Be honest! You have fantasised yourself as an actor in your favourite movie or a model in a hit TV commercial! Dilip Kumar’s role in Mughal-e-Azam, or Aamir in Dangal, your fantasy knows no boundaries! Add to it, Glamorous lifestyle, fame, money, attention and cameras all around you. These are reasons why many young men and women often aspire to enter this glamour world from a very young age. But, one has to very clear of the immense amount of hard work, networking skills and lots of good luck to be successful in this glamorous world.
Firstly, we must understand that there is a lot of difference between ‘a Model’ and ‘an Actor’, and both may require overlapping but distinct set of qualities. A model is the one who offers his/her services to promote, display or advertise commercial products. Often, they serve as a visual aid for artists or photographers or customers to help advertise a variety of products like clothing, accessories, food, cars etc. On the other hand, an actor is someone who portrays a character during a performance. This can be in traditional mediums like theatre or liveshows; or for screen i.e. for film, television or for OTT / Digital platforms.
Amateurs and novices often give looks and physical attributes highest weightage among necessary skills required for both models and actors. However, there are many other skills that can be equal or even more vital. For example, a model needs to have a good stage presence or camera presence. A model’s body language also matters a lot. In addition to the above, actors need to be expressive and should be able to emote well. Aside, they also need to have a good command on language and diction as they need to dialogue. Having add-on skills like good sense of music and understanding of a dance forms could add extra value. We can go on and on but as this article is more about the career options for actors and models, we shall discuss about their skillsets some other time.
Career Avenues in Acting
After graduating from a formal acting school, the doors are open for any actor to work in films, advertising commercials, theatre, street plays, music videos, television or web-based shows, etc. As they are also voice-trained for diction, pronunciation etc., actors may also lend voices as voice-over artists for radio shows, audio programs or podcasts. With rising popularity of mobile and web-based shows (both audio and video), the demand for trained actors is also increasing exponentially and is expected to keep growing further.
Career Avenues in Modeling
Like actors, even models are usually self employed or associated with more than one modelling agencies.For fresh modelling graduates, avenues remain open to venture into stage modelling, print modelling, ramp model for fashion designers or houses, product endorsements etc. They are also often seen participating in contests like pageants where they can earn recognition and money, and above all network for future assignments. Aside, there are several domestic and international modelling agencies that offer assignments on behalf of their clients on commission basis.
Two Mantras to be a Successful actor/model
There are two most important things that both aspiring as well as established ‘Actors’ and ‘Models’ must have to secure good assignments.
- First is to have a very good portfolio (in hard copy, digital version or both). At the initial stage of the career, many models and actors even work for free with established photographers, ad-agencies, film directors, designers etc. This is done with intent to build a portfolio that can prove their worth to a future client.
- Second, as most assignments in this industry are referral based, one needs to be extremely good in networking. Your prospective clients should not forget about you or your work at a crucial moment when they are finalizing the endorser of their next product or while casting for a role in their next project.
I am hopeful that the above tips would clear your path towards crafting your journey in the field of modelling or acting. One final piece of advice is that perseverance and hard work are keys to success in this profession. So, keep up to them and success shall be yours. Good Luck.