The glittering world of entertainment beckons with its promise of fame and fortune. But for aspiring actors, navigating the path to success can be daunting. Thankfully, casting director Mukesh Chhabra, the man behind breakout roles in “Dangal” and “MS Dhoni: The Untold Story,” recently shed light on the industry’s intricacies at the Edutainment Show, organized by Deepak Choudhary led EVA Live and in partnership with Media and Entertainment Skills Council Of Government Of India, in Mumbai, Jio World Convention Centre, on 12th and 13th of April 2024.

Chhabra’s masterclass, titled “How to Get a Break into the Entertainment Industry,” attracted a packed house eager to learn from the veteran. His core message resonated deeply: a solid foundation is paramount. Theatre, he emphasized, provides a vital training ground. Through regular practice, constructive feedback, and the exploration of emotional depth, actors hone their craft on the stage. This emphasis on theatre likely struck a chord with many aspiring actors in the audience, some already actively involved in productions.

Beyond technical training, Chhabra stressed the importance of unwavering passion and perseverance. He painted a realistic picture of the industry, acknowledging the challenges and uncertainties actors face. However, he championed passion as the fuel for dedication, the driving force needed to navigate the complexities of the business. He also cautioned against mistaking stardom for the true essence of the profession.

Uniquely, Chhabra advised against blindly emulating established actors. “The world already has a Shah Rukh Khan,” he said. “Find your own voice, your own strengths. Work towards becoming the next Kartik Aaryan, not a pale imitation of someone else.” This emphasis on individuality served as a powerful reminder for aspiring actors to forge their own unique path.

The masterclass delved deeper into the struggles actors encounter, particularly the anxieties surrounding job insecurity. Chhabra offered a practical solution: embrace every opportunity that comes your way. “Don’t wait for the perfect role,” he advised. Every project, big or small, is a stepping stone. It’s a chance to learn, grow, and showcase your talent. This pragmatic approach countered the romanticized view of the industry that some aspiring actors might hold.

Chhabra further differentiated between the world of social media content creation and the demands of professional acting. While acknowledging social media platforms as avenues for self-expression, he cautioned the audience against mistaking creating an Instagram reel for a guaranteed path to an acting career. Social media culture, he noted, can often create unrealistic expectations.

Finally, Chhabra offered a glimpse into the casting process, revealing the factors influencing his decisions. Socio-cultural and regional backgrounds, he explained, can play a significant role. He offered an example: if he were looking to cast a “Scammer,” someone from Gujarat might be a good fit.

Mukesh Chhabra’s masterclass proved to be a valuable resource for the aspiring actors in Mumbai. His emphasis on dedication, resilience, and individuality provided a roadmap for navigating the competitive world of entertainment. It was a masterclass filled with actionable advice, empowering young minds to chase their dreams on the silver screen.