Want to see yourself jump from a 12-storey building and still survive the fall?

Only a movie star can achieve this incredible feat! If this interests you, read on to find out what it takes to be an actor…

Make up on, dialogues ready, action…

An actor's life is not all about singing and dancing around trees. It's much more than that. For starters you have to mug long dialogues, work in extreme climatic conditions like blazing sun or rain, rehearse difficult dance movements for hours till you perfect it, try 100 outfits before selecting the final one, perfect fight scenes and most often work long periods of time. Imagine a dingy, sweaty place for a makeup room (if you haven't made it) and a co-star with bad breath! Add to that a lecherous director and you can imagine that it's not all song and dance.

As an actor you will have a wide canvas to work on. You could do theatre, stage, television or movies. You could also try dubbing. While television shows and commercials take a shorter period of time, mega -serials and movies take longer to shoot.

Stage performance is considered the ultimate challenge as you perform in front of a live audience and there are no retakes here. Films and television on the other hand are the most sought after for their reach and money. Not to mention they guarantee instant popularity.

All this after you have appeared for the screen test and been selected.

To be a successful actor you need a good amount of stamina to work round the clock. Then of course there are the riding lessons, fighting lessons, diction classes and most importantly - dance classes to take care of.

No formal education is required here. But you should at least know how to read and write (to memorise your lines). What you basically need here is talent and a love for acting.

You should be able to perform totally uninhabited in front of an audience. Clear speech and diction is another essential requirement.

Although, no one can actually teach you how to act, acting schools can hone your skills. You can join an acting course that teaches you everything from acting to riding and fighting.

Alternatively, you can join different classes like for instance Shiamak Davar for dancing and Ashok Kumar Academy for acting. Whistling Woods International, Mumbai – Institute for film, television and media arts- provides students with an artistic environment harnessing both creative and business skills to become future leaders of the film and television world.

Where can you find work? If you have the talent and the right contacts, there is plenty of work for everyone here.

Theatre: This is considered the most satisfying and challenging. Renowned actors like Nana Patekar and Naseeruddin Shah have all had an enriching theatre background. If you choose to work with a production house it will give you ample scope to travel and perform in front of different audiences and even travel abroad.

Television: The boom in this sector has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for aspiring actors like you. This is also the place where less successful actors from the big screen resort to. You could work in television serial or do commercials.

Production houses like In-House Production, Adhikari Brothers, Plus Channel, Zee Television, Star T.V Network, Sony Television, etc. hire actors. Chances are you might be flooded with offers at one time and sit empty the next. Your contacts will be helpful in getting you roles.

Films: It can't get any bigger than this. If you want name, fame and money, this is it. If you strike lucky you could be working with none other than biggies like Subhash Ghai and Ram Gopal Varma and raking in lakhs. Talent and networking are not the only things here. You got to have loads of luck too.

Career Prospects - Television is no more the small screen. It has really grown big. The addition of newer channels everyday, spells more opportunities for actors. Music videos are also a great place to get yourself noticed.

Theatre is increasing becoming popular not for the masses but for the intelligentsia and corporate sponsorships is breathing new life into it.

The advertising industry is another avenue you should be looking at. Once you make it big in Bollywood, sky is the limit. India makes the largest number of movies in the world and there is place for you here.

Also, a recent development is the emergence of young, independent filmmakers who are making arty films with commercial success. So what are you waiting for?