Tuesday, 15 April 2014

How to Select A Good Monologue for Auditions | Top Tips


Remember, a well-written, prepared and practiced monologue makes a casting director remember you. 

Characteristics of a Good audition monologue and its delivery

  • It should be of less than two minutes. Two minutes is more than enough to show your talent. In fact, remember, the auditors have already made their decision after 30 seconds, maybe even less.
  • The monologue should have a clear objective. You can't just stand there and talk. You have to imagine of a scene and have talk to someone you've imagined, and not to a lifeless camera or a casting director.
  • The monologue should have a distinct beginning, middle, and an end. 
  1. A beginning: A strong first sentence to capture attention.
  2. A middle: Lots of juicy content. 
  3. An end: A strong finish. When your monologue has a structure, the auditors are more likely to remember you.
  • It must Contain conflict. Drama cannot exist without conflict. Who wants to see a lifeless audition? Boring...

Choosing a Monologue

Actors often get confused choosing a monologue. But it's very simple: Pick one you love, which thrills you. And if it thrills you, it will definitely impress the casting directors!
Also, it's important to choose a few contrasting monologues. Have at least two monologues ready to go at all times:
A contemporary dramatic
A contemporary comedic
Source help

If you can't find good Hindi monologues or can not write yourself,
Contact me. 
91 9920991661

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, 7 April 2014

How to Avoid 4 Silly Mistakes During Auditions For Bollywood Films

What to remember for auditions
What to remember for auditions
There is a first time for everything, even for aspiring actors, including auditioning for a Bollywood film or a commercial. If you are new, here is some of my personal suggestions so you can feel more comfortable and give a great audition.

1. Don’t shake hands with the casting director

The casting directors are shaking hands with hundreds of actors on any given day. The last thing they want to do is shake hundreds of hands. You may feel inclined when you first walk into an audition room to introduce yourself, but train yourself to get rid of this habit. An audition isn’t like an office job interview where a firm handshake with eye contact is an integral part of the deal. When you enter the audition room, friendly confidence and eye contact is encouraged, but introducing yourself on camera is totally a different ball game. Just stand in front of the camera and start introducing yourself when a casting director calls “action” or “start”. 

2. Avoid lengthy and irrelevant introduction 

For auditions, you don’t need to tell who your co-ordinator is or from which school you learnt your professional acting or what role you’re reading for. They may have already that information, if you have given your resume. Even if you haven’t, let them ask you. Just say your name and your contact number. Then give your profile (Left and then Right). If you have to give a monologue, give it with confidence. This is not the time to give your life history, hobbies, likes and dislikes etc. However, do mention in brief, if you have done films, serials or print jobs.  

3. Silence your phone 

Treat the audition room like you would a doctor’s chamber or cinema hall. Make sure your phone is off before entering into A loud phone not only distracts you from doing the best job you can, it also distracts those in the room with you, which isn’t fair either. On a sudden sound of cell phone ring nerves can get in the way of your performance, so remember this simple tip even when you’re focusing on your lines.

4. Don’t wait too long or leave abruptly

Expecting a positive reply instantly the moment you finish? Waiting eagerly to hear “You are in” or “You are selected”? You are not yet a “STAR” to get that privilege. Do not stand there creating an embarrassing silence after finishing. Secondly, don’t leave abruptly without thanking everybody in the audition room. After finishing, wait for 5 seconds, smile, look at everybody and say thank you and then walk out gracefully.
Inspired by source

Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 27 March 2014

When to Quit Acting and Stop Trying for Bollywood | Best Answer

An actor's path
An actor's dilemma 

How to Know When It’s Time to Give up Acting

You wanted to be a star in Bollywood. You have been waiting tirelessly but Your ship hasn't come in. While you have done everything possible for a long time, you don't have much, May be few small roles in serials, theater, ads or in some unknown films. Especially compared to that actor friend of yours who started with you and now has lead roles in serials, a brand ambassador for a branded sports shirt and 2 feature films under his or her belt. You're starting to doubt the choices you've made in your life. You are under stress-financial and emotional. The reality of working at different part time jobs; restaurant, call center job or its equivalent and sharing a small apartment when your co-actors are buying flats and cars. It's been weighing heavily on you. Maybe acting isn't for you. Maybe it's time to give up the dream.
But what about your dream? How you will face your dear and near ones with whom you have shared your vision to be a star in Bollywood? You are moving back and forth with this turmoil in your mind.  However, the current situation is a cold reality. You think you have failed and now it's a time to move back home and start a new life
But how do you know for sure?
Remember, this struggle is one that every actor engages in, but that your thought process is definitely flawed. It is just not a "job". The truth is that being an actor is not something one gives up. It is who you are. It is a deep need that exists in every cell of your body to explore the depths of the human emotional world. Giving it up would be like giving up hunger or thirst or the need for air. And it's wrong and arrogant to think that you could give up.
Of course every actor has to figure out how to make a living, and often that means working some other job. But that doesn't mean you stop acting.
There is a distinction. If your definition of an actor was to be in a dream city of Mumbai, make tons of money and fame, then better quit. This is one most actors don't make.
So, what should you do?

