Tucked in the busy by lanes of Aram Nagar in suburban Mumbai, co-founders Abhishek Banerjee and Anmol Ahuja run Casting Bay, a company that prides itself in casting characters for feature films, ads and web shows. It has been behind the successful casting of films like Secret Superstar, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Phillauri and Rock On 2. Banerjee and Ahuja test hundreds of aspirants looking for a break in the movies. We asked them about the most common mistake they see young actors make. Here's what Banerjee, who himself will be seen as an actor in the film Stree, had to say:
"The most common mistake is that they don't take any training and land up in the city. The most common mistake which I see any actor meeting us make is that they say, 'Yeah I want to act.' We ask, 'What have you done? What is your background?' There's no answer to that. Maybe one or two workshops here and here. But apart from that, I don't see anybody investing a really long time to train themselves as an actor. And that really bothers me. If you are going for any job, any particular job, you need a certain level of training.
I call them (the aspirants) 'the dreamers'. You dream something and then you land up but then you don't do any hard work to achieve that dream. That's one very basic advice that I give to all actors – that you should invest some years of your life in theatre or proper acting training. There are so many good theatre groups in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Lucknow and other parts of the country."