your mind about what others think—even if you look like an asshole or a joker...even if your closest and dearest friends say, “Listen, when you did that thing, you really looked a total mismatch and like an idiot.”
  • You need to be able to commit to yourself that whatever you’ve done (or are going to do) is best of your abilities and appropriate and let everyone else masturbate and enjoy their act judging you, calling you an uncultured, misfit, fool, calling you a talentless hack, calling you desperate, or seeking attention, or mentally defective.

One way to help develop thick skin is to regularly do things that take you out of your comfort zone.

For example

  • Start dancing freely alone and then in front of your friends. Let them comment on your mess up.
  • Do five minutes of stand-up comedy like Kapil Sharma, in spite of audience maintain a poker face.
  • Make friends while on Mumbai locals. Don’t bother about getting a cold response.
  • Read joke books and share joke with friends and watch nobody laughing.
  • Do street plays and see people laughing at your miserable performance.

The best part about this exercise: the worse or shittier your performance in doing the above activities, faster you grow a thick skin. Why? Because you’ll probably see the looks of pain, sarcasm, horror, disgust, or pity that flit across peoples’ faces. And all those looks will be the result of something you did.

At the end of the day, you’ll realize that the worst responses to whatever you’ve done are when people don’t respond at all—when you’re ignored or dismissed or treated like you don’t exist. And those might be the moments when you develop the thickest skin.
Based on source

photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
919920991661
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

This hCard created with the hCard creator.


Friday, 25 July 2014

Rejected Due to Bad Photos? Best Tips to Get Top Headshots

First 2 bad and rest 2 good headshots
First 2 bad and rest 2 good headshots. Try to find out why?

How to Avoid Bad Headshots and Other Pictures in Your Portfolio


Selecting photographer 


When looking for a photographer, DON'T base your decision solely on whom other people used (especially if they DON'T look like you) nor use a photographer based solely on the name. What might be awesome for other people might suck for you.

Do’s and Don’ts

  1. With regards to looks, you DON'T want “character” shots, for example, literally dressing like a cop, doctor, etc. NO PROPS EITHER! This is an insult to the casting directors and will get you laughed out of this business. 
  2. You want 3-5 GENERAL LOOKS that can suggest multiple roles or essences! 
  3. For example, a business suit look can suggest, lawyer detective, secretary, business person, etc. A casual look (jeans and T-shirt) can suggest high school, college, blue collar. An upscale casual and brightly dressed look can suggest young parent, preppy, white collar, etc. 
  4. These 3-5 looks you choose should be based on how you know you REALISTICALLY well. If you're a woman in your late 40s you're most likely not going to win dressing like a college student. If you're in your late teens or early 20s, a full business suit won't help you that much, maybe a slightly unbuttoned dress shirt and a trouser/ jeans... 
  5. Have one, for auditions for commercial/ Ads. It’s usually smiling and brighter colors. For film/TV, have one, which is usually a bit serious/intense expression and muted colors. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules. 
  6. Your headshots need to look like “you” on any normal day! 
  7. Do NOT wear makeup or style yourself in a fashion that would make you look too glamorous ie. As if you're trying to be sexy at a party or at a restaurant.. 
  8. It's important that your head and upper torso ( from waist up to head) are clear so agents and casting directors can fairly judge you physically. 
  9. In India, 5X7 or 4X6  is standard size. Not anything bigger or smaller may not be appreciated. Abroad, it is usually 8X10 sizes. Write your name, age, height and contact details on the back. In India, pasting resume at the back is usually not required.Ensure that ball pen ink should not smudge the photo paper at the back. Buy such a ball pen beforehand.
  10. Have either a white or black border surround your photo. The full bleed (no border) is also good and tacky. 
  11. No glossy! Get matte or pearl finish (non glossy). Most indoor lighting tends to reflect off glossies making it difficult for the agents and casting directors to see. 
  12. No busy patterns or jewelry that will take focus away from your face. 

Tell your photographer to avoid 


  • Too close shot. Don't get it cropped too close to where people can't see your body. At least your upper torso should be visible in your shots so CDs/Agents have a fair idea of what you look like physically. 
  • Shooting you at weird angles, especially angles that would distort how you really look. 
  • Silly poses. Head shots are supposed to be as natural as rain. Making stupid poses will just make you look stupider.

