|"Rehane Ko Ghar Nahin Hai, Sara Jahan Hamara"|
“How much money does it take to be an actor living in Mumbai?”
The short answer is every actor’s expense will be different. However, use the list below as a guideline.
Living expenses in MumbaiArea:
As an aspiring actor or actress, I would suggest you to stay in an area close to where the action is, rather than staying far off which may involve high commuting costs.
In order of lower to higher costs:
- Mira Road
- Andheri East
- Andheri West
Just a room, kitchen to 1BHK may cost you anywhere from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 with a deposit of Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1 Lac (refundable). The best option is to take up a paying guest accommodation, sharing with people who have a similar objective of seeking a break in films/ serials/ ads. This small group of 3 or 4 actors can help each other in finding auditions, practice, training etc.
The cost of such sharing accommodation may be Rs 6000 per month or more depending upon the locality, with an equivalent reduced deposit
While considering for a place, caution should be exercised by the girls when dealing with property agents. A proper investigation is necessary, especially about the owner and sharing partners, before you finalize the place.
Telephone/ Electricity/ Laundry/ Food may cost you approx Rs 5000 a month
In the city (bus or auto) may cost you another Rs 2000 a month
Classes and Training
This is necessary. There are many advantages. It may cost you from Rs 15000 to Rs 9 Lakhs for a period of 2 months to 2
Go for a good portfolio maker who has a proper studio. Head shots should be separate for films and for commercial purposes like fashion, ads and modelling. The pictures for films should exhibit different emotions, whereas for modelling, there should be different poses (close up, front, side profile) with perfect makeup.
This may cost you anywhere from Rs. 7000 to Rs 30,000.
May cost you from Rs. 4000 onward
I would strongly recommend for a show reel. This may cost you Rs. 10, 000 to Rs. 30,00
Registration with coordinators
This may cost you from Rs. 5000 onwards depending upon the type of registration
Primarily this has to be done by you either through cyber cafe or with your own Laptop. The steps are: Creating website and its online promotion, social networking, posting a resume, portfolio and show reel on Job sites, participating in forums and posting hard copies to casting agencies, directors, producers, production companies and so on.
This will vary, but there are a number of worthwhile services out there. Some offer audition opportunities and some offer promotion etc. There are free and paid websites like bollywoodhunts.com
Entertainment, networking and learning through it
You will need to set some money aside to see theater, go to the movies and meet related people. This will depend upon how much you can afford. I would suggest at least Rs 1500 a month.
All the above suggested expenses may go up by 10 to 20% annually
Scared? Or confused?
Don’t worry. There are two types of expenses. The first one is initial fixed establishment expense. This could be one time e.g. Deposit (refundable), portfolio, show reel, classes. The second one is monthly recurring expense
In my opinion, if you plan intelligently, you can manage on monthly expenses (all inclusive) in around Rs. 20, 000 to 25,000
- Aspiring actors MUST note that there may be long periods of financial instability in your struggle. Therefore, take up some part time/ other job to sustain yourself unless you have already arranged for or have resources to meet this kind of monthly expenses for at least 1 to 3 years
- Note that today's superstar Shah Rukh Khan waited for 20 years for his hit movie (Dilwale Dulenhia Le Jayenge)!!