Sunday, 21 June 2015

ACTING & MODELING AS A CAREER OPTION





In today’s fast-paced world, more and more kids are making unconventional and diverse career choices. Gone are the days when the  male child was inevitably expected to either become a doctor or an engineer, and the female child was expected to just get married and raise children.

Today, everyone is career-oriented, and they begin weighing their options quite early. At an age where they should just be concentrating on playing, climbing  trees, getting into buddy fights, and generally having fun, the kids of today’s generation are dancing or singing on Reality Shows, or tattooing themselves, or getting glued to the internet.

The current generation is much more progressive and pro-active than we were, and as a result, they have many more viable career options today than ever before. Tennis, hockey, dress designing, choreographing, hotel management, gym trainers, nutritionists, yoga teachers, grooming coaches, and by far the most popular choice – acting and modelling.

Yes indeed. Becoming a full time actor or model is a very real career option today. All you need is a pretty face and a buff body to be one…or so you are led to believe! But nothing can be further than the truth. Like every other profession, the completion is fierce, with 15-20 aspirants vying for the same role at all times. The producer has a choice, based on availability, looks, money matters etc., but what choice do you have? How do you stand out in such a huge crowd to actually get work? The glamour and the money comes later. First, you have to land roles.

First, you must get some formal training in acting and modelling. There’s no substitute to training for a job. Do not dive in untrained. You will only end up not landing satisfactory roles and become frustrated. Everyone around you will seem to be working, but you. In desperation, you will start making compromises of all kinds, just for some work.

So, the logical thing to do, once you have made up your mind about acting or modelling as a career, is to choose an institute and begin training. The National School of Drama at Bahawalpur House,  New Delhi imparts a 3 year degree course in Dramatics. The Film & Television Institute of India at Pune imparts a 2 year acting course. The fees are fairly nominal, both being Government run institutes, but the entrance exams and interview are tough. Then of course, there are private institutes all over Mumbai, notably Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods, Roshan Tarneja’s Institute, Barry John’s Institute, each loudly advertising the superstars they have allegedly trained. Naturally, being private institutes, the fees here will be on the higher side. But the training is essential, as it prepares you for the industry, teaches you the skill sets required to land you jobs in the industry. Think of the money spent as an investment. Most importantly, it will give you a fair idea of your potential – of course everyone wants to be a hero, but you just might be right to be a great character actor or a villain!   

Watch loads of television and films, and find out what kind of roles you think you’re most comfortable doing. Then practice doing them over and over again. Work especially hard on your diction,since a clear diction and correct pronunciation is always an asset. Train yourself in dancing, fighting and horse riding, as you may be required to do one or the other at any given time during your career. And you don’t want to miss out on say, the role of Maharana Pratap simply because you can’t ride a horse!

But most important of all, you must learn to be patient! It is a very underrated virtue, especially in today’s supersonic age, but everything comes to those who are patient. An old adage sums it all: “Waqt se pehle aur naseeb se zyada kissi ko kuch nahin milta.” Never be discouraged. Tomorrow is another day. And it will be different. Never be afraid of rejection. Embrace it. Learn from it. When the moment is right, you shall get your due. And meanwhile, continue grooming yourself to be better than yesterday. And always give your 100% at work. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Always remember that there are no small roles…only small actors! Even if you’re doing a one scene role, shine in it! All the best to all of you. ENJOY! 

Ashiesh Roy

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