|Dreams and Realities|
|Dreams and Realities of aspiring actors|
"It was my dream to be a Bollywood and TV Serial Actor. I'm handsome and tall, beautiful and hot. So, I forced my parents to give me money, came to Mumbai. It's 2 years now. I'm totally depressed
This is a common email request I receive. I understand their situation and try to help them as far as possible. However, what's the final solution?
Many aspiring actors who are just about to start a career in Bollywood, TV serials or Commercial ads are confused how to get a break
-When you don’t have anything on your acting resume like experience, monologue or show reel of clips of your films.
-With a middle or lower middle class background
I can see how this tricky situation can be confusing to many, particularly to those who just dream and have an attitude of-
Actor Banne Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega
Well, I’m not here to discourage you. Get this straight. On the contrary, to tell you how to make success without any experience and small money.
First, the good news: obviously you CAN become an actor with no experience. Everybody has to start somewhere. The key is actually taking action and doing something in order to get that experience.
Here are some sure ways how to become an actor with no experience, when and where to start your acting career.
Once you’ve decided that you want to pursue a career in acting, you’ll need a good plan of action on how to become an actor with no experience.
1. Planning the Top Pririty
To plan you MUST have a solid knowledge and information on Cine, TV and commercial industry in our country. Remember, to be an actor is a “Business”. Get this into your head once for all.
Requirements to be a successful actor in Bollywood, TV or in Commercial ads
- Self-analysis (SWOT) to judge whether you meet the requirements and what you have to do if you lack in any of the requirements
How to get knowledge and information?
- Online from Internet: Just research, research and research for hours, days and months before you jump or leave your town for “Mayanagri”-Mumbai!
- If you do not know how to use computer to surf and find out information, either you learn NOW or forget to be an actor
- Read acting blogs (For example, this blog which has more than 200 posts). I strongly suggest reading good international acting resource websites like http://www.backstage.com/ and others.
- Check and learn from free acting videos from YouTube
2. Set your goal
For example, to be a successful TV or Bollywood or a model cum actor in 3 or 5 years with monthly earnings of Rs. 50,000
Plan of Action and
Money required monthly to maintain you in Mumbai during the struggle period (for portfolio registration+ housing+ transport+ food etc.)
If you can’t arrange money, no problem. There are ways to become a successful actor without a lot of money.
Firstly, don’t move from your town to Mumbai. Get the experience of plays, theater road shows or write your own 2 to 5 minute story script, shoot films on mobile with your friends near your house, garden, road and upload them on YouTube or Vimeo. That’s it! You have experience NOW!
In Mumbai, go to industry hang out places (Read our relevant post) in Andheri West, Goregaon and other nearby places and contact people. You got to be a great go getter and a true extrovert. Get the necessary information from other actors hanging around there.
3. How to Get Experience?
Go to film training institutes like ZIMA, Digital Academy in Mumbai and contact student directors who would need aspiring actors for their diploma films. They welcome any actor who meets the character of their film. And wow! You have an experience without spending a Rupee!
Try theater in Mumbai. Make a habit of hanging around in the coffee shop of Prithvi Theatre in Juhu or regularly read a Mumbai Theater guide or shows, acting workshops and other activities at NCPA Nariman Point (Check their website regularly). Be ready to act in any of the plays held at NCPA. There are other places apart these. Search, search and move your feet!
One of the quickest ways is to find out where the different serials on TV are being filmed. For example, start visiting studios like Gemini, Mahboob studio in Bandra or where CID, Savdhan India episodes are being filmed. Get the list of studios and production houses through this blog or on
While on a shoot, contact someone from the production dept. And tell him you are an actor and need a role, even a small one.
4. Read and study
First of all, you need to familiarize yourself with the industry. Know the ins and outs of this business, how it works and what people are involved in it. Reading relevant posts from this blog, talent coordinators and so forth will give you the confidence and understanding of where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there.
Not only that, but reading a lot will benefit any actor’s craft as well. Read books mentioned in the left side bar of this blog. Just click on a book, go to amazon
When you’re trying to find the best ways on how to become an actor with no experience and little money, self-education is priceless.
5. Don’t leave your city right away to Mumbai
As an aspiring actor who’s just starting out, your town will probably have small-time theater, plays, social and religious functions where you can create your own small group of performing arts, create plays and perform, including road shows on social issues like-
Public health, adult education, saving water and electricity.
However, remember, your every such activity MUST be filmed on video / mobile camera and promoted on YouTube or similar ones. This would be absolutely GREAT for getting experience, because this could be possible and easier.
Bollywood and TV serials in Mumbai not only very competitive, but also very expensive.
Don’t move to a big city as soon as you decided you want to be an actor. You need to check whether this is simply an impulsive decision, or you actually enjoy the craft and have the resources to do this for a long period of time. Try to bite off as much as possible in your small town and start building your experience and acting resume.
6. Move slowly
Continuing my point from the above, your goal must be to move slowly, rather than rush into anything. Remember the famous phrase:
Acting is a marathon, not a sprint.
This cannot be more true. Anybody who rushes into this profession will burn out very quickly. It’s not a smart way to approach this business.
7. Work on your special skills
Being a good actor should always be your main priority. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn any “accessory” skills that will help you GRAB more acting opportunities.
Many actors completely ignore this part, and therefore take themselves out of running the race.
Many a times a selection of an actor may depend on additional skills he/she possesses, when many actors are initially shortlisted for a role.
For example, singing and lip-sync, playing some musical instrument, dancing, martial arts, miming, horse riding, biking stunts to name some of the few. It’s always helpful to be able to do something more than acting that a director can use in the film
Perfect! Develop those skills, put them on the resume and see how this can help you with gaining that acting experience.
What more should you be learning? Anything, really.
Juggling, Languages and different accents of Indian languages, different types of walks, postures, laughs, crying, magic and whatnot.
Try some of the unusual things and put those on your resume, particularly if you already do them. Special skills aren’t the focal point of your resume (which is why they’re usually at the very bottom), but who knows, one day, one of those skills may win you a significant role in a big production.
8. Start working on your marketing
When you have no acting experience and not running around for auditions, you have time.
I suggest to start working on your marketing and creating your brand as “Mr. Best Actor”. Initially perhaps it may not do good but once you have that acting experience, you can update periodically will be ahead of many other actors who are just catching up with their actor marketing goals.
So what can you do to start building a brand around yourself?
Build your own personal acting website (or you can pay someone to do it for you, but it’s not worth it). Try building it on free http://weebly.com
Learn to promote this website vigorously online.
-Create social media profiles: Facebook (page and not only profile), Twitter, Instragram and whatever else is out there. Make connections online with other actors, directors, producers, screenwriters and industry people.
9. Welcome Rejections
Rejection is a part of this business. A big part, actually. Many budding artists do not expect
Unlike in other walks of life, you have to accept that Rejection (with capital “R”) is completely normal.
“Actors search for rejection. If they don’t get it, they reject themselves.”
At this point, don’t go out there to win. Go out there to FAIL. Do your best, experiment, play and enjoy the process. As an actor, you cannot try to avoid failure, ever.
10. Be Patient and Consistent
For months and years! Many top Bollywood stars have worked patients for years and years before they had a success.
Their success mantra? "I never give up"