Actress Shweta Tiwari talks to Monarose Sheila Pereira about the reality behind the glamour
What is your qualification?
I am a BCom graduate from Burhani College.
How did you get into acting?
I was acting in a college play and a well known director was one of the judges. After the play he asked me if I was interested in acting in his play. From stage I got noticed and was offered a role in a television serial. Thus began my foray into television. Fortunately right from the start of my career I have not had to struggle for work. I did not have to go from one production house to another seeking work. Work just came to me and literally fell in my hands. If you are good at your work you will get noticed and producers and directors will approach you.
What is the scope for an acting career in television?
There is more scope and money in television than films. All television actors have their BMWs, their own house and enjoy a good lifestyle. There is a lot of scope in television and there are so many television serials being made. Even fresh actors in television have a comfortable life. In films you are continuously chasing jobs. Many of the film actors are struggling and do not enjoy the lifestyle and comforts that television actors enjoy.
Have you encountered the casting couch?
I have worked in this field for a longtime and I have never come across the casting couch. I do not know who is spreading such information. No one has propositioned me in the last so many years that I have been working as an actress. In fact I find people very respectful, kind, considerate and helpful. Actually there is no question of the casting couch because the photographs and videos are sent to the production house for approval and when they are approved the candidate is asked to do some scenes from the serial and the tape goes back to the producers for approval.
What are you plans for the future?
I hope to keep on acting. My husband and I have started an acting institute to groom and train aspiring actors and actresses. The institute teaches all the fine aspects of acting like how to act in various scenarios and as different characters, dialogue delivery, how to apply makeup, personality development as it is important to carry yourself well, dancing etc. All my students who pass out from the institute have found good work.
What advice do you have for those who want to act in television serials?
My advice to those who want to get into the industry is to first access your talent and hone your skills. Take up this career only if you are keen to become an actor. Focus on developing your acting skills. Do not get distracted by the glamour and fame. If you are good at acting, glamour and fame will follow. Acting is an art. You have to master it. Acting is all about hard work. Most people believe a film or television actor is a glamorous icon where you can make lots of money and become a recognizable face. Their concept of the industry is based on the lifestyle that the media projects. They feel it is easy work. Many think if you have a good face, you shoot a portfolio, get selected, go on screen and your life is made. But that is the superficial aspect of acting. They are not here for the long haul and the hard work that goes into becoming an actor. There is a great misconception about acting. If you have a beautiful face and are good looking, people tell you why don’t you go and become an actor. But that is not what an actor is all about. Actors have to know how to act. The whole career is not about looking beautiful but about acting. People get into acting because they want to become famous; they want people to recognize them; they want to be written about. They are not here for the acting or for the hard work that is involved. If you want to make it as an actor you have to have a talent for it. A very important part of an actor’s career is learning the script and having a good diction. These are the most important aspects of this field. Sometimes the shot and the dialogue are long and you have to memorize long passages. The upside of a career as an actor is that it is very satisfying if you are a creative person and you enjoy acting. There is good money and a good lifestyle if you are successful. However on the flip side there are some difficult times too. Working hours can also be very long at times. I have worked for 12 hours at a stretch. Also some of the locations are in faraway places like Naigaon and you must be ready to travel. You have to always look and feel your best. Even if you are running a temperature and are not well or you do not feel good, you have to go out there and perform. I have known actors who are on a drip and when it is time to shoot, the drip is pulled out and they are there facing the cameras. You have to always perform your best.