Monday, 10 October 2016

Famous casting director, Shanoo Sharma’s tips on making it – Part 1

Casting director of Yash Raj Films (and discoverer of Ranveer Singh and many others), spells out the do’s and don’ts for aspiring actors. A good place to start – ‘spend less time on Instagram and more on your craft’


For me, acting is a job. Just like you have hotel management, or how you go prepared for an MBA; you need to be prepared to be an actor. By that I don’t mean your skill and your craft alone. There are lots of people who come from small towns and say, “We don’t know which photographer to go to or which is the right acting school for me?”

My point is, with Google, YouTube and web portals around, why would you not know the above information.

Today, if you want to know which acting school Ranveer Singh went to, there are videos available all over the internet.

I finished 10 years of being a casting director in December. Through the years, I have seen actors change a lot. They have gotten less clueless about the ways of the industry. With more information around and more professionals giving you advice, it has become easier for most people to know which route to take.

However, there is still a large percentage of people who come from small towns and then struggle to find their way. So here’s the deal: everyone is always out to give advice, so make sure you know who the right advisors are. Listen to everyone, but only do what your inner voice agrees with. You spend the maximum time in life with yourself so don’t go against your own grain. Sab ki suno, apni karo.

Everybody has a right to dream. If I wake up in the morning and I want to do something, I should be allowed to do it. If I’m really bad at it, I should at least give it a shot to train myself and try becoming better. Coming up to casting directors and asking them, “Do you think I have it in me to become an actor or a star?” does not make sense. Because if I knew what your future holds I would be the richest woman in the country because everyone would come to me for answers!”

Luckily, now many actors come with a lot of know-how. It is important to have knowledge of how to groom yourself before you face the camera. To be able to see, ‘Do I need to sleep with people to get to the camera today? Do I really need to flirt and kiss asses and buy presents and gifts? Do I really need to show flesh or wear tight clothes?’ Everything is available today.

You must gather as much knowledge, before you even step into the field, of what you’re getting into and how to go about it.

Always learn. Don’t say, ‘Ma’am, I have finished my 3 months acting course, so now the work will fly in.’ You need to keep perfecting your craft. For me, and I hope I don’t get into trouble for saying it, but instead of doing one long expensive acting course, I would suggest that you split that money into workshops with various acting and theatre mentors. When you learn from different acting workshops, I feel that your mind gets activated and actually makes its own choices. Some things will make sense and some won’t but what’s important is that you will get to choose from more than one experience.

Spend less time on Instagram and work on your craft. Dance every day — it opens you up. Don’t do private lessons. Go out and be a part of a group. Make a fool of yourself. Watch others. Some will make you feel bad about yourself and make you want to do better, and then one day you will see you just got better. You can’t live in your own world and be told by your dance coach as to how fast you have picked up. I am not too fond of private lessons when it comes to acting or dancing because when an actor is in the initial stages of learning, it is important to have people around you, learning with you. Observe.

Source: Film Companion

Tags- Acting jobs in Mumbai, Acting jobs in Delhi, Acting jobs in Hyderabad, Acting jobs in Chennai

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