Monday, 18 August 2014

How Aspiring Actors can Find Greedy and Cheats in Bollywood

Greedy and cheats
Greedy and Cheats

Modeling / Acting Scam

There are too many modeling, acting agencies and acting schools that dupe and fool on an aspiring model and actor’s dream to get entry into Bollywood or serials (TV episodes). These unscrupulous people post casting notices, auditions, guaranteed roles and ads on different websites like Quickr, Olx, and other free classified sites that refer to fake auditions and nonexistent castings for a break  that sound real. Some also use ads on the radio and newspapers to entice people.

Here Is Why They do This. To Extract Money!

Here are some of the examples

There are many agencies that operate very intelligently. They don’t just come out and ask for money, they first get your confidence and screw  you in slowly. Often times, they schedule a ‘fake’ audition (they don’t ask for money here to put you at ease), then they call and tell you ‘you have been short listed’ come in for a 2nd audition and sometimes a 3rd and meet a fake director or a producer. Once there, they tell you ‘you are perfect… but…’. This is where the salesperson kicks in and tries to lure you for a lead role in a feature film if you give a  deposit of Rs.1 to 2 lacs, which includes training  or some lesser ones will try to sell you on photos, portfolios, show reel, acting classes and anything else they can push on you. The audition was not actually for a real part in any production, it was to evaluate how much you will spend and how much they can sucker you out of.

My experience: 

The girl Neeta from Lucknow phoned me for an advice. She applied with her photographs to an ad from so called a Doordarhan authorized agency for a new serial. She got an immediately that she has been selected and had to remit Rs.4000 for an artist card. Excited that her dream will now be fulfilled, she paid the amount. And she got the artist card (from a bogus company) within 10 days along with a note that now she has to come to Mumbai for finalization with Doordarshan producer and a training in a reputed school, therefore she should bring with her Rs. 47,000.
I warned her, as I found on investigation that it was a scam.

  • Some agencies / individuals involved are paid to get “leads” (i.e. Finding out people). Leads are people of a certain demographic especially girls and others, such as child, teen, man, etc. That has an interest, such as acting or modeling, that they can later exploit by way of email spam, telemarketing, etc. After you answer a “fake” casting, you will begin getting offers through email and sales pitches from telemarketers, all aimed at getting you hooked.
  • There is an acting school in “X” (name hidden) town. This school has a setting with Mumbai Casting directors (model and actor coordinators calling themselves now casting directors). The deal is that the casting director will arrange his students guaranteed roles when he sends them to Mumbai. In turn, the casting director will charge Rs. “X” from such students as his registration fee. Usually this casting director arranges roles of an extra like a waiter, watchman, lift man, a nurse standing with a tray behind doctor or a member of a wedding procession etc. Unfortunately, the students initially are happy that the school has kept its promise of a giving a break, but later are crestfallen when the same casting director doesn’t help and they are on the road.

Here’s How to Spot the Real Castings from the Fakes.

Remember, real casting directors will always want your portfolio, resume, show reel, and for modeling things such as height, weight, size, etc., through  filling a proper online form. Their registration charges, if any, are never hidden. Usually it is mentioned on their website. Their website will be authentic and not dubious. The site will mention database of models and actors and films, serials or ads where they're registered models and actors got assignments. Anything else should ring warning bells!

How to find out whether a website is genuine or fake?
Visit and write URL of a particular website. You will find out- a Hosting provider, WHOIS, IP address and servers, which can further provide you more info

