Monday, 10 October 2016

Famous casting director, Shanoo Sharma’s tips on making it – Part 3


Being harassed by people who constantly insist on being cast is not at all pleasant. At times it’s almost a put off. I mean we are all here to do a job. You the actor, and I the casting director.

You are most welcome to come to our office every Monday or Tuesday for live introductions. I see them all and that’s probably the only way you will be cast. Following pages filled with information and casting calls is going to be way more helpful to you than insisting that you be cast.


When you audition, just give it your best. At first I always want to see what you come up with, how you see yourself in this scene. Once done, if I need a change to be made, I will direct you. When I’m directing an actor, sometimes he says ‘Yes, yes ma’am. I got it. I got it. I’ll do it exactly the way you want me to do it.’ And he does the same thing again. So I give him another chance.

There are hundreds of courses with different methods – some I’m unaware of. But you have to unlearn. Leave your method behind. Submit yourself. It’s the toughest job today to unlearn. It’s an art to listen. Magic happens in omissions. Magic happens when you don’t know what you’re doing, and a moment is created. And in that moment I suddenly have a smile on my face, and I instinctively know that I have cast my part.


Patience and positivity is another key. Give an audition and forget about it. Don’t call. Don’t ask. Don’t wait. Don’t figure out whether you’ve got it or not. If you’ve got it, we’re not going to sit and wait for you to call us. We’re going to call you. It’s a simple rule.

Remember, I am the kind of person when if I need an actor, I will find him. So constantly asking me and messaging me to find out is really not helpful. Don’t think about why you didn’t get it or why someone else got it. That’s the negativity that stops your growth as an actor.


Polish up, people! From the way you look, to the way you walk, to the way you talk, it matters. Learn Hindi and English. And speak both well. This is important. Even while people call you on the phone for a casting, it does make a difference.

Follow what’s in vogue, or become a trend setter, but whatever you do, make it simple. Don’t be too loud, because that comes across as trying too hard to be noticed.


Initially they used to say, ‘Nahi yaar. TV karenge toh nahi hoga.’ TV actors like Ram Kapoor and Ronit Roy have become big. ‘No, if I play a heroine’s friend.’ Parineeti Chopra was Anushka Sharma’s friend in Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl. ‘Oh, if I do regional cinema, or if I do this, I won’t make it.’ There’s no format anymore. Just as I will spot a face on the street, I will spot it in a film, an ad, a billboard, a magazine, anywhere! The idea is to act, and to do good credible work in whichever form offered to you.

My boss is open to anybody with talent. If I say, ‘Can I go into TV? Can I go into regional cinema?’ he says, go for it. Whatever strikes a chord with me, I will look into it. I will take a person who has done anything from 1 to 10 scenes in a film, for a lead film. But it’s got to be credible work.

Source: Film Companion

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