LA Complex, the brand new TV series which follows the lives of aspiring actors in Hollywood, is slowly climbing up the charts. In this context, we decided to talk to some of the budding actors and actresses in Telugu film industry to get a gist of how tough it is to get that first big break in the industry
Five years ago when Sudheer Varma graduated from college in Vizag, he dreamt of becoming an actor. After struggling a lot to convince his parents, he finally moved to Hyderabad. “I didn’t want to depend on them completely, so I took up a job apart from meeting people in the industry and auditioning for roles in films,” Sudheer, a budding actor says.
In the past two and a half years, he has been to over 25 auditions in pursuit of his first big break. “I played lead roles in a couple of films. One of them never released and the other was stalled midway. You never know what will happen even if you get a good role,” Sudheer says.
He’s not the only one who has had to face rejection several times before finding that one chance which will get him noticed. “I have been to ten auditions so far. The biggest fear even if you get selected for a role is, whether the film will be released or not. When it does, another important factor which plays on your mind is whether you’ll be accepted by people or not,” Girish Goda, an aspiring actor says.
The fire to prove themselves in the industry is visible in their eyes, but the endless waiting to get that phone call from a big production house is taking a toll on them.”You need a lot of perseverance and a good circle of friends who’ll always encourage you to follow your heart. A lot of people end up doing unimaginable things out of desperation. It does get quite scary if you can’t keep your mind sane,” Girish says.
Recently, when director Teja called for an audition for Neeku Naaku, more than 40,000 people turned up, out of which only seven were selected
for the lead role. The competition for even the smallest of roles in films is huge and given the fact that you can’t expect a stable career in films unless you are a bankable star, we wonder what’s the driving force which keeps them going.
“A lot of people want to become actors because it’s a great way to live different lives and experience a lot of things which aren’t possible in real life,” Sudheer says adding, “I don’t think I am good at anything else. Even if I take up some other job, I know that my heart will still be here. So why waste precious time on other things?”
For Girish, acting is more of a personal journey.”I am not that flamboyant in real life. Acting gives me a chance to be a different person. It’s exciting,” he says.
Gazal Somaaiah recently graduated and completed her acting course at Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares in Mumbai. When she was offered a minor role in Manchu Manoj, Balakrishna starrer Uu Kodathara Ulikki Padathara, she took it up without any hesitation. Couldn’t she wait a little longer to get a bigger role?”I got the offer right after completing my acting course and we never know when things might click. Work is work after all. It’s not really about playing a lead or a supporting role. For me, it’s more important to do my job well and hope to get noticed. If you are really good, even a two minute role will catch all the attention,” Gazal says.
Rumours about what happens in the film industry are plenty and the casting couch is one such aspect which has been a matter of concern for a lot of aspiring actresses. Of late, even actors are facing this issue.
“I believe it’s a personal choice. No one is a kid here and they know what they are getting into. If they dream of making it big through short cuts then to each his own. Personally, I believe that people treat you the way you want to get treated,” she replies.
Making short films is in vogue and several aspiring writers, directors and actors are even willing to drop out of schools and colleges to pursue their ambitions. “A lot of students who haven’t completed their degree approach me for advice on finding a breakthrough in film industry. All I can say is completing your higher studies is extremely important because it’ll give you an option to fall back on if your dreams of making it big in film industry go bust. You have to sacrifice a lot if you are dreaming of becoming an actor,” Sudheer says.
The journey to stardom is a arduous task. The question is are you willing to pay the price to follow your dreams?
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.