How often does an aspiring actor get a call from a “big banner”? I was fortunate enough to get mine! The 23rd of March, 2011 – one more day that I will never forget; A day that I will remember no matter where this journey leads me to! This was the day when I gave my first big banner audition. It was for Dharma Productions – the same production house that made excellent and hugely successful films like Agneepath (Amitji), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (SRK, Kajol, Rani), Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (Amitji, Hrithik, SRK, Jayaji, Kajol, Kareena)!!
I was walking on the streets of Lokhandwala shopping for some daily stuff when I got a call from Varun, the guy casting for this little scene in the next Dharma film. He got my number from one of the casting directors I had sent my pictures to a while ago. He told me that he wants to test me for a very small scene in the next Dharma film where I am supposed to be giving an office presentation. I immediately understood that it is for one of those blink-and-you’ll -miss parts in the film. However, it was for Dharma and I wouldn’t mind starting small I thought! So, I told him that I will be there the next day. I thought that even if I do not get anything, I will at least get a chance to go to the Dharma Productions office and drop my pictures and Resume there. This is when I realized that I had no hard copies of my pictures, they were all circulated. So I quickly ordered a few prints to be delivered the next day.
I could hardly sleep that night. I kept thinking about different things – how big would this role be? Would I get it? If I do, is it what I really want to do? Shouldn’t I be looking for something bigger? What if I get typecast? But I had to start somewhere. So, I decided that I will be going no matter what! The next day, I sent a text message to my manager saying I am unwell! I did tell him later that I lied (coz I knew he would read this post anyway!). I borrowed a formal belt from one of my flatmates (Rahul) and formal shoes from another (Karthik). I wore my own formal shirt and trousers (I am glad I had something at least!). I was supposed to be there by 1.30pm. I was getting late due to the traffic so I called Varun and he told me that it would be absolutely fine if I come by 2. So there I was, at 2pm, at the Dharma Productions office! The 2nd floor was occupied by Dharma. I walked into one of the rooms which had a beautiful, framed picture of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Someone guided me that I was in the wrong room and auditions were happening next door. I went there and found Varun busy with a couple of girls for their auditions. One of the girls was rehearsing the lines Kareena spoke in K3G. Another guy was rehearsing Aamir’s speech on books from 3 Idiots. I took a seat and waited for Varun to give me my bit to rehearse.
Varun returned with a sheet that had the scene I was to enact. It had precisely two lines (wouldn’t like to disclose what they were as the movie is not out yet). Well, I hadn’t expected anything more. I memorised those lines and figured out how I will perform the scene. I waited for my turn for about an hour. While I was waiting, I really enjoyed watching the girl doing the Kareena bit. Although she was doing it really well, my concern was that she was doing it just like Kareena. Anyway, I really hope that she got through!
My turn came, I walked in, and delivered in front of the camera. Varun wasn’t happy with the first few takes. He wasn’t quite getting from me what he wanted. It took 5 takes for me to get it right (as Varun needed). All of this took just about 3-4 minutes. The audition was over and I felt good to have at least turned up and tried for the role no matter what the outcome would be. I told Varun that I would appreciate if he lets me know whenever there is anything that I am fit for. About this one, he said he’ll let me know by the end of the week. I left my pictures with my name and number at the reception. I tried asking Varun and the other security guys if there was a way I could meet Karan Johar for just 2 minutes. They said it was impossible (as expected) and that if I came back some other day, I could meet one of his assistants. I left the Dharma office with the hope that I will return some day, for a bigger role, and then some other day, as a Star! My picture will be up on those walls too!
I haven’t heard from Varun yet but I believe that whatever happens, happens for the best! If I do hear from him, I will do the little part with all my sincerity and the hope that I get noticed. If I do not hear from him on this one, I will try to get my hands on something bigger while I keep trying to meet other directors and casting directors!
Till the next one then..
Love and Regards..