Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/What do I do?

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Question
Hi Kenneth,

I am a 21 year old Indian guy from Singapore with an aim of becoming an full time actor in India. Right now I am studying business management in my university. I took this course mostly as a backup, so that I could at least ensure a stable job in Singapore if I did not make it in India. Also I felt that the skills learnt in my course would if I were to become a producer in the future.

Currently I am practicing acting on my own just by re-enacting scenes of movies. And I am following the relaxation techniques which I learnt in a book. I am also into making my own short films, since they are the opportunities for acting which I can create for myself.

However, I feel that to become a mainstream actor, I need to get recognised, even though I may be working on my skills. Currently there is a local Indian channel here, however I feel that they do not produce good dramas and I am afraid that I may not get enough recognition to get into the Indian film industry from there. Moreover my university education ends when I am 25.

All in all, I am lost. I know my destination, but right now I feel that I am nowhere near it. What do I do? Can you make sense of my situation? Thank you.

Regards,
Raj

Answer
Hi Raj, Acting is not something you can learn by yourself or from a book, although there is a lot you need to know about acting that you can learn from some books. In spite of its silly title, I highly recommend "Complete Idiot's Guide to Acting" which is a very fine book that covers every aspect of acting. To be an actor, one must act, and to be recognized as an actor one must act where lots of films and plays are produced. Therefore, to be an Indian Actor one needs to go to Mumbai where there is a very fine acting school called Actor Prepares. I really do not think there is any other way to reach your goal. Finally, It is my experience that aspiring actors who are prepared to make a living in some other  field will always do that and drop out of acting, because acting is so difficult a career in which to succeed. I think you are wasting your time at university unless you are studying acting. Four years is a long time to spend there when you could be getting recognized in Mumbai.  Best wishes, Doc

Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Kenneth D. Plonkey

Expertise

Questions about acting and directing. Questions about getting started in a careeer. Questions about training and schooling for actors.

Experience

I am a retired film actor. I am a retired university theatre program director and professor. I am the author of "The Tao of Acting, Mentoring for the Aspiring Actor" to be published this summer.

Organizations
SAG

Education/Credentials
BA, MA, PhD in Theatre Post graduate study with certificate in Media Acting

Awards and Honors
John Golden Traveling Fellowship

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