  1. Beware of anyone looking for “new faces”. Everyone has a new face! You can walk out your door and find dozens in a minute! The word “new faces” is a red flag for a scam.
  2. Beware of general needs such as “any gender, ages 15 to 75″ that’s almost EVERYONE! Real castings have specific needs (with the exception of extras).
  3. Beware of “no experience necessary” in acting, dance and modeling, experience and training. Really, who is hiring actors who can’t act or fashion models that can’t walk? The only exception may be neighborhood fashion shows and student films.
  4. Beware of ads with large pay. Ads that read like “models and actors needed for ‘a highly reputed production house’ Rs 10,00 daily and assignment is 4 to 5 days
  5. Girls! Beware of anything that asks for lingerie, topless, etc, and request pics from you to be considered. Use your imagination on what someone will do with those. Real casting directors will want headshots, full body shot (clothed) and measurements and ask you to try on their clothing at the audition, once one is scheduled.
  6. Beware of webcam auditions, Skype auditions and the like from people you do not know. There have been many scams where ladies did those and were talked out of their clothing by people saying “I need to see what you really look like” and other lines. Those videos then get sold in other countries and end up all over the internet for other’s enjoyment.
  7. Beware of Extras casting calls. Generally, large productions go through a casting company. Anyone posting things like “Extras needed to make scenes look ‘real’, ’Insert big movie name here’ pays Rs.2000 daily” is a scam. Large productions in small cities will post notices, but in large cities, they already have all the extras needed, unless there is some specific needs the extras agency can’t fill.
  8. Beware of anything that says call some number, casting agents are waiting. Casting directors look at headshots and resumes than call back who they like. They do not sit by a phone waiting for everyone and their mom to call without even knowing if they fit. Basically, they call you if they like you.

How to Protect Yourself as An Aspiring Model/Actor:

Get a new email account, with an anonymous username like ooloo 545839m”, one for casting calls that you respond to. If you later that your reply is to a legitimate audition call, import that reply of yours to your main email account. Now you are safe, if your this anonymous email account is used by spammers or misused by others. You can always cancel is an email account without losing anything important.

Before Joining an Acting School, Wether Reputed or Not

  • Don’t get carried away by publicity or name. In many instances, especially in the other towns than Mumbai, people take a famous name (Banner) as a franchisee and run school. In return, they pay for that well known school/ institute a monthly or annual franchise fee. Aspiring models and actors get carried away with the “name” and pay a hefty fee. Such schools have poor faculty and bad training.
  • Visit an acting school; find out who are the members of their  faculty, their background, a record of teaching and how much time they give to students. Do they focus on individual students? Go to such school on a day when the classes are getting over and talk to students and seek their views. Find out the names of the students from the school who and how many got a break and where? DON’T pay anything before you have researched fully and found out everything!
photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

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Friday, 8 August 2014

Top 2 University Degree Acting Schools in India

An acting workshop in progress
An acting workshop in progress at NSD Delhi
Great News! Find Here Top 2 Govt. University Degree Acting Schools


Many a times, I get a query on if there is any Goernment Of India recognized or a university conducted acting schools or institutes. Unfortunately, there are very few.

No 2

NSD Delhi

The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It is fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Training in the School is highly intensive and is based on a thorough, comprehensive, carefully planned syllabus which covers every aspect of theatre and in which theory is related to practice. As a part of their training, students are required to produce plays which are then performed before the public.
The syllabus takes into account the methods of great theatre personalities who have shaped contemporary theatre in all its varieties. The systematic study and practical performing experience of Sanskrit drama, modern Indian drama, traditional Indian theatre forms, Asian drama and western dramatic protocols give the students a solid grounding and a wide perspective in the art of theatre.
Web site

No 2
The Centre for Performing Arts, Pune

University of Pune
Popularly known as Lalit Kala Kendra
This course is excellent for aspiring actors but due to its objective of promoting regional languages, it is conducted in MARATHI

Brief about

Theatre (Branch 30)

Semester One: 6 credits
Course 111: Practical training on Theatre as per syllabus: 2 Credits
Course 112: Performance Evaluation and Viva: 4 Credits
Semester Two : 6 credits
Course 211: Practical training on Theatre as per syllabus: 2 Credits
Course 212: Performance Evaluation and Viva: 4 Credits

Medium of Instructions
Usually in Marathi Language, occasionally Hindi and English. Students may choose to write the answers in Marathi or English. Theatre courses are designed for the Marathi Theatre exclusively as the theatre in India is region and language specific. Cultural plurality is the strength of Indian culture. e.g. at the National School of Drama, Delhi the language is Hindi. Knowledge of Marathi Language for theatre courses is mandatory.


