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Do you want to be an actor?

December 23, 2015 12:27 IST

Casting director Manoj Ramola's book Audition Room offers interesting insights and useful tips for aspiring actors.

Do you want to be an actor?

Manoj RamolaDo you often spend hours in front of the mirror mouthing lines of famous actors?

Have you often fancied working in a movie or on television, but had no one to show you the way forward?

What then is the right way to become an actor?

How does one prepare for an audition? What are the Dos and Don'ts to follow?

Casting director Manoj Ramola (pictured left) who has worked with Sony TV, Star, Disney and UTV among others has written a book that attempts to help aspiring actors get closer to their dream.

The book Audition Room provides insights into the auditioning process, detailing the requirements and also offers do's and don'ts helping readers and amateur actors understand the nitty-gritties of the film industry.

We bring you an excerpt from the book that will help you on your way to a career in acting. Read on!

Audition Room coverI am not an acting teacher. However, I have learned with my experience that, though acting cannot be taught, but it can definitely be polished.

First, let me tell you that Mimicry is not an acting skill. It is a separate skill.

If you can mimic different actors, that does not mean you have acting skills and this is not going to help you in acting.

However, it certainly indicates that you have good observation skills. Try to use that mimicking skills with people around you.

Instead just making fun of the people you are mimicking, feel their pain, tears, temper and other emotions.

Try to feel them as human beings.

If you can feel their raw emotions then you can then ably enact them with your own interpretations.

So, if you want to pursue your career in acting, be prepared to invest your time polishing your acting skills. 

Before heading towards Mumbai, it is good idea to analyse your acting skills by asking some honest questions to yourself:

  • Are you a good observer?
  • Are you a good listener?
  • Do you have fear of stage?
  • Do you have any previous acting experience?
  • Do you come from theatre background?
  • Have you participated in any theatre activities?
  • Do you enjoy being on stage and enacting a character?
  • Do you fear performing in front of hostile crowd?
  • Are you a trained actor?
  • Was your performance appreciated?
  • Have your family and friends encouraged and appreciated you?
  • Do you have any experience of acting in front of the camera? Even if it was your friend’s smartphone, it counts.
  • And most importantly, do you have fear of camera?

It is good to get some acting experience before coming to Mumbai.

Please act in some theatres in and around your hometown and try to improve your acting skills there. This will help you in long term.

Also, try to act in front of camera and try to understand the difference between acting in theatre and acting for camera.

Improve your observation skills and if needed, join some language class to improve your language, diction and tone of your voice.

Actors with good voice often survive themselves working in dubbing studios. 

Moreover, it is also a good idea to learn some additional skills like swimming, dancing, horse riding, driving and singing.

In addition to enhancing your personality, these qualities would also improve your chances of getting a role.

It is a good idea to come prepared to Mumbai as while searching for acting roles as you will get less and less time to work on your skills. So, it is better to hone your acting skills before you come to Mumbai.

Biggest and most romantic myth of the film industry is "overnight success".

Actors think they just need to pack their bag and board a train and then you are a star, but this is just an illusion and not a fact.

Do not ever expect a shortcut and overnight success in the entertainment industry.

Success will only depend on your hard work and talent.

People might tell you success stories of wellknown actors to attract you, but what they will not tell you is the struggle they put before it.

It always seems overnight, but there are countless days of hard work and patience behind the success of these actors, which is been rarely known to most of the people.

Most importantly, when you walk into film industry, you should not expect people to help you, just because you are a nice person.

People will only help who has the talent, simply because only talent counts in this field. You will have to make your own way based on talent and hard work.

Before moving any further, I expect you to have answers for these questions. You should do a thorough introspection and then only you should move forward.


How to prepare for an audition?

One of the important chapters in the book 'Shot Sizes' aims to help readers understand how to shoot different sized images in an audition.

Take a look!

Excerpted from the book Audition Room by Manoj Ramola. Published with the kind permission of Educreation Publishing.