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Tisca Chopra

The actress on her new book, Acting Smart, and how newbies can be both sensitive artistes and canny entrepreneurs

Tisca Chopra
Tisca Chopra

Why did you write a DIY for aspiring actors?

It came from the many acting mistakes I’ve made. Also, the curiosity around movies. The book tries to answer some FAQs....

Is ‘obsession’ the key to great acting?

I'd say passion. If you are comme ci, comme ca about acting, it’s better to join dad’s business.

You said a successful actor must be a sensitive artist and a canny entrepreneur. How does one strike the balance?

An actor must learn to market his wares. So selling oneself without selling out is the key.

Is it the ‘real’ personality that gets you a role or the reading/performance of the character?

Often the real you or me is a far more engaging character than the one makers have envisioned. So it’s wise to ask for a chance to do your bit.

How can amateurs be inventive in a profession that seeks superstars?

The star was an aspirant once. The book will assist youngsters in maximising their chances.

What is the ‘audition crack code’ for newbies?

A set of rules devised when we were aspiring actors. One was to redo every audition so as to get the fear out of us. It worked like a dream.

Which is the better way: working from inside out or from outside in?

Theatre, TV, any other media teaches you which way to go. Every role has a unique direction.

What are the must-haves in a professional actor’s wardrobe?

The first is good sense. Some look like birthday cakes, others like Bolly clones. In the book, Manish Malhotra, Wendell Rodricks say what works.

How can an actor market himself well?

I am impressed with Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Sandra Bullock, who have talent and the intelligence to put that talent out there.

How much does an actor owe a director?

Theatre is the actor's purest medium; TV relies on the writer; film is a director’s medium.

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