Do you need contacts to succeed in the Bollywood industry?

The Bollywood industry has had some legendary actors who have passed down their talents to their sons, daughters, nephew & nieces, giving them (the star child) that extra advantage and then you have some actors/actresses who have no family connections & have risen up in the Bollywood industry themselves and they have done just as well.

But is it necessary?

I don't want to drag you in discussion. Here is a list of a few people who had no contacts in the industry but  are Bollywood Stars now.

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

Akshay Kumar

Actor Akshay Kumar
Akshay is a well known, respected actor in the Bollywood industry and has been around for a long time. It all started in the 1990’s. Kumar’s debut film was Saugandh,1991 which was followed by the thriller film Khiladi in 1992. As years went by the actor had his ups and downs, but in 2007 he reached a high success, then actor starred in four consecutive films. This then leads him to have a well established name in the industry. He has been nominated for Filmfare Awards many times, but has only won it twice.

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka has become one of Bollywood’s highest paid actresses and a very popular celebrity in India. The actress has had many awards and nominations for her outstanding acting skills. In 2003, Chopra made her film debut in the film The Hero: Love story of a spy. The actress has starred in many famous films on the screens such as: Desi Boys, Don, Fashion, Krrish and Barfi & has gone on to be brand ambassador for huge brands INC Nikon & Guess.

Ranveer Singh

Actor Ranveer Singh
After completing a degree at the Indiana University in Bloomington, Singh pursued a career in acting. 2010 was the year for Singh as he starred in the hit comedy Band Baaja Baaraat alongside Anushka Sharma. The actor also won a Filmfare award for his role in the movie. Singh has played many diverse roles, showing the audience his tremendous talents. The actor has also starred in Lootera and the hit films Gunday And Goliyan Ki Raasleela Ram- Leela.

Anushka Sharma

Anushka Sharma
She started off as a model and no intentions of being an actress, but I guess  that all changed when she became an actress. The actress made her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi alongside ShahRukh Khan and then she stared in the hit film Band Baaja Baraat, in both films she received nominations at the Filmfare Awards. Sharma has been considered a promising actress in the Bollywood cinema industry.

Irrfan Khan

Irrfan Khan
He is one of the most respected actors in the Bollywood industry. Not only has he worked in the Bollywood industry, but also in the Hollywood industry. Khan worked hard for many years and had done many commercials and hosted TV shows… before he got success and had been nominated for many awards and won many of them. One rare award the actor has received is the Padma Shri award. Khan’s first debut in the Bollywood industry was the film Rog which was released in 2005. After this Khan had established his name well in the Bollywood industry and he was being cast in more films such as Life Of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and Paan Singh Tomar

Kangana Ranaut

Kangana Ranaut
Again, this actress was into modelling, but found her passion was in the movie industry. Ranaut’s debut film was the thriller movie Gangster which was made in 2006,she also won a Filmfare award for best female debut. The actress also starred in Fashion, Raaz and Krrish 3 and Queen.

Success Secret of Bollywood King Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan
The life history of Shahrukh's filmi career started out by working in small roles in television serials during the late 1980s, till got noticed by the audience while playing the role of Commando Abhimanya Rai in the television serial Fauji. His debut in films happened with Deewana in 1992 that fared well. Shahrukh Khan has bagged six Filmfare Best Actor Awards. Many people do believe that Shahrukh Khan is a media created superstar, which has been presenting him as a king of Bollywood and often comparing him to Amitabh Bachchan, sometimes more successful than him. Actually Shahrukh Khan can not match the acting talent of great Amitabh Bachchan. But still Khan is highly successful and can inspire the common people with his traits which made him very successful. If he had not got those traits then neither media nor any big producer would have been able to drag him to super stardom for long.

