Ninety-nine per cent of the time, those who ask me that question ask because they want to go to Bollywood to become rich and famous like Salman Khan or Kareena Kapoor Khan.
When I tell them the reality that out of thousands of aspiring actors struggling in Mumbai for Bollywood only five percent just barely make a living and only very few, say five or ten become famous and rich, they just either stare at me or smile, may be in disbelief!
Even these five or ten famous and rich stars are born to famous and rich from the film industry (e.g. Kapoor family) or have very strong contacts, even politically (Ritesh Deshmukh).
The fact is that if you want to be in Bollywood and don’t get a break and become a star, that is hardest, and you will be miserable.
Here are some examples as reported by “Times of India”
“And when they see their dreams biting the dust they either get bitter, accept their faith or, in extreme cases, try to commit suicide; as noticed in the case of a youth from UP who tried to immolate himself in front of Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms office in Mumbai, some time ago.
Such bizarre cases are not unheard of in Bollywood. A man tried to kill himself in front of film director Mahesh Bhatt's office some years ago because he could not land an appointment with the filmmaker. Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra was yelled at by a struggler for not being given a role.”
The brighter sideHowever, here are success stories as well, of once strugglers.
Before gaining iconic status, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) used to have a small time shop in Delhi. Akshay Kumar was a cook in Bangkok and when came to Mumbai, he struggled hard for a long period and accepted small roles. Vidya Balan featured in small ads. These are the examples that inspire thousands of aspiring actors who throng to Mumbai in pursuit of money and fame in Bollywood.
"A good actor always finds work for himself," Sudhir Misra said in an interview to the Times of India.
The million-dollar question is “How to become a good actor and find work for himself or herself?”
Remember, it will be a fatal mistake on your part to think that if you are beautiful or handsome or by just meeting casting coordinators or meeting people at film parties and going to gym to smarten up your appearances will get you work.
So, what should you do?
One of my simple strategy but requiring great strength of will is-
Win over an actor’s deadly enemies! Alternatively, get lost!
- Not trained as a professional actor
- Want to become a star without being ready for a prolonged struggle
- Want the role of a hero or heroine and mentally not ready to accept smaller roles
- Cannot accept rejections or failures in auditions
- Impatient. Want decisions/ results quickly
- Ego: airs about himself/herself-figure, face, voice, height, smile, expects a role falling on his/her lap, can dictate his/her terms etc
- Fond of partying, nightlife, alcohol and women/ men
- Not caring about body, shape and face or overall fitness
- Poor or unhealthy diet
- Always anxious and tense-may be because of the above irrational ideas
- Not punctual/ not showing up on time
- Poor energy levels while auditioning or in rehearsals or in a final take
- Lack of commitment and low levels of perseverance. This may be a direct result of poor will power. Not being able to struggle for long. A habit of giving up too soon.
- Trying to “act” a character rather than be a character, remaining in yourself
- Not knowing yourself-archetypes
- Inability to control yourself in maintaining psychological and emotional balance
- Insufficient financial resources to stay kicking in Mumbai for a long period
- No alternative plan to support and sustain
You have to contemplate yourself to find out who are your enemies and how can you win over them.
I would strongly suggest going for psychologist or yoga or learn relaxation methods, self-hypnotism and autosuggestions techniques.
You may also hire a personal acting coach to help you in your acting career along with your acting classes.
In case of any difficulty, you may contact this author