1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How to become an actor in Bollywood?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chit Chat' started by DeenaGogia, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. DeenaGogia

    DeenaGogia New Member

    I am interested in becoming an actor and that too in Bollywood. I have study theater, and that's it nothing further than that. I would like some guidance on how to become an actor in Bollywood?

    Do I need to go to any specific acting school?

    Does the acting school need to be in India or can it be where I live in London?

    What does it take to become an actor? Would it take me many years until I get noticed or recognised by someone in Bollywood?

  2. djtravels

    djtravels Member

    Yes. Join the Film School that's in Pune. It's called FTII. That's the only sureshot way of getting into bollywood.
    But, don't get your hopes up. The chances are that FTII will get you work in some TV series or a short part in some forgettable movie. After that you'll be on your own for at least a few years. Connections matter in Bollywood, which is why going to FTII matters so much. Otherwise, people will just try to take advantage of you.

  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    Unless you have direct connections with the right individuals in Bollywood, it can be a struggle to get into the industry. Keep in mind that it is not only you, but thousands more of aspiring actors that want to get into Bollywood. Thus, you must compete, not only with yourself, but also with others in order to prove that you are worthy for that specific role. You don't just need good looks, you need a lot more of characteristics in order to be a Bollywood actor. So if you have the following traits and characteristics, then you might have what it takes to get into the industry:
    • Patience - You need lots of patience as not all auditions or roles are meant for you. It might take a hundred auditions, weeks, months or even years before you get your big break. You would also face a lot of struggles and detractors which you should bravely face in pursuance of your dream to be a Bollywood actor.
    • Passion - Without passion, whether you're acting, modelling, singing or dancing, people won't take you seriously. You need to love what you do and it will show in your craft. If you're only in it for the fame and the money, people would notice and you also won't enjoy what you're doing. But if you seriously love acting, it will show in your roles and people would take notice of that.
    • Perseverance - As mentioned before, it will take a long time before you can be known so you need to have lots of perseverance. You cannot quit at first instance of criticism or rejection, because then you cannot make it at all. Facing rejection, that is something that even the most-well known actors in Bollywood had done in the past.
    • Versatility - You cannot only be skilled in acting, you have to be well-rounded. There are those actors that are just good with acting but the truth is, the more versatile you are, the more projects you can undertake. The same goes with genre, if you can be a comedian, a dramatic actor and a host, then you'd have more choices when it comes to projects given to you.
    • Communicability - A good actor knows how to communicate with his fans or with other authorities. If you can flawlessly communicate your needs and interests, it would be easier for your manager to find projects for you. If you can talk smoothly to the media, then they would love you even more. Thus, it is another aspect of your personality that you must enhance in order to break into the industry. The aspect of connections also come up at this point and the more you are able to connect with other people, the more that your network in Bollywood gets bigger.
    So once you take a self-introspection and realise that yes, you do have these traits and characteristics, read further ahead. These steps might take you closer to your dream of becoming a Bollywood actor. But honestly, you need a combination of it all, good looks (negligible), skills (very important) and connections in order to break into such a hard industry. Of course, luck also plays a role in all of this and you'd find that even the most popular actors were once models or waiters. Now, let's begin and hope that dream becomes a reality for you:

    1. First of all, you need to get into an acting school. Yes, an acting school in abroad would suffice, provided it has given you the necessary skills that you need to get into Bollywood. But to be honest, it's easier to break into Bollywood if you come from an acting school in the country. You need to learn about the industry and is there a better place than India for that? Acting schools and courses can be quite expensive though so you need to shell out a good amount of money for it. There are many schools in India for this but only a few stand out.