What are the traits of "Badshah of Bollywood"?

  • A strong positive self image

Positive self-image boosts his self-confidence. Even if he fails in a role or face criticism inferiority complex or depression never struck him. He simply and very confidently moves into the other chapter of life and comes with a new hit. The best reflection of his strong self-image is a dialogue that he spoke while talking to a journalist: “There are only to big Khans in this world, one is Genghis Khan and other is Shahrukh Khan.”

  • Discipline and hard work

It is almost impossible to achieve anything in life without a strong dose of discipline and hard work. And Shahrukh gets 10/10 marks here. Directors like him because he reaches on the sets on time, is very cooperative with them, and works very hard on his work. Due to his habit of discipline and hard work he is respected everywhere. He is a shining example of this quotation by Albert Einstein: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

  • A Good public relations

He always maintains good relations in the film industry with his producers, directors, co-stars, other people and his friends and well-wishers. He is polite in talking and nobody has seen him in a vicious mood like so many other stars. He doesn’t show tantrums. He talks less and never criticizes others. This is the reason Bollywood people like to work with him.
Remember, being an actor, a star in Bollywood is your dream and an objective of your existence as a human being. Sooner you commit fully to this notion, better it would be.
Just go on kicking! Find solutions to your financial problems- part time jobs, night shifts and so on. For your stress and depression involve yourself in some creative work-writing, paintings, teaching, volunteer work or anything which brings a smile on your face.
Still troubled? Contact me. I will guide and help you till you succeed!
Mobile phone

Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Acting School or Acting Coach for Bollywood Entry? Best Choice

Acting School or Acting Coach for Bollywood Entry?

What Special Skills Should Every Aspiring Actor Have?

Acting is a very specialized profession, and it typically requires a number of special skills. A good memory, for instance, is one of the greatest skills that any actor can have. If acting in front of a live audience, such as in a stand up comedy or theater, actors must be able to memorize all of their lines. Movie and film actors should also be able to memorize NOT ONLY their lines, but also of their partners as well.
Aspiring actors should also be able to easily portray a character’s emotions and personality. For example, they should be able to make others truly believe that they are the character that they portray.
Research skills are also excellent for any actor to have. These will often come in handy when researching an upcoming role in an audition, such as for a historic character.
Actors should also be able and willing to work hard. Before a production, actors will typically spend long hours studying a script and practicing their lines. Movie an film actor will  need to be available to work at nearly any hour of the day in any sort of weather. Some physical stunts are also required as well.

Acting Schools vs. Acting Coaches

The right teacher whether in a class or as a private tutor can make all the difference in fulfilling your dreams to be a Bollywood Star, and can provide valuable contacts and skills that will help along the way.
Acting is a specialized type of performing arts, and it generally requires a great amount of skill. Although some actors are naturally talented, it often takes some type of formal training to get the most out of these talents. Because of this, many aspiring actors choose to attend performing arts or acting schools or hire an acting coach or a mentor.

Acting Schools

  1. They give you a base (a platform) to work from.
  2. They give you various acting techniques that you can fall back on and recreate time after time in different situations.
  3. Taking acting classes will enable you to see the other actors work, which in itself is invaluable!
  4. You will see how other actors overcome some of their own issues while acting and interpreting their roles.
  5. If you have a good teacher (hopefully) and can give you sufficient time individually, he can give you good, constructive and personal feedback to help you improve your craft.
  6. They will give you a sense of community (colleagues), so that you know you are not alone in your quest to become an actor.
  7. They will give you a group of people with whom you can exchange ideas and to whom you can ask questions and share. This group of your co-learners will help you to develop networks and information about the film industry like auditions, director and casting directors 
  8. If you have a good acting teacher who is known and respected in the industry, you could gain (in him/her) an ally who might help promote you, get you auditions or help you work to get seen by the right people!

