ACTING AS A CAREER IN BOLLYWOOD-13 : SAMAR JAI SINGH
“IDEAL” ACTING COURSES, ACTING INSTITUTES, ACTING TEACHERS
FOR A BOLLYWOOD CAREER
MY FIRST DAY AS ACTING TEACHER
My first day “as acting teacher” was almost 20years ago. On Friday 12thMarch 1993. Most mournful day in the history of our beloved metropolis Mumbai (was then “Bombay”). I had boarded a local train from Churchgate station at 1:30pm to reach Juhu for a class at 3pm. No sooner I had taken a window seat in the local at Churchgate station, one of the co-passenger broke the news that there is a blast at ‘stock exchange’, by the time I got down at Andheri station I was well worse that the city is under siege. After the class, on my way back, empty roads and empty locals were indeed horrifying experience, so yes it was quite an eventful debut as an acting trainer.
FORMAL ACTING TRAINNING IN INDIA
National School of drama (NSD), estb in 1959 and Film and Television Institute of India, estb in 1965, were the pioneer institutions which imparted formal acting training in India. They offered “Three Year Courses”, both function under the aegis of the government of India. NSD is going strong since its inception. FTII Pune had to stall its acting course from 1978 into 2004 (for 26 years), reason being Roshan Taneja Saheb, the founder of acting course at FTII had shifted to Bombay, perhaps for better career prospects. When acting course was resumed at the FTII in 2004. The duration of the Acting course was reduced to “two years”. My self and Mr. Roopesh Thapliyal my collaborator at KREATING CHARAKTERS we groom actors, the top acting school for bollywood, were engaged at FTII as visiting faculty from 2004 to 2010.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH BOLLYWOOD ACTING INSTITUTES
When I moved to Bombay (that is what it was called then) as any new comer would, I too was looking out for acting classes. Well known acting trainers of that time were offering one year courses. Then came the trend of “crash course”. This “crash course” was a three months course in which the entire one year syllabus was “condensed” and “sold”. Yes, this three months “abbreviated” version was much expensive then the entire one year course. Thus, the trend of three months acting courses was set in. When I started my career as an acting teacher, in 1993, I too was imparting training in a three months module.
When me and my collaborator at “KREATING CHARAKTERS” Mr. Roopesh Thapliyal decided to design an appropriate acting course for Bollywood, we realized three months were too short a period. With lots pondering and brain storming we were able to squeeze in an effective acting course of four months duration.
Little later we were aghast to know that few acting schools were offering one month courses and weekend courses for eight weeks, Oh my God! What a mockery of training procedures. Such modules with 20 days of acting classes (3 hours a day) and week end courses with 16 classes are still being offered to young aspirants, who are enticed into getting enrolled. I firmly believe, these one month and weekend courses are good for garbage.
IDEAL ACTING COURSE AND TEACHERS FOR A BOLLYWOOD CAREER
No doubt! The course should be a complete package for bollywood acting.It should be structured in a way, that by end of the course the young actor should be able to discover and decide what should be his/her basic approach. From there on wards he/she should be able to evolve and enrich his/her CRAFT.
As Stanislavsky says “there are no acting teachers, but only senior experienced actors who should be training and imparting the knowledge of the craft to the youngsters”.
This should be the rule and dictum followed while selecting your acting teachers. I know of door to door diction tutors, who have never ever faced camera in their entire life, never ever been on stage, who have never gone through the hardships, turmoil and rejection an average actor goes through. They who have never smelt the smell of a film studio. Their entire understanding of acting as a craft is hypothetical, imaginary and based on hear say ( Kahani Kisse ). A historian of cinema is not even remotely associated with “acting as a craft”. They who have blurred the oblique’s and slashes to merge their language knowledge with acting teaching skills. Those who disguise their inability and inexperience behind their communicative skills. One should beware of such deception while opting for acting teachers.
Surrender your self to an acting teacher who has actually gone through all those obstacles an average actor is expected to experience. Select a teacher who invests on you, not the one who is preoccupied and fiddling with his BlackBerry while taking the class.
And yes ! “ the dust has settled down eventually”. One has to get the vision correction surgery done aptly, so that the facts are revealed , and have guts to accept the prevailing truth. ONE WHO IS CONSUMED BY THE CRAFT AND INVEST HIM SELF IN THE TRAINING IS GOING TO LAST!!! “Those who are pseudo politicians and pseudo acting teachers are going to be excreted out “.
DURATOIN OF THE COURSE
Are you aware that ITI (Not IIT’S ) stands for “Industrial Training Institute”, these ITI’S are run by Government . They train plumbers, electrician and fitters who work in various industries. The course designed for them is of “two years.”
Our job as actors, which is so very refined, very close to surgery. A job which requires you to be sensitive, totally aware of your body, having absolute control over various emotions and expressions. Where you need to experience various layers of feelings. Such a demanding job. To be proficient in this craft of acting people are offering one month course, comprising 20 classes or a weekend course with 16 classes, isn’t it brutal and selfish.
We at “KREATING CHARAKTERS” We groom actors, are longing for a lengthier acting course then what we are offering at the moment, but mushrooming of these “crash courses”, “monthly courses” and “weekend courses”, which are basically an eye wash, have defaced and crippled the orientation and approach of young aspiring actors.
Despite of this time constraint, we at “KREATING CHARAKTERS” try and maximize the duration, intensity and purpose of the curriculum. We strive to imbibe and inculcate a very sound “approach” and “Sanskars” (deep rooted culture) of “acting as a craft” in our actors. With an intent where acting becomes an integral part of their existence.
“A DEEP REALIZATION THAT THIS IS THE ONLY JOB THEY ARE MEANT FOR”
SAMAR JAI SINGH
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