Such common inappropriate poses include- 

  • Sitting on the table. This is where you're sitting down, but leaning WAY forward. 
  • Oh my god, my head is too heavy!  Don't do a head shot where your hand is under your chin or even touching your head. 


For Girls

  • Look at me, I have a sexy back! I've seen some headshots where people are in contorted (twist or bend out of the normal shape) poses, looking over his or her shoulder. It's not natural. 
  • I'm a mermaid! This is where you're lying on your stomach with your feet up. 
  • I got sexy legs! This where you're sitting down and your knees are visible.
photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
919920991661
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

This hCard created with the hCard creator.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Learn to Balance Your Life as an Actor or Forget Bollywood

Are you balancing your life as an actor?
Are you balancing your life as an actor as Ajay Devgan and looking HOT?
The key to a successful acting career is finding the right balance in your life.

The yoga which I have practiced over the years, has constantly reminded me that balance in life is essential. And I’m not just talking about one-legged poses where the slightest shift can send you crashing to the floor. It’s also important that both sides of your body are equally strong and limber. They need to be balanced.
 
This basic lesson applies to all aspects of our lives and especially is a crucial success factor for an actor.  So let’s understand how as an actor you can find the right balance in your life as an actor to be a Bollywood Star.

First, I want you to get a piece of paper and a pen. Draw three columns with the following titles at the top: Skill, Career, and Personal Life.

These are the three parts of your life that must be in balance if you’re going to be successful.

Format for balancing actor's life
Format for balancing actor's life

Now you need to do some honest writing.

Let’s start with 


1. Skill 


This is  another word for Talent. What are you doing to be the best possible actor that you can be? If you’re currently in an acting class or you have a private acting coach, or have both (wise aspiring actors do this), write down the name and type, how long you’ve been studying with that tutor or class. Is it a time for a change? Have you learned to become a camera smart actor? Or techniques of how to give a great audition?

What else are you doing? One of my younger students gets together with a group of like-minded actors every week to practice putting themselves on tape. Are you doing something like that? Good. Write it down.

Do you go out of your way to watch others act? For example, maybe you see a theatre play every week or watch some good films NOT as a viewer, but as a learner, hoping to learn from the performances. If that’s the case, write it down.
Are you starting to get the picture?

2. Career 


What have you been doing to advance your career? Is your circle of contacts swelling? Are you trying to contact casting directors, visiting production houses or TV channels, interacting with co actors to find out about auditions being held or casting being done for serials and making an all out efforts to meet.
Do you analyze every audition, you give and identify your strengths and weaknesses? Think and write down.
Do you have a detailed list of every industry professional you’ve ever met? Have you noted under what circumstances you met, and have you stayed in touch with them about advances in your career? That’s excellent. Write it down.
Are you tracking the casting directors of specific projects you’re right for? Have you made an effort to attend events that allow you to network? Do you have an outstanding website? Write it all down.


And finally, let’s discuss your 

3. Personal Life


This is the one category that actors tend to ignore. They argue that life can wait. Career comes first. This is nonsense. If acting is based on life experience, how can you be a great actor when you have no life?

Make a list of everything you do that has nothing to do with acting. Do you sing or dance and a member of any association? Are you an avid reader? Do you love to paint? Do you like to explore your city? Are you into photography?

Your physical and mental states also have a huge effect on your ability to perform. Are you in shape? Are you HOT? Do you eat well? Are there people in your life who listen when you need to talk?
And let’s not forget about the money. It’s hard to focus on an audition when you’re worried about the rent you have to pay as a paying guest in Andheri. Or, the loan you have to repay, which you borrowed from your room partner. So do you have a system that protects you from financial despair?

Do you have a part time income from some job? Are you smart about how you spend your money?

Write it all down.

Now pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a long look at that list. Is it in balance? Are there areas that need more attention? The answers should be obvious.

