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Career Tips For Women: How To Start An Acting Career In India

Being recognised everywhere you go, having the trappings of luxury, working with superstars on screen and being part of the world’s largest film industry – these are the benefits of an acting career in Bollywood. More Indian women are interested in pursuing an acting career nowadays because it is their gateway to fame and fortune.

Aishwarya Rai

But the truth is, most celebrities started out playing small roles on television and in the movies before they got their big break. So if you plan on starting your acting career, chances are you will have to endure the same ordeals until a director or executive producer sees that you’re ready for a major role.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is whether or not you want to be a professional actor. This simply means that you have to be committed to it. This may mean giving up your expectations and doing some things along the way that take you out of your comfort zone, just to move a step ahead. You might feel bad about doing them but it is a reality that happens in show biz.

Once you have psyched yourself up, it is time to pack your bags and move to India’s movie mecca, Mumbai, since most of the shows and box office hits are planned there.

Before a show or movie is made, hundreds of people come for an audition. You might get lucky the moment you arrive but given that you don’t have any credentials yet, don’t count your eggs till they hatch. The best way to harness your acting skills will be to enroll in an acting class.

There are many places that host acting classes in Mumbai. So that you don’t waste your time, don’t be afraid to ask around or ask questions when you go around looking for one by talking to the speakers and most especially the students. When you are ready, it is time to tell the world who you are by sending out resumes and pictures of yourself.

Since there are so many producers and directors, it pays to read trade papers so you will know what movies are being made and where the casting is taking place. Since you are already there, request an audition even if it is just a small part. Again, this is part of building your resume.

If there are special events in the industry or parties, make it a point to accept the invitation. This will also give you the opportunity to meet directors, producers and even the actors themselves.

It is not easy to jumpstart your acting career especially when you are just starting out in the business. One thing you should be cautious about are scam artists that will tell you they can make you famous when all they will really do is steal your money or exploit you.

Some of these individuals may pretend to be talent agents and if they tell you to pay a certain amount upfront, run because they only get paid when they land you a job and not before.

Being cast as part of a show is like applying for a job. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t. If someone else is chosen, don’t feel bad because there will be other opportunities in the future.

While waiting, try to improve your skills some more by enrolling again in another class or looking for better opportunities elsewhere. You have to remember that people do not watch actors or actresses only on television or the big screen when there is also television or the small screen.

What Do You Need For a Successful Acting Career?

If you think it only takes beauty or a Miss India title to get into Bollywood, think again! Just look at the rising stars nowadays and most of them are not what you will call classic beauties.

In fact, some of them even have “defective” features by society’s standards before but because of their popularity have managed to turn them into coveted features or if not more or less accepted in society.

When it comes to career, beauty is not the only basis, although it helps if you’re photogenic and good look on screen. It’s not even necessary to be “fair-complexioned” as the success of stars like Deepika Padukone and Bipasha Basu show.

There are a lot of things that you need to put into an acting career to make a successful mix. Proper training, persistence and patience are some of the virtues that you need in order for you to have a successful acting career.

Here are some of the ingredients for success that you need to have as a budding actress.

  • Talent

Freida PintoThe most beautiful of them may rise to superstardom, but without substantial talent to back them up, they will end up fading into the background.

Only those who really have the talent will stay on to make more and more movies. In fact, even if you are not as beautiful or as sexy, if you have the talent you can excel and even outshone others.

Even with a not-so-covetous body, a talented actress like Smriti Irani can go head to head with the best on the small screen and even win the race!

  • Luck

Some people may discount it but luck plays an important role too. Sometimes when auditioning in some low budgeted film or TV series, you might expect much, but if it turns out to be a hit, your name will be recognized all over the world.

A lot of today’s actors and actresses were given lucky breaks. Just look at Frieda Pinto who is enjoying working with some of the best directors all over the world (and giving the rest of the Bollywood beauties heartburn).

She was not even a star when she was chosen to play the role of Latika in Slumdog Millionaire. Her lucky break has given hope to millions of girls who are considered nobodies in show biz.

  • Agent and Stylists

Another must have in Bollywood is a good agent, someone with the connections. This is the person who will gain you entry to the hottest parties so that you can get noticed or maybe secure a slot for you in an audition. Having someone do the marketing for you helps a lot in opening up opportunities.

Another must have is a stylist who will help you look presentable an every function. Remember that getting a break in Bollywood is all about how you present yourself, and you need to be appropriately dressed in order to get noticed.

  • Connections

Let’s face it. If you have connections, it will be easier for you to go out there and meet people. That is the reason why a children of former actresses and actors are now enjoying the luxuries of stardom – because they have backers who’ve opened the doors for them.

This is not to say though that they do not have the talent or the discipline. You can be sure that they also worked hard to get to the top but it was easier for them to get where they are because they know people who held the key.

So are you considering pursuing a career in acting? Do comment below and let us know the issues you are facing and what has been your experience in starting an acting career.


Photo credit  nickstep and wave-rider




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