Interview: This actor of new web series reveals all about 'real struggle' in film industry

Vaibhav, who is starring in web series Me and My Virgin brother, spoke with great candour about the story of struggling actors

Making it into the silver screen is a dream many cherish. But not many achieve it. On one hand where we have stories of stars who made it big in Bollywood owing to their dedication and heard work, there are tales of struggle that go unnoticed, on the other.

Though outsiders like Priyanka Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan, and Anushka Sharma rose to the top in Bollywood, the path to stardom is not easy for most. During the struggle period, many of the dreams perish and many hearts break beyond repair.

To get a better insight about how the industry treats a struggling actor and how rocky their path is, spoke to one of them. Kumar Vaibhav, an actor who has worked in web-series ‘Me and My Virgin Brother‘ and done a few films with established actors like Irrfan Khan, Narendra Jha and Vir Das among many others, told us about the struggles and ordeals a struggling actor faces.

Vaibhav belongs to Delhi. Like many others who want to fulfill their dreams on their own conditions, this man too left his city and family to become an actor. Shah Rukh Khan is his idol. Yes, because he, too, is a Delhiite but also because Vaibhav considers his story as similar to that of SRK. Apart from involving himself into various diction, acting workshops on regular basis in Mumbai, the My Father Iqbal and 31 October actor says ‘nothing is too much to learn.’ Acting is his passion and big screen is his dream.

Excerpts from the interview:

What is your daily routine as an actor who wants to make it big in Bollywood?

When I had arrived in Mumbai two years ago from Delhi. In the beginning, when I started with theatre I had no clue about what to do. I always wanted to perform on stage but had little knowledge about where to start. Also, the fact is one doesn’t get money in Delhi’s theatre. I then shifted my focus to serial, cinema and all, and then decided to move to Mumbai, in lieu of more exposure.

After coming here, I had no idea about what to do. So as an actor, I have to some basic things. I run a lot and then take voice exercises. After this, one just starts on an audition spree. If one has few friends it helps, who tell you about auditions and all.

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How do you get in touch with people who could get you acting assignments?

When one gives random auditions, and since I was from a theatre background, I got approached for roles. In other cases, I spotted few people whom I thought would help me and that is how you build a circuit.

Getting small budget films is not an ordeal because the ones offering it feel the actor is new does good work and would readily agree to it. But once you start getting noticed, the routine changes. When this happens, you get a little choosy and it has nothing to do with stardom. People who are close to me advise to wait for better opportunities and not get anything on a drop of the hat.

In these scenarios, the financial angle comes into play. When people ask you to wait, you have to see if you can afford to. Also, if someone is advising to wait for, say 2-3 years, one has to think if people will remember the face since the industry is very crowded. When demonetisation stuck, I lost out on two of my film. So, the feeling of uncertainty always persists.

What do you think are other factors than talent which play a role in making it big?

Before talent, things that come in consideration are connections. Then comes the look criteria. If you fit the bill of the looks, you get the role. Thirdly, is the talent. But I would add talent helps you survive in the long run.

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Is there a sense of competition among your peers?

There are few who are doing great work. But then there is a huge chunk of people who are diverted from their motive. As an actor, sometimes, you don’t remain one. You switch to roles like casting, direction, production etc, if you can’t afford yourselves.