Monday, 18 January 2016

Learn 6 Ways of Smart Actors to Market Career FREE

A cut-throat competition in actor's market for Bollywood and TV serials
A cut-throat competition in actor's market for Bollywood and TV serials

How to Market yourself as an actor FREE
How to Market yourself as an actor FREE

Yes, they are Smart and Successful Actors! Why? 

A. Because they listened 
B. They focused on a single factor; "how to get chances" rather than dreaming foolishly to be an actor and running from pillar to post without a solid strategy
C. They realized apart from an excellence in acting craft,  the success of this factor depends on their marketing strategies and promotion being acting a "Business"
D. They knew they didn't have lots of money and time enough and wait till eternity.

To be an actor is a business and any actor who doesn't realize this, irrespective of an excellence in the acting craft, will surely fail!

So, smart actors, when think about marketing, they usually see a most important sign 

Rupee sign
Or rather how to save it!

Sure, an essential tool like your headshots can be expensive, but once you have them, there’s plenty of ways to improve your actor marketing without spending a dime.
Actor marketing is defining who you are, building relationships with people interested in you, and convincing them you are the one they need.
If you’re dreaming and desperately want to be a Bollywood or a TV serial actor, and short of money, here are some inexpensive ways you can work on your actor marketing!

1. Be sure your portfolio photos are working for you, not against you.
Cost: Rs.0 to Rs. 5000 for 10

Many of aspiring actors spend a lot of money on headshots (Portfolio) where unfortunately though they look glamorous but not what truly they are. The result is obvious- they are selected for an initial audition based on the headshot, they are rejected because when they enter into the audition room, the casting director finds a different person than what he/she had seen in the photograph. It may be your face, hair style, profile, looks which probably had been altered in your headshot by a photographer to give you a glamorous look. The cost of such portfolio could be around Rs. 10,000. This is a waste of your money and definitely works against you
The solution: Get your pictures clicked to look what you exactly are-neat and simple and of good quality. Don’t give a shock to a casting director by looking different than your headshots. You even use your own cell phone which has a good camera.
Choosing your best looking shot is great if you want to get a date but, if you want to get a role in a film, choose a shot that reflects the roles you’re most castable as.

2.  Your résumé (Online and others)
Cost: Rs.0

Your résumé works for you to show people whether you have experience, do you have other talents like swimming, dancing, singing, martial arts, languages, accents etc. and whether you will fit into to be auditioned role.If your résumé looks sloppy and unprofessionalso do you! Check for typing errors, have a friend proofread it for you! Be sure to update your hard copy for auditions, the PDF on your website, and any casting sites you’re on!

3. Start a website!
Cost: Rs.0

Actors need a website that shows their marketing materials and links to all of their social media accounts. Don’t put off building your website because you can’t afford one.

You can set up a free on the following sites right NOW:

4. Market and promote yourself on social media accounts.
Cost: Rs.0

Do you have social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,  and looks professional?
Do they feature one headshot you chose to consistently promote your brand across platforms?
Do you have professional social media headers?
A compelling bio with keywords?
These things cost nothing and are necessary to effectively use social media to advance your career.
(Warning for Facebook: Don’t get fooled by “likes” by your friends. They are not casting people. You may get wrong signals and may get addicted to wasting your precious time on chatting and get foolishly self-elated. Instead a "profile", start a business “page”)

5. Build and Track your relationships.
Cost: Rs.0 (Except travel)

Remember, marketing is about building and nurturing relationships!

  • Identifying production houses, TV channels like sonny, star plus, casting directors, cinematographers and others related to the industry and running after them to submit your resume and headshots is a MUST. Read relevant posts on this subject from this blog
  • A follow up with a thank you mail, card, birthday or anniversary wish is always welcomed and help people to remember you among the countless crowd of aspiring actors. For email, it’s necessary that your email page is properly designed with your headshot and a great header which should remain constant.  You don’t need relationships with thousands of people for your career take off. Focus your marketing efforts of these people!

6. Expand your network of contacts.
Cost: Rs.0

Get off the couch or gossip corner and find a group of actor’s, casting directors, director’s hang out places in Mumbai or in your town and gate crash to network with! Become extrovert and aggressive if you want to be an actor! Read this post at: hangout places in Mumbai
Do you require lots of money for the above? NO
So, that money is no longer an excuse, get started!

Still confused?

(Author; Had been a marketing wizard for 30 years apart from an award winning actor, an acting coach and a short film maker)
Inspired by

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

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Monday, 11 January 2016

Why "Continuity" is No 1 Acting for Camera Learning Skill

Mira Nair directs an actor in a scene
Mira Nair directs an actor in a scene pointing a mismatch

Unlike in Theater Learning “Continuity” is Must in Acting for Camera 

When shooting on set, do you ever wonder what the editor needs to keep you in the film? Or if you are unintentionally causing problems for the director or for an editor? You’re not alone.

Who is an editor?

Film editing is part of the creative post-production process of filmmaking in which an editor selects shots and puts them in an orderly, logical, and aesthetically consistent sequence. Film editing is often referred to as the "invisible art" because when it is well-practiced by an editor, the viewer can become so engaged that he or she is not even aware of the editor's work. Thus an editor’s work becomes a key factor in a film’s success.

