If you want to get a break in showbiz, croon aloud. And if you want a bigger break, participate in contests like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Amazing Race Asia, Indian Idol and MTV Roadies.
So what if they have nothing to do with acting? They have introduced more actors than Zee Cinestars Ki Khoj or Sahara's Mr & Miss Bollywood.
No faking it
Amit Tandon, one of the finalists of Indian Idol, just happens to be Balaji's dahling. He says, "I always wanted to become an actor who could sing his own numbers in films." He is currently working in Kyunki..Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.
Remember Qazi Touqeer of Fame Gurukul? Yes, the boy with bedroom eyes and Hrithik Roshan mannerisms. Whether you were floored by his singing prowess or not is a different matter. <b1>
A chance to make a debut with superstar Shah Rukh Khan doesn't come easy but that's what happened to Shubhi Mehta. Did you say Shubhi who? Well, she plays Gunjan Lakhani, one of the hockey players in Chak De! India. "I guess I got the role because of MTV Roadies. The producers must have seen me in the show," says Mehta.
Then there is Prashant Raj who participated in Amazing Race Asia, he is reprising Big B's Jai role from Sholay in Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.
But not everyone is happy. Music director Aadesh Srivastav, who judged Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and is currently judging Voice of India grouses, "It's very irritating that singing competitions are used as launchpads for acting careers."
Does this affect the channel guys too? "Not exactly," says Ashish Kaul, executive vice-president, Zee Networks. "We don't care what they want to achieve as long as they are good at what they're being called for. We give them the platform, the rest is upto them."