    As mentioned above, there's the Film and Television Institute of India, a premier acting school, with such long history behind it. They have a two-year diploma for acting which you can enrol in. Some of the most popular actors who graduated in this school are Mukesh Khanna and Om Puri. Another good school, located in the home of Bollywood itself in Mumbai, is the Barry John Acting Studio. You can enrol in weekend classes or a course proper. Some of the most well-known actors from this school are Freida Pinto and Mira Nair. Another good school located in Delhi is the National School of Drama. The good features of this school is that it has courses in classical Indian dramas or modern Indian dramas so you can take your pick. Irrfan Khan graduated from this school as well.
    • Best schools - Film and Television Institute of India, Barry John Acting Studio and National School of Drama (Runner ups - Whistling Woods International and Delhi Film Institute)
    Irrfan Khan from the National School of Drama

    2. If you are not familiar with Bollywood's history at all, then do take classes for that as well or if you cannot afford that, research well about it. This is also the time that you need to hone your other skills, like dancing, singing, modelling or hosting. So if ever breaking into acting isn't doing quite well for you, you can break into these other industries and make your way slowly into acting. For this, there are institutes as well that teach traditional Indian dances and music to students. Modelling and hosting also require some practice, which you can easily do on your own or again, acquire help from a professional too.
    • Best schools - Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya and ITA School of Performing Arts.
    One of the Classical Dances of India, 'Sattriya'

    3. By the time you have finished your courses, you can then move to Mumbai, the home of Bollywood. Or you can opt to enrol in a school in Mumbai to be closer to acting and other opportunities. Actors don't stop learning though so continually hone your skills, either through schools or on your own. Of course, once in Mumbai, you can start submitting your resumes into different productions and projects. Check online or around your neighbourhood for new projects that are suitable for you. Once you find one, prepare for the part and research well. The more auditions you make, the more chances you have of breaking into the industry. Always play the part, even for roles that aren't the main antagonist or protagonist, and give it all your best because who knows if someone might take notice of your skills. On the meantime, you must take on odd jobs or other jobs not related to acting in order to pay for your rent and other necessities. Remember, even the most popular actors now were once simple waiters or salesmen.
    • Note - 'There are no small roles, only small actors.'
    Arshad Warsi was once a cosmetic salesman before becoming an actor

    4. Continue to improve yourself, physically and even your skills. An actor must look good from the outside and this entails going to the gym or maybe doing brisk walks everyday. Take care of your body, eat only the healthy stuff and make sure that you look quite presentable all the time. You never know if a manager is there where you're going and if you are not the best version of you, you might not be noticed. Of course, continually partake in acting classes and other classes. Take note of your mistakes in past roles and also learn from it. Continue to grow as an actor and as an individual. Take criticisms lightly but seriously and make sure that you hone these parts of you that are lacking.
    • Note - 'Grow as an individual and as an actor, always.'
    5. Expand your network. Connections are always important in Bollywood and that is why you must have good communication skills. Make friends, as you need to grow your circle of people. Learn to talk to people and at the same time, listen to what they are saying to you. Those at the higher end of the industry knows all things about Bollywood and you must learn to listen to what they have to say. On the other hand, make sure as well that you make a good impression out there so that people would have a good notion when they think of who you are.
    • Note - 'Connections can make or break you.'
    6. Lastly, have fun despite all the challenges. The important thing is that you love what you do and at the end of the day, it's going to show in your roles. If you love acting, then it doesn't matter at all if you don't get the main role and you'd do your job well as the lesser role. And if someone takes notice of that, great! If not, there are a hundred more roles in Bollywood and chances are, one of them is destined for you. If ever you cannot break into Bollywood, as mentioned before, there are other various industries that you can get into. Maybe even getting into crew or production might help as I know some actors who started out in the backstage part and ended up being famous in the end. The verdict is, if it's meant for you, it will find its way to you. Of course, that comes with proper hard work and determination.
    • Note - 'Always enjoy what you're doing.'
    There you go, getting into Bollywood does not really have a set time frame though. Some actors took years and years before they became noticed. On the other hand, those with connections, became actors from their childhood until their old age. Some weren't able to get big breaks despite being in the industry for long years. It depends on a mixture of skills, luck and everything else really.

    I hope this helps you!:)