What’s the difference between a SHOT and a TAKE?

The section of unedited film from the time the camera starts to the time it stops.

In cinematography, a take refers to each filmed "version" of a particular shot. “Takes” of each shot are generally numbered starting with "take one" and the number of each successive take is increased (with the director calling for "take two" or "take eighteen") until the filming of the shot is completed
From an editor’s viewpoint, one of the most important technical skills for an actor to master is continuity.

Irrelevant in theater, but critical to on-camera acting, continuity means performing the same physical actions identically in every take. This may happen when multiple takes are taken (filmed) of the same shot. For example: It’s which point in the dialogue you turn around to face someone, which hand you use to pass your scene partner a folder, when you lean back in your chair or touch your face.
Continuity is when you move, how you move, when you stop moving, and matching that action in every take.

If you reached for your water before saying, Bahut pyas lagi hai (“I’m thirsty”) in “take one”, then you have to match this movement and action in every other take for a shot. You must always do it in the same order because an editor is editing the scene together using multiple angles and takes, and the action in all of them needs to match. You can’t change the sequence of events in “take three” by reaching for the water after saying, Bahut pyas lagi haiThat’s not going to cut together with your other "takes" or your scene partner’s "takes". The other actors are reacting to your actions, so if you move at the wrong time, their eyes will be looking in the wrong place. It’s extremely important to be consistent and doing the same and same, whether the camera is on you or on someone else. Then an editor always has the option to keep your good work in the scene.

Sometimes it’s human not to notice mismatching movements and actors are no different, so editors work hard to avoid them. The directors or editors don’t want the audience to become distracted by an actor’s wrong movement or looks. For the illusion of a film’s fictional world, you need to maintain continuity.

Here’s an example of bad continuity

Two characters are talking at a diner. The Drinker has a coffee cup in his left hand. In his coverage, he says his line and then drinks the coffee. But what if he doesn’t maintain continuity when the camera moves behind him to get coverage of the Listener?

Correct continuity:

The correct continuity by an actor while filming
 The correct continuity by an actor while filming. See the arrow on the right holding cup in his left hand in both the pictures (Picture courtesy

Incorrect continuity:

The incorrect continuity by an actor while filming
The incorrect continuity by an actor. On the left, holding  the cup in his left hand Now, see the arrow on the right where the man is holding the cup in his right hand (Picture courtesy

See how his coffee cup jumped his own hands? So did the audience.
The woman performed exceptionally well in this shot, but for a bungling of a mismatch by her co-star Therefore hoping that she would perform well again, the director had to go for another “take” to correct the mismatch in “continuity”. Unfortunately, the female actor in the next “take” didn’t do that well.

An editor speaks:

"I want to cut every scene for the best performances, but when there are continuity problems, I’ll have to use inferior takes just to hide the physical mismatch. So your worst performance might wind up on screen because that was the only "take" where continuity matched. Or I might have to cut away from you entirely until the mismatching action is over. That’s how you end up on the cutting room floor".

Now, is it clear to you how important is “continuity” for an actor?


Some actors complain that continuity is a too rigid thing; that it prevents them from being in a character’s moment and thus produces an unreal performance. “I can’t be in the character if I’m worrying about whether my glass is up or down!”

My answer

It is simply that you have to learn this skill and make it part of your acting craft. If you give the most incredible performance, but your continuity is a disaster, an editor probably can’t use it. So the performance will be useless after all. Keeping your continuity consistent lets the audience focus on the important things.
The greatest actors have the ability to portray rich emotional moments on demand, but even in the midst of those moments, there’s a still a part of their brain that can focus on technical things like continuity without diminishing their emotional performance. The examples of such Bollywood actors are many. I find that truly incredible.

How to learn continuity?

  1. Be aware of what you are doing in each “take”
  2. Keep a small diary with you and as you sit down (If possible), note down every movement, gestures, looks etc. If there is an immediate next take with no time to sit, run in your mind what you did earlier.
  3. However, remain in the character. Don’t chat with co-stars in between a take or a shot or till it’s a “ pack up” or “wrap up” call
  4. Practice continuously “switch on and off’’ between a “character” and ‘yourself” becoming aware of the technical requirements of an acting for camera. 
  5. Remember, it's a balance between your mind and imagination

I’m confident you can learn this too.
Based on

Or join us to learn

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

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Monday, 4 January 2016

4 Red Flag Warning in Selecting Acting Schools

Red flag warning issued for acting schools

Choosing to engage in a relationship with an acting class/coach is like dating a girl or a boy. You’re entering into a potential long-term (few months to years) relationship that must be mutually beneficial, healthy, and free of mental and emotional trauma.
The No. 1 factor when considering joining is the results of a school / coach's work: launched careers (even in short films), helping in booking roles etc.
The following are basic assessments I encourage all actors to employ when selecting an acting class.

