It's said that actors derive the maximum creative satisfaction that any performer can draw from his art. Imagination, observation of the human psyche, sensitivity helps one to become an actor. But these are not the only prerequisite of becoming an actor. Actors perform on stage, radio, television, motion pictures, videos, etc. They are not actually bound to any single medium. They have a vast area of operation and hence the word "boredom" does not feature in their vocabulary. Actors feature in advertisements, computer games, narrate the background for some films, lend their voice for animated films, make cameo appearances, teach at acting and drama schools.
An acting career entails two aspects which are to be given equal importance if one wants to taste success in his career. The knowledge about photos, resumes, networking come in handy to promote oneself as an actor and the emotional approach one takes in his career are the two aspects one has to keep in mind.
The long working hours, the lack of regular employment, no fixed salary, and the temporary nature of the work may be dispiriting for any individual. Many actors go through mental trauma when days before lights, camera, and audience come to a halt. But how many people can do want they really like to do? Every actor may not have an illustrious career but the fame, name, money, love of the people draws one to the world of acting.
Nature of Work
With the growth of population every profession under the sun is becoming competitive and acting is no exception. Hence an aspiring actors needs to take the first step properly to have a good start. Though a good start doesn't rule out struggle from his/her life but things do become slightly easy for the debutant.
Generally people struggle at the start to have a firm foot hold in the entertainment industry. One of the best launching platforms for a beginner is an acting school or featuring in advertisements, soaps and serials. Numerous people watch the television which has become the biggest medium for mass communication.
There are numerous acting schools that conduct right from a week long crash courses to a full fledged academic course spanning over 3-4 years leading to a graduate degree in acting. These schools perform two main objectives - Introduce the students to the world of acting, and offer a good launching platform. However, it is also quite correctly said that acting is more of an art than science, and hence a classroom may not be the perfect place to learn the basics of acting. As such, a lot of aspiring actors choose to opt for the other option - that is, learn on the job. In this case, proper networking, being at the right place, knowing the right people and good public relation skill helps the beginners.
The initial phase of an acting career leaves minimal choices to an actor. They take up anything that is being offered to them on a platter. If one picks and choose then his/ her dream of becoming an actor might only remain a dream and never see the light of a day. After a few years when the actor has proved his metal then he can chose the kind of roles he want to do according to his strength and area of comfort. The situation is similar for theatre aspirants as well, at the beginning there are asked to do support the team of actors. Unlike corporate world, actors don't have well defined jobs they have to do a certain peripheral jobs also. But it will be wrong to say that things become smooth for them from there on. Competition is cut throat and proving oneself is the name of the game. One has to constantly reinvent oneself to keep boredom at bay. But this does not only apply for movie actors, even theatre personalities and television actors have to reinvent themselves form time to time. But theatre offers a lot more variety for the actors. Generally no two character played by a theatre personality are the same. In television there is a risk of being typecast mostly because of dearth of roles.
When one reaches the experienced stage, scripts and roles are written keeping them on mind. The whole story takes shape revolving around the character. These experienced actors do one movie in two or three years and gets highly paid for his appearance in the movie. Sometimes they select their genres like art house films, comedy films, romantic, action flicks and tend to stick to it. But one thing has to be mentioned each and every experienced actor does not get this treatment because everybody does not have the inherent abilities to reach this stage. An actor who has reached this stage can get under the skin of the character that he needs to depict, and injects life into character. Apart from monetary remuneration, this stage offers immense intellectual satisfaction to both the actor and the audience.
There is no saying as to the skills needed to become an actor. Open mindedness, willing to go the extra mile, punctuality, dedication and of course self discipline is the key to success of an acting career. Many acting careers are known to start off on the strength of the personality of the actors but never do stay on course due to the lack of the above qualities.
Although the fame and money appears too good to be true, the hard work that goes on behind the scenes is not everyone's cup of tea.
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
Premier institute which has given this country finest of actors ins the National School of Drama which is in Delhi and FTTI Pune. Institutes in India which run course in acting are Actors Prepare, Whistling Woods from where an aspiring actor can take professional training to brush up his skills.
In India choreography forms an integral part of movies so taking some dance coaching from Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts may help in the long run. Even certain actors take special training in martial arts which might come of help.
Career Growth and Prospects
Discipline, practical skills, intellectual understanding are gained in an acting school along with opportunities to be seen by casting director, theatre group, television company which sets the field for the amateur. These important people can then cast the students and hence secure a good start for them. A study showed that 86% of the actors working have received professional training and the majority of them were satisfied with their preparation, career advice and guidance that they have received at their acting schools. Acting, especially in this age of technology, is as much science as it is an art. While the sense of acting needs to be developed by an individual himself, there are a whole range of technical aspects of acting that an actor needs to know, and this is precisely where an acting school adds value.
So the positive aspects of acting school should be enough to encourage a person to start with an acting school. The guidance will be valuable and the interaction with bigwigs will help one glide through in the industry.
The acting or the drama schools offer degree or diploma courses for the aspiring actors which can even extend to postgraduate courses. The basic positive point that needs to be highlighted is that the actor develops an all round knowledge starting from direction, techniques used, to lights and background score. The schools not only impart classroom teaching but practical knowledge also. These schools prepare the students for professional work in theatres, films, television as well as advertisements.
Actors need talent, training, creativity to portray different characters. Apart from that workshops are conducted to give special training to actors to perform some sports, action, dancing on which the actor has no knowledge.
Reputation and box-office draw of an actor determines the kind of work that an actor will get. Actors aim to be cast in big budget films as the remuneration is higher in such films compared to other films. Actors generally crave to get the star status as it ensures bigger budget films. Star status enables an actor to demand any remuneration. Income of an actor has no limits whatsoever or rather it can be said that sky is the limit to his/her income. An actor can charge anything once he has established himself before the audience and in the industry but star status add to it.
Stars are sought by big corporate giant to use their star status to endorse their product. If the product becomes an instant hit with the consumers then he can charge even more the next time he endorses the same product. Advertisements is an area from which actors usually earns a lot. They do cameo roles in certain films which provides as extra income for them.
Some actors teach at certain acting schools or university which can be a source of supplementary income. Broadway, Off-Broadway theatres and live performances are another avenue through which an actor can earn few more bucks.
Acting in television such as game shows, cameo, or being a host in a certain program can bring about some extra money into the account. Featuring in some talk shows, radio can be another source of income for the actor. If one is fluent in a foreign language and is a versatile actor, he or she can try his luck in some "Crossover Films". These "Crossover Films" bring with it recognition, name and some extra remuneration. But the biggest remuneration that an actor gets is the love of his/her audience.
There are certain negative traits to acting as well. Actors don't have a fixed income. Income may vary because the work varies. There is no guarantee that there will be work available for a particular actor all the time. A theatre personality does not get much in monetary term, approximately it amounts up to Rs.2000 per performance. But a lot depends on the play, the actor and its substance. As youth fades, the actors recede into oblivion and goes through some tough times to reconcile oneself to the world that is without recognition, fame and opulence. Certain actors step into the world of illusion but cannot come out of it. They feel rejected when some other actor is deemed suitable to play the part that one intends to do. Hence depression and uncertainty sets in, in their life which might drive them crazy.
But actors are privileged being because they do what they love to do. Their passion overlaps with profession. They are not compelled to do a certain job against their wish. Hence job satisfaction is immense in the profession of acting. Actors get to play different roles that an ordinary human being won't be able to play ever in his life. They can slip into different characters, play the part and come out of his/her shoes when the light goes off.