Acting Coach

  1. A good coach can give you a sufficient amount of time needed for you to learn or fix problems
  2. A coach can create and give you solid acting techniques, based on your individual emotional, mental and physical built up that you can fall back on and recreate time after time in different situations.
  3. He can help you to be able to access your emotions and learn methods to control and alter it.
  4. Can create methods for quick memorization of your lines/ script
  5. Can help you to see where you need to improve.
  6. Can give you good, constructive and personal feedback to help you improve your craft..
  7. He can make you more comfortable while performing.
  8. The most important- will guide and create a marketing strategy like your website, social networking on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, for you to succeed. Will guide you on how and where to go for making your portfolio and show reel.
  9. Will design a career plan suited to you and guide you on its implementation

Finally, an acting coach could be economical


Although, acting schools cannot design a program on an individual basis, devote hours separately to each student and the success will depend on the quality of faculty, schools are very good source for learning and working in a group with other students with distinct advantages. Secondly, these schools could be a good source for networking and getting information about auditions, castings and industry.
Whereas, with an acting coach, as each individual is different and unique, each aspiring or even experienced male or female actor can learn and develop amazingly well with an individual coaching. A coach is your mentor, and a friend who walks with you to help you to win as it is in case of a sports coach. You can share your problems, worries and fix them without any fear of a crowd around. The coach may understand your psyche and can design a learning program. You may terminate an acting coach contract after the period or may continue seeking his/her guidance for a long period.


Taking into account that acting school courses may range from a few months to a few years with the fees from Rs 20,000 to 4 lacs, I would recommend to join an acting school with a course of moderate duration and with a reasonable fee  and engage an acting coach for at least 2 months. In simple words, have both. This will ensure economy and the best of both the world!
However, if you are doubtful, have financial constraints or want to come to Mumbai from the small town, hire a coach for 2 months, test waters and then jump!

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Great Acting Secret | How to Live a Character and Not Pretend

Living in character and not pretending
Living in character and not pretending (Image courtesy:www.geekgyaan.com)_
There is an often reported problem of that actor appear to be "acting" when they act. I have also noted this fact in my own case in the initial stages as an actor and in my student actors. I term this symptom as "not acting" instead of "truly living and to be an authentic human being as a character"
The trouble that many actors face is that, though they are told that they should look like they are "not acting" when they act, they are rarely given the ways to accomplish this. Unfortunately, In spite of spending a lot of time in acting schools, workshops and in front of a camera, many try to make it look like something is happening when nothing is happening.

So, what do you do?

There are specific ways to achieve this quality of "not acting" and be "that character".
Here, I recollect what I learnt and practiced with what Sanford Meisner called the "reality of doing", which simply means that when you do something:

  1. You do not pretend to do it.
  2. You do not fake doing it.
  3. You do not try to make it look like you are doing it.

My simple formula is:

  1. Visualize and be in that imagined scene
  2. Repeatedly, auto suggest to yourself that you are "that character"
  3. Remain focused on that scene and being in the character. Do not allow any other thing to distract you. If any distraction occurs, count 10 and come back to the scene and character. Or keep your focus on one point say- a table, lamp, glass or at some point near the camera.

And finally you

"Really do it"

These three most simple words will lead you to a complete investment of your mind, your heart and your soul. Of course, what I am leading you towards, has to do with bringing personal meaning to everything you do in front of a camera.

Let me give you an example of what happened with one of my students who was selected for a 2nd lead in a film and had few rehearsals. One day Avinash came to me and wanted advice for a role he was performing. This story will give you a clear understanding of what is meant by the "reality of doing".
The actor told me that he was having difficulty with a moment in a scene when he had to ask the actress in the scene to marry him. He said that the director wanted him to break down and cry in this moment and that he was having difficulty fulfilling the director's request in spite of his best efforts.
I just responded in this way, "If you want to fulfill the director's request in that moment, when you ask the actress to marry you, REALLY ASK HER."

You see? Sound simple? Yes, always simplify things. I did not say, "make it look like you want her to marry you," I did not suggest any of the so called "actor tricks" taught in acting schools. What I suggested was something completely human...
Avinash must now bring to this moment on a set. I told him about above points and practiced Sanford Meisner technique for the next 2 days.
This actor must find a true, personal "need" in himself to have this woman says "Yes". Now Avinash must hook into a true "desire" to have the woman spends the rest of her life with him. Now the actor must find in himself an actual passion and longing for this woman so that when she says "YES" his response will rush through him like a tidal wave. In this way an actor will appear to be a living, authentic human being because he is "really doing what he is doing" and "not acting" it.

