The news this week, about the girl toppers in the state took me back in time. Believe it or not, my first brush with fame was a passport-size picture of me, with braces, flashed in most local newspapers. A tenth standard topper, with a score of 92% and 99% in ICSE commerce, which, at that time, was an All India Record.
I remember telling a local journalist my plans for the future. It wasn’t quite the thing to say for a nerd, because it wasn’t an MBA from an Ivy League university. It was short and straightforward: “I want to be famous…” Despite bigger accolades, my academic success, being my first taste of achievement, is the dearest to me. Being a nerd has taught me how to approach my starry dreams with discipline.
Being a starlet is a job, like any other. I’ve got my fieldwork, meetings and have my daily tryst with marketing. The small difference is: my fieldwork includes a regular round of auditions. My business meetings are usually over a cup of coffee where my portfolio is looked at and I’m asked for my acting experience. My presentation requires looking into a camera. It's all about marketing my grand product, which is- Myself!
The downside of selling yourself is that getting a big ‘REJECT’ stamp sometimes is a bigger blow for one’s ego than an unsold product. The perks are that looking my best, dressing well, honing my creativity, working out, shopping for great clothes and shoes, getting manicures, pedicures, facials - is all part of my ‘work’.
Vanity aside, being successful at my work requires the same essentials as any other job. Discipline to stick to a routine (despite not having one), self-control (to stick to a diet), hard work (to drag myself to every audition) and confidence. As funny as that sounds it takes great mental strength to stay positive.
The nagging insecurities of whether you’ll make it or not, competition and daily rejections are always lurking around. I’m constantly improving myself. I don’t jump into a scene until I’m mentally prepared, and request a re-take. I have realised the futility of worrying and how it affects my energy levels.
I auditioned for seven commercials this week, four of which were advertisements for hair products. I even went back to the next day, with straightened hair, to give it a better shot. I am now back to my workout regime: taking care of my skin and sleep cycle. I’ve started catching up on movies that I have missed out on as reference points for my acting and working on my Hindi as homework.
I’ve always been a student of film and while I may have lost that yearn to learn for a little while; I’m well and truly back!!
It’s true that what you’re like as a kid is your true nature from deep within. I am still… a nerd!
Miss K is what in cinema world they call the ‘starlet’. This is her weekly diary Starlet And More