Centre for Performing Arts
Lalit Kala Kendra (Gurukul),
University of Pune,
Maharashtra, India
Web site
  • To find out about their courses in Hindi, please contact their main center at Delhi
Lalit Kala Akademi
Rabindra Bhavan,
35, Ferozeshah Road,
New Delhi-110001
Telephone:011 - 23009200

  • For institutes other than affiliated with recognized universities all over India and ABROAD, please visit -Here
photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Don't Tell Others! The Secret Tip for Bollywood Auditions

Don't Tell Others!
Only for you...secret revealed!
The auditions in India are different than those from abroad.
In India, initially the auditions are usually taken by so called casting directors or assistant director and rarely by a director who is a decision maker. In most cases, after the auditions, a tape is sent to the final authority, a director or producer who may shortlist the candidates and these actors may be called for a 2nd audition which is termed as a “Call-Back”. In other countries, the casting director who is taking your initial audition is the final deciding authority without much  interference by a director or a producer. Therefore, in India you must be prepared for repeated auditions and must be able to impress all auditioners at different levels to grab the role you are aspiring. Now, how to impress in repeated auditions by different people?

The Secret of Success in Auditions

Apart from other requirements in auditions, confidence is the most critical factor.
It’s your body language, your voice, how you carry yourself, the image you project, before even open your mouth. It’s those first 15 seconds of your audition as you are walking into the room. Your body language should say, “Trust me. You got in me what you are looking for!” and make the casting director, producers, directors, and show runners believe you, and feel like they can put you on the set or on stage the very next day. You are in top form for your performance, you have unshakeable confidence, and there isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind. It’s the most attractive quality for an actor to have in an audition.

Which Type of Actors Fail in Auditions?

When an actor who is unsure of what they are doing and lacks confidence walks into the room. Their shoulders are low, they avoid eye contact, they are tentative in their choices, their voice is soft, and the paper having lines is shaking in their hands. It makes you look “dull,” and makes the casting director disinterested. Before you even open your mouth, your body language says,
“I’m sorry for the audition, maybe I’m not suitable and you are about to see it” 
This is no good. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.


True confidence comes from training—from the practice being in front of the camera and on stage. It’s about being prepared, being confident in your work, and then entering into an audition room as a free bird, listening and letting your natural self-take over instantly.

Fake it!

If you don’t have that confidence yet, you have to learn to fake it. You are an actor, right? Act like a “confident person.” What does that mean? It means walk in with your head high (even if you are nervous and shitting in your pants inside), look at the people in the room in the eye (not staring), breathe, and be fully prepared and with your audition.

Stop Your Hands Shaking

If you are the type of actor whose hands shake a lot when they are holding the paper, put something with a little weight to it underneath (your portfolio album or a diary). It will stop the shaking and make you surer of yourself. Let casting directors say to themselves, “Wow, this guy isn’t nervous at all!”) That alone speaks volumes about you.

Listen Carefully

Desperation can be spotted a mile away. Never let them see you sweat, make awkward movements, breathe heavily or fumble The more you listen in the scene, the less self-aware you are, the more your body relaxes, the more connected you are physically and emotionally, and the better your audition is.

How to Remove Your Mental Block

For a moment forget audition. In your life, there are days when you feel miserable, and if you force yourself to smile, slowly you feel happier. Same goes with body language. Sit or stand confidently, ground yourself in the audition, put your shoulders back, avoid shifting the weight on your legs, breathe, look the auditioner or your actor partner right in the eye, and think to yourself “I’m going to give a “Dubung” performance!”. “I got this role.” Remember, these kinds of auto-suggestions are great mood- changers and  will actually make you feel more confident. It should feel like you are having this great party, and you don’t really care if anyone shows up, because you are so sure it’s going to be amazing.
Same goes for auditions. Don’t be the guy that’s begging people to come to your party. If they don’t like your choices, too bad. They are missing out a great party guy.
Good Luck!
Partly based on source
photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Chembur
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

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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
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

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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
Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger

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