Finding balance for an actor is more than a career goal. It’s a way of life.
photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
919920991661
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

This hCard created with the hCard creator.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

22 Reasons Why You Will Not Get A Bollywood Role

Rejection in auditions
Rejection in auditions
Welcome to rejection
Yes, I’m writing about why you DIDN’T get the role in an audition. Yes, even though your audition was amazing and you lit up the room with creative acting genius, you still might not get the part. I know,… you’re probably thinking, “.. But Kiran Sir, you are always so positive. Why are you talking about something negative?”
First, it’s not negative to understand why you didn’t get a job because it will free your mind of all that silly thoughts and reasons when you find out you didn’t get it. Second, and this is one of the most  important parts of learning so pay attention.
Since this is one of the most frequently asked questions to me by my present and ex students, I decided to answer it, hitting the bull’s eye!
Based on my years of experience as an actor and a short filmmaker, these are some of the reasons you didn’t get the role. They are for both-male and female actors

The Reasons


1. You’re too tall.
2. You’re too short.
3. You’re too pretty.
4. You’re not pretty enough.
5. You’re too fat.
6. You’re too thin.
7. You’re too old.
8. You’re too young.
9. You’re too serious.
10. You’re too funny.
11. You look too much like the lead (Hero/Heroine).
12. You don’t look enough like the lead.(Hero/Heroine).
13. You’re taller than the lead. (Hero/Heroine).
14. You’re shorter than the lead. (Hero/Heroine).
15. You remind the producer of his sister, and he hates his sister.
16. You are too ethnic. (For example villager, farmer, Punjabi, South Indian, Oriental looking etc.)
17. You are not ethnic enough. (For example villager, farmer, Punjabi, South Indian, Oriental looking etc.)
18. You were the first one to give audition that day.
19. You were the last one to give audition that day.
20. You look more like a friend than the lead.
21. You’re more like a lead than the  friend.
22. You look like the director’s wife and he had a fight with his wife right before he left the house this morning.
Okay, this is a small sample of the some of the reasons you didn’t get the role.
Remember, none of these are within your control. NONE!
However, there could be a positive aspect.
I strongly recommend you to do some research before you go for an audition. Perhaps, try to contact casting directors, assistant director or director before and find everything about the character you would be auditioning for. In case if you are not meeting some of the above mentioned, at least, physical profile of the character, reconsider your decision of going to auditions.
What you must understand is that your only job in an audition is to do your best work. Everything else is not up to you. The role for which you are performing in an audition is one piece of an entire puzzle. All the pieces of the puzzle must fit, for you to grab the role. The casting director, producer, and director are also fitting pieces of the puzzle together all day long. Your only job is to be the best “piece” you can be. Whether your piece of efforts fit in the slot for that piece is not up to you.
Just go to your audition. Do your best and let it go! If you’re good, they will remember you.
And now, cheer up!
Based on source 

photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
919920991661
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

This hCard created with the hCard creator.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Are You a Camera Smart Actor for Bollywood | Check

Author Kiran Pande in a close shot in "The Amusing Life of Billy Moore"
Author Kiran Pande in a "Close Up" shot in film "The Amusing Life of Billy Moore"
It is common for beginner actors to think there is a fundamental difference, in terms of acting methods, between theater, film and television. This is untrue. What is different between the mediums is only technical. The basic acting tools you use to create characterizations and imaginary worlds are exactly the same -- and this is what 98% of quality actor training is about, I would like to highlight. 

So, the difference between film and television, versus theater, is a matter of practicing "levels of expressiveness." You must learn to "calibrate" your performance to the camera, as you must also learn to calibrate your performance in a theater with an audience of 3,000, or a theater with an audience of only 40.

The actor's Soul and camera

  1. The illusion of depth on the screen is created only by the artistic use of light and shadow. 
  2. The actor too must use a kind of emotional lighting and shading to give depth to his creations of a character for the camera
  3. The camera catches the truth of our emotions and projects them back to the audience
  4. Some actors unconsciously reveal feelings they don’t intend to.  But these unintended feelings are from our soul. By the soul, I mean our innermost feelings, then yes, the camera can see into the soul.  But only if the soul will show itself
  5. The camera cannot reveal what it isn’t shown.  But it will pick up the most subtle and minute expressions, feelings and messages if given a chance.  Can the camera see into your soul? It can.  But you hold the key. 
 Will the camera believe a lie?

Yes, It will.  If it is a believable lie.

Keep in mind that a good and subtle or theatrical  performance (depending upon a "Character") over multiple shots by an actor can be turned into a great scene by altering circumstances in the editing room.