Red flag while selecting an acting school

Red Flag #1

Too many students

In addition to the teacher not know about you like your strengths, weaknesses and even not remembering your name, you will be lost in a group of students, forced to work with a scene partner, either for better or too poor compared to you, and may only be able to practice scenes or emotions  once every 2 or 3 weeks... if you’re lucky! I describe my classes as “private coaching in a class setting.” Because our classes are small either one on one or in a small group of or 2 or 3 students.
I would recommend an acting school with a class of not more than 7 to 10 students

Red flag while selecting an acting school

Red Flag #2

Teachers who hate some actors in a class

Unfortunately, I see many actors who arrive at my private coaching program very damaged. They have been completely flattened by a sarcastic teacher/class who due to some whimsical reasons hates them. They may not be abusive, but behave negatively with a particular student.

How to spot such demotivating teachers? 

  • These teachers who bully or are sarcastic to the students; allow ask some of their favorite students to directly comment on the performance of others actors they don’t like (may be due his/ her face, language or accent, body language etc.) or require more time to learn an emotion/ attitude. I remember one of my coaching students telling me that her teacher uses to ridicule her because she was poor in English. She got terribly upset as the teacher deliberately will encourage other students in a session to comment on her performance or talk to her in English, embarrassing her as she could not reply in a fluent English back.
  • A good practice to be followed by a teacher in a class should be that all comments from students should be directed to the teacher only, as actors should never criticize their fellow actors, both in a class or even on a film set.

Red flag while selecting an acting school

Red Flag # 3.

Whether you have learned or not, there is no time for training individually.

Suppose an actor can’t display a particular emotion or attitude like crying or laughing instantly or failing to develop ‘improvisation’ in a scene, they don’t wait for you. Why? The reason is simple-how can they hold a class of 20 for maybe an hour or more only because of you? They don’t.
This is a no-win situation for you as an actor. The biggest problem with these types of teachers is that though many of them are good there are limitations of time and may be their own reasons as a paid employee of a school with a fixed syllabus which defeats the basic objective of an acting class.
The “acting” is a delicate art and a fine craft. It cannot be taught as a subject of chemistry or history to 40 to 50 students with few practical in a lab.
However, few lucky ones who get attention and favor may be because of ‘like’ grab more benefit in a class though large. Thus, all craft development gets cast aside and the entire class’s focus diverts and revolves around fun and networking with co-actors.
This is a major red flag.

Red flag while selecting an acting school

Red Flag #4: 

No results in sight.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints and fixed schedules of the subsequent classes, post training help is limited.
After training is over, most of the students do not know what to do, where to, whom to meet and how they can get roles in films, TV seials, commercial ads and print. Even in a class, sufficient time may not be devoted to how to be successful in auditions. This may not be deliberate or due to neglect, but again, may be due to time factor as a major time may be devoted for like ‘acting techniques’, ‘improvisation’ and ‘ scene enacting’
However, from an aspiring actor’s point of view who has paid a fee of few Lakhs of rupees, it may be a frustrating experience of not getting a job and to get lost in this ruthless cine industry after passing out a successful training.

How to find the red signals?

Before you decide to join an acting school or an acting coach, visit personally and find out: 

  • Who are the teachers?
  • Are they actors, directors, or from other cine stream?  What is their background-pictures released, work done etc. (Some of the existing actors may be teachers who join acting classes as teachers due to financial reasons, but are they good teachers?)
  • Check their references on the internet
  • What is the duration of each class eg 60 minutes or more or less?
  • How many students are in each batch?
  • Names and details (contact no, address, email) of the ex-students who got a break in films, TV serials or in commercial ads? You must make an extra-ordinary effort to contact them and seek their opinion.
  • Also, try to contact other ex-students randomly on the phone even if they didn’t book any roles to seek their opinion of their school
  • Remember, listen but do not believe what they say. Some of their talks may be their marketing gimmick.
  • Does a school accept a fee in installments? If yes, then be cautious. Sometimes, their main objective may be financial benefits rather than an excellence in quality of training and would welcome students by paying full fees or a part of a total fee.
  • Finally, most important-don’t fall to big industry names behind a school. The big names behind running a school seldom get sufficient time to devote to teaching to students and usually have employee teachers to do the job and big name, job get confined to ‘inauguration’, once a while 'pep-up' talks and prize/ certificate distribution ceremonies.

Just check the above red flags and points before you decide. Also, if already joined, never walk into a class with your tail tucked between your legs. Don’t be afraid to ask for results. It’s your right and responsibility. Raise your hand and inquire what sort of roles his/her students have acquired of late, or in the last year. Any reputable teacher or a school should be able to handle this question with aplomb and with hard numbers.
Acting class is also about creating offering predictable results for their students. Defensive or vague answers should give you a glimpse into this person’s or school’s soul. No reputable teacher/ coach or a school should feel good about taking hard-earned money from aspiring actors unless he/she knew they were getting the best guns they need to fight forward in their careers.

Special author's note:

However, please note that there are exceptions to what I have mentioned above. Some of the schools in Mumbai at least, are really good and their efforts in developing students into a good actor are commendable, indeed! There are teachers in these schools who truly love teaching and can’t help but inspire their students with their own energy and passion. This is a true spirit. Teachers and coaches should be pushing their students forward with respect and helping them succeed along their career path. Encouraged by

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

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