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A Lesson From a Tragic Tale of a Failed Dreaming Actor

Struggling actors discussing their dreams
Struggling actors in their single room discussing dreams

Once upon a time, there was an actor, a real dream boy.  We called him Swapan Kumar (स्वप्न कुमार) 
-(Name changed due to secrecy)

Swapan Kumar, like most actors, was passionate, creative and excited to fulfill his dream and get his career off the ground.  He felt a surge of excitement when he realized that acting is more than a hobby, and he could do acting as a profession and be Salman khan or Randhir Kapoor. There was just no stopping him!

He was ready.  Because he thought that’s all it takes to be a professional actor.  A passion!
Right? But he didn’t know anything about, how? Oh, yeah… training!; he realized

Okay, Dream Boy realized how silly he had been.  He should probably take an acting class or something.

So he did.

  • Now he was ready to be a professional actor.  He had taken training from a renowned school, paying Rs. 200,000 (two Lackhs, about $3000)

He had passion, he had been properly trained with all the information he needed to be a professional actor (after all, he took BJAS acting class) and so… he said “watch out Bollywood- Swapan Kumar is here"!

Well, nothing happened..  Swapan Kumar was stumped.  He took an acting class.  "Why wasn’t Karan Johar or Sanjay Leela Bhansali, banging down his door, script in hand, offering him the lead?… Or even a supporting role?"

"Oh, I see!" Swapan Kumar realized what the problem was.  Portfolio (Headshots).  Didn’t he need to get those if he was going to be a professional actor?

 So he went out and spent Rs. 25,000 on headshots. And Swapan Kumar was really excited because the photographer told him that he could now definitely get roles in Bollywood and in TV serials.
So Swapan Kumar got 1,000 prints paying extra Rs. 5000 for the package.

He remembered what the photographer had told him; get registered with a few good artist coordinators and had given him names.

So, he got himself registered with 6 top artist coordinators in Mumbai paying additional Rs. 30,000. The coordinators told him to get show-reel/ monologue film of 2 to 3 minutes shot to be sent to casting directors to improve his chances. He did that too and was out by another Rs. 25,000
But still nothing.  No Karan Johar.  No, nobody.

And he was down by a total of approx. Rs. 2,60000 (Two Lakhs sixty thousand; $ 4000). He had to use all the tricks to get this money from his parents and friends.

He was starting to think maybe being an actor wasn’t such a good idea.  The doubt started to swell.  His family started to tell him he was nuts for doing this and he should just “stop chasing rainbows” and get a “real job”.  He sunk further!

Why wasn’t Swapan Kumar’s acting career taking off?

After all, he had PASSION!  He was focused.  He took an acting class and he had all other things.
What’s wrong with this picture?  What’s missing?

Why Swapan Kumar Is failing?

Swapan Kumar has the passion (which is essential).  He does have headshots, show reel, monologues filmed and registered with top coordinators (few out of this also essential).  He did take an acting class (gotta have that too).

However, our स्वप्न कुमार- Dream Boy knows NOTHING about how the business of professional acting works.

He has no idea how to market himself.

He didn’t know how to develop confidence which he was losing due to self-doubt and shattering dreams.

He has no idea how the business of Bollywood and TV industry and how to develop contacts to get work. Some consistent work in projects so he can make a living as an actor.
Passion is great.  In fact, it’s a non-negotiable requirement for a successful acting career.  But it’s not enough.

OK sir, I'm too an aspiring actor So, what should I do?

To Become and Remain a Successful Working Actor You Need

1. To understand the business of “the business” and how making your business of acting, successful.
2. To  continue training in a variety of different things (not just an acting class)
3. To understand basic actor marketing (and some more advanced promotional stuff if you want to move quicker)
4. How to deal with self-doubt, rejections, criticism and other career-killing mind trash (which will continue to haunt you unless you win over them)

Is it possible to be successful without one of those things?

Well, you might get “lucky” and get a job here and there. But you’ll have trouble jumping to the next level.
You’ll keep having the same experience year after year wondering why you’re not getting ahead.

You’ll most likely end up stuck in some other job you hate, getting a few small parts a year (if you’re lucky) and wondering why you’re stuck at that level for what seems like FOREVER.

You won’t be a CONSISTENTLY working actor whose career gets better and better over timewhich is what you want… Right?

If that’s happening, somewhere along your journey you skipped a step.  It’s coming back to bite you now.  You’re missing some essential pieces.

Don’t panic! There is a solution.

Always remember this

“You can get wherever you want from wherever you are right now”

So, if that’s you, decide right here, right now that-

  1. You WILL NOT be the actor in a bottle of self-doubt and self-pity.
  2. You WILL fill in the gaps of essential knowledge strategy that you’re missing.
  3. You WILL invest in your career by devoting TIME and with an IRON DETERMINATION 
  4. If you’re at the beginning of your career, this is a critical time for you.
  5. Don’t be Swapan Kumar- A Dream Boy
  6. Get the ALL the essential information you need to get started on your acting career the RIGHT way. Make that promise to yourself right now.  

Go ahead.  I’ll wait.


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