Below is a simple explanation of Meisner's Technique as I practiced:

Sanford Meisner
Sanford Meisner

Sanford Meisner-The Reality of Doing
The Reality of Doing
(Listen and do)

The foundation of acting is the reality of doing. So you may be asking yourself what exactly does that mean? The reality of doing means to actually do something not "pretend" you’re doing it.
For example, if you are supposed to be listening really listen not pretend to listen. If you are supposed to drink out of a cup don't pretend to drink out of the cup really drink out of the cup! It's just that simple!
Well, it sounds easier than you think.
As actors we spend years being taught "How to act" and "How to become an actor" that we develop these "pre-developed or established actions" that are supposed to be what a good actor does. How many times have you seen a film and the actor who's more concerned about performing and entertaining the viewers, is using over exaggerated hand gestures and pre-rehearsed delivery of lines. They think that they are so good that the viewers can't tell but they can!
The foundation of acting is the reality of doing!!! When I learned that while studying the Meisner Technique it changed my life because it is so simple!
I remember performing in the play. I had a scene where I was supposed to drink tea from an empty cup and every day I did the same thing I pretended to drink out of the cup. On the last dress rehearsal one of the prop masters set the table and put water in the cup without me knowing. When I finally got to me scene and it came to the part where I was drinking out of the cup I was so surprised that there was water in the cup that I forgot my lines! The reality of doing was so foreign to me that it caught me off guard. I had been so programmed to "pretend" to drink that I had no clue how to really drink out of the cup even though that is what I do every day in my everyday life. Sanford Meisner said that we are supposed to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances and this is done by setting up the foundation of acting which is the reality of doing.

Word Repetition Game 

Those of you familiar with Meisner know very well the word repetition game. It is the basis of learning the Meisner technique, it was created to get actors out of their heads so they won't think but do. Sandy Meisner wanted to create the simplest task, so that actors would not have to think and could focus on doing. With word repetition you are to repeat accurately everything your partner says.

Repetition develops listening ability

On my first day of school, I was told to sit down across from my partner, they would make an observation about me, say it, and I was to repeat EXACTLY what they say word for word. My partner looked at me and said "You have a pretty smile" and I repeated "You have a pretty smile" we did this for about one minute and I got kudos because I simply knew how to listen! That's it knowing how to listen was getting me one step closer to becoming a better actor.

Repeating from your point of view 

The next day I got up again and this time we did the same thing, but now instead of saying it word for word I was to tell it from my point of view. "You have on a green shirt" and I said "I have on a green shirt" We did this several times going back and forth making an observation with each other. The next day I got up to play the word repetition game again, feeling pretty confident that I did well that past two days I was ready to get to work.
My Partner was told to make an observation of me and he said "You have big hair" and without me thinking I said “I have big hair?" The class broke out in laughter because I was clearly not happy about that comment! The teacher stopped us and asked me how I felt about that comment and I said it made me a little angry and that I thought it was an asshole thing to say and he told me "well tell him that"!

The pinch

That's when I was told the third most important thing I learned from the repetition game Listening, Point of view, and THE PINCH! That feeling I felt about the comment was the pinch the point in the repetition game that I could now say how I felt about the comment. "You have big hair" "I have big hair?" "You have big hair" "That's an asshole thing to say"...!!! Waiting for the pinch is confusing because it happens at different times for people.
The most important thing I learned is, no matter how long you do repetition waits for the pinch! Most people don't wait and make a change themselves and by doing that they are not reacting truthfully. I would do repetition sometimes for minutes until the change naturally happened. You know the feeling and by not waiting for the pinch you are doing yourself an in service because you are not acting truthfully. I don't care if you have to do repetition for hours WAIT for the pinch, let the change come naturally! Now of course it doesn't take that long, but you get my point. The actors who did the best in the class knew this was a key rule in mastering the Meisner Technique.

The word repetition game is the foundation of the Meisner technique. It is so simple because you don't have to think you just have to listen and do. The actors who did not listen to their partners were the ones who made the change themselves in order to make something happen. If they just simply listened to their partner the change will naturally come. Sanford Meisner said don't create change wait for a pinch, it's about your instinct. One of the most beneficial things I learned was to NOT BE POLITE! Being polite will get you nowhere with the Meisner Technique because it is expressing how you really feel.

Practice and Practice! 

My rule of thumb is practice three times a day if you can. Always practice at least once,  especially in the beginning of your training. Make repetition second nature to you; get it so ingrained in you that you don't think you just do. I use to practice three times daily it was hard, but if you want to be the best you have to work like the best. Actors have to train just like any other profession.
Based on source 

Print Friendly and PDF