You May Be Wrong

Many actors have a wrong notion probably learnt from acting schools that

A-"If I’m in a film then I don’t have to project my voice.  I don’t have to “act” talking.  I can just talk.  I don’t have to “show” the camera that I’m listening either, I just have to listen"

In front of the camera, you cannot merely “suggest” that you are the character, you have to be the character. While portraying a character, if you have to speak in a particular way, your voice will create your emotions as well by moving your facial muscles (eyes, eyebrows, lips, neck etc.)

B-The reason actors appear too big and sometimes false on screen is that they are trying to overcome preconceived non -existent camera myths.  If we allow ourselves to accept the reality of a character we are playing and where we are, then our inner reality will match it.

C-It is wrong to believe that on camera, we have to be subtle all the times and not theatrical. Again, it depends on the script, profile, emotions of a character and the objective of a shot/scene

D-It would also depend on whether it’s a close or a long shot.

E- The same actor may have to use different styles in different films or in the same film, depending upon the character (which sometimes change in a same film as he/she may have to portray different stages like from young to old or a good to bad or from healthy to sick and dying).
(Look at the classic example of actors in the classical Bollywood film “Sholey”)

If you ask a good cinema actor about their different styles, they would probably say they weren’t playing any style at all, but only the appropriate truth of each particular character

F-If two characters responded in the same way, there would have been no need for two characters at all.  It is the contrast between them that makes the interplay between the characters possible
So an intense, intimate style works on camera, and a big, theatrical style works on camera.  The common denominator between them is believability

Camera in Bollywood

Today films are most often shot, edited, and presented in what is known as the Typical Bollywood Style.  It style and form is modeled on the narrative techniques developed. The story usually begins with introducing the audience to the time, the location, and to the characters of the story.  Next, the author explores the situation that the characters are in, and shows us the conflicts with which they must deal

  • As the pace of events quickens the interest of the viewer’s increases.  Soon, the viewer begins to hang on every word, every gesture, every reaction, every twist and turn of the plot.  As the conflict intensifies and the story reaches its climax, the audience involvement it total
  • Then the conflict is resolved and tension is released as the writer places the story back in its context.  The author and the director have artfully drawn us into this world step by step.  The progression of our interest has moved from mild curiosity to intense identification; from background to foreground.
  • Having said a bit above on the film making process, even the film scenes are shot and edited this way.
  • To simplify for aspiring Bollywood actors, the shooting style in a classical way begins with (though may change):
  • With the shot furthest from the actors, known as the master, and ends with the shot closet to the actors, known as the close-up
  • Between these distances are the two-shot (closer than the master) and the over-the-shoulder (closer than the two-shot). 
  • When a scene is shot on a set, the sequence of shooting is this 1. Master 2. Two-shot 3. Over-the-shoulder (O.T.S.) 4. Close-up

This may be so, because it mirrors the process by which a storyteller draws an audience into a story.

What actors should know

A. The actor needs to know what each shot is “telling,” and how it helps to illuminate his character’s story.  Knowledge of the logical reasons for camera positions transforms the actor from a just “a photographed object”, to a creative collaborator to a film

B. The “master shot” gets its name from the fact that it records a scene from beginning to end and therefore serves as a reference shot.  Any shot other than the master is known as coverage.

C. The master shot has some particularly important features.  Since it is far enough away, it is extremely useful for showing the relationship between the characters themselves, and between the characters and their environment.

D. Being a long shot and uninterrupted shot, the master also gives the actor the opportunity to find the timing with his fellow actor.  Use the master to feel the dynamics of a scene, its movement and rhythm.  It may be the only time you can do this.  You can’t be sure that any other set-up will cover the scene from beginning to end.

E. Important: Before the camera blocking (the movements of the camera) can be set in the master or subsequent shots, the actor’s blocking (the movements of the actors) is set,  If the actor has ideas about the scene, about where to be and when to move, now is the time to share with the director or cinematographer.

Why?  Because after the master shot, the blocking will be very difficult to change. 

Remember, the other setups will be based on what the actors do in this master shot and therefore an actor has to remember the blocking (movements), dialogues delivered, the way props used and gestures, which will probably use in the subsequent shots. 
photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
919920991661
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

This hCard created with the hCard creator.