“Who the heck are you to tell me this?” I know, this question might pop up after you have read that title above. And I say it is a valid thought and that is why I will have a disclaimer notice. And here it goes!

“I call myself an artiste/performer who couldn’t make a “great” career even though after acting in 4 feature films [only one released and nobody cared. God knows about the rest of the three (pun intended)] and a dozen short films, not to forget few ads in the last three years. I am now strictly voicing here my experiences and not any rules or laws, which you find in “how-to-do-___” books. I am merely discussing a few principles, which I learnt from the stalwarts and the legends of this industry, which might/shall help you to put yourself in a better situation. And most importantly, I also need to motivate myself when things are low, and I struggle like they all do; when I too struggle to carve a niche for myself like they all have done. After all, this is my blog and I can come back and read, motivate myself when the chips are down. Here on this blog, I can again guide no one but myself on how to become an actor.” Now, make your “informed” choice..

Shut up and Master the Craft. I see many individuals in the film industry who actually face too many troubles to render a simple dialogue with necessary expressions and end up either taking too many takes or find an alternative for that situation. All they knew about acting is going to gymnasium/aerobics religiously, build a chiseled body, and carry around their photos, which are either shot or edited very badly and finally call themselves struggling actors or passionate artists. If you think acting is all about that, God bless you my friend, bust the Myths! Performance is a craft and it has to be learnt in the way one learns other creative arts such as painting or dance. A continuous learning and un-learning helps you essay any character with not much difficulty. I am not suggesting a film school (of course it helps) but if you have enough passion for the craft, you will find many avenues where you shall learn the nuances of the art, because everybody might not be talented but everybody can work hard enough to nourish their dreams and desires. So learn the craft before you call yourself an “Actor”.

It’s all about ATTITUDE (yes again!) attitude is everything. attitude is everything. image source: inspirations.in Being a very talented actor and technician may not be a pre-requisite but being a good human being is most important. You don’t have to shower un-conditional love for people but being amiable is enough. This includes not talking rubbish about your colleagues behind their backs as you might lose respect for yourself and trustworthiness. In an industry like this, many people might not talk about how good is your work but they will grab every chance to find faults with you.(Some, NOT All, just love and live Gossip; so take care!). And my dear friends, this is definitely not the way to way to become an actor. Whether it may be a spot boy or a producer, everybody is important in a film production and it is never a one individual’s show. Respect Women and the Crew.

I know film industry as a whole, even at international level, is a male dominated industry but women are also equally capable and are an important part of the whole business. Many men try to be flirtatious and extra nice to them thinking that they are here just for “the skin show and nothing else” and they have all the right to hit on them. Dear friend do not get trapped in this mindset. Your attitude with them determines your character in the film industry. respectrespectimage source: sunsetsandeves.com

The ‘Crew/Production team’ are the unsung heroes of the whole production, they might not get fancy treatment like you, but remember without them you can’t even imagine a production, technically they help the show run, which I have seen while working for various films in Tollywood. So better understand them, moreover they work with many producers and directors than you can ever work with, and they are the people who have their network very “STRONG”. All I say what Rabrinath Tagore once said, “We come nearest to the great when we are in Humility.”

Punctuality, it matters. I know we have been loaded with this shit ever since schooling, punctuality! But over a period of time it’s somehow, being late to anything is slowly sinking into our attitudes. It hardly matters if you are late to a party but it’s utterly unprofessional if you are late to the shooting spot/set, ever! As I had said earlier too, it is a team effort and disrespecting others, time would often put you in troubled waters. No matter how hard it is, make it to the set.

Finally; Commitment, dedication, hard work, passion, dreams, integrity, I can go on talking about such traits one should possess to become an actor; off-course a good one. These traits are not specific to a particular film industry; whether you are trying your luck in bollywood or tollywood or anywhere for that matter, but these do come to help. All I say; it takes second to make you a badass irrespective of your talent but it takes years together to build a strong and good reputation. Choose your side.

About the Author:

Priyadarshi Pulikonda is an actor known for playing the role of "Kaushik" in the movie "Pellichoopulu". He also directed the shortfilms Ponnu - Vaadu (2012), The Delivery (2013) and Machan enaku iniki Kalyanam (2013). He is also a really good writer, prose poet who has strong opinions and speaks his mind freely.

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