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Caught in the act

education Updated: Apr 30, 2013 16:55 IST

The lowdown

If all the world is a stage then anyone who performs in front of an audience is an actor and that performance is a piece of theatre. Anyone who acts on a stage or in a movie, in a television drama serial, or in a street play is referred to as an actor. The scope in this field is enormous. Recognition changes your life forever and brings you money and fame. Career options vary from theatre to voiceovers radio, television, cinema or any field an actor chooses to adopt. All you need is talent and oodles of confidence. Talent cannot come from training or learning. Though learning is necessary to channelise the talent, talent itself is inborn. On asking how different is it to work in Hindi theatre and English theatre, Aamir Raza Husain, a veteran theatre director says, “Differences exist between styles of directors, of how they approach a script, what is their methodology etc. These are the virtues that create a difference in theatre styles and groups. If an English theatre director like me works in Hindi, style will remain the same, and the only difference will be the language.”

9.30am to 10am: Urgent administrative issues and payments
10am to 12pm: Sit on scripts with co-director to clean up previous day’s rehearsal problems
12 noon to 2pm: Move to workshop where sets and properties are being fabricated
2pm to 3pm: Deal with administrative issues regarding production
3pm to 4pm: Rest
5pm to 8pm: Rehearsal
8pm to 8.30pm: Break
8.30pm to 12 midnight: Rehearsal
12am to 12.30am: Discussion with actors
1.30am: Reach home
2am: Dinner, go to bed

The payoff
Renumeration depends on your talent and acting ability. As you gain more experience, the salary will increase accordingly

* Acting talent. Mere passion doesn’t work here
* Loads of patience
* Ability to work hard
* Humility to follow instructions and orders
* Enthusiasm and commitment are a bonus

Getting there
You cannot become an actor by training. You cannot become an actor if you have inherited talent. A combination of both is required and the ability to work hard is the only way to become a good actor. No institution that can teach you to be an actor. The only way to learn is to find a good director and work with him/her for two-three years in productions

Institutes and URLs
* National School of Drama, New Delhi
* Natsamrat Theatre Group, New Delhi
* Asmita Theatre Group, New Delhi
* Antraal Theatre Group
* Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai
* Kshitij Theatre Group, New Delhi
* Jana Natya Manch, New Delhi
* The Drama School, Mumbai

Pros and cons
* The ability to follow your heart and to be able to make a living is indeed an ideal situation
* Not a lucrative career option. Unfortunately, one out of many gets to taste success. Stress, hard work are part of the game

Theatre is a medium of entertainment, not a medium to teach, preach or bring about social reform. If any of this happens, it is a bonus -- Aamir Raza Husain, a veteran theatre director