Audition Room, a book by Well Known casting director Manoj Ramola, bust myths that encircle the world of Indian Casting and guides Professional Acting Aspirants
Indian Film Industry is going through lots of changes, not only in terms quality of the films or accolades across the globe, but also in terms of fundamental structural changes. At the same time, craze, glamor and passion brings lakhs of dreamers to Mumbai every day. Everybody has dream of becoming next Shah Rukh, Irfan or Nawaz overnight. They hope that one film can change their lives and they would climb the echelon of Bollywood stardom. With those “starry eyes”, they embark on journey, which not only full of creativity, hope and opportunities, but also full with predators, parasites and monsters. However, due to lack of proper knowledge and guidance, theyare often duped financially, psychologically and emotionally, with a lifelong dream shattering heartache.
Author of the book “Audition Room” , Manoj Ramola has conducted more than a lakh auditions for the past 6 years and has worked with production houses like Star TV, Disney, UTVBindast, Endemol, Beyond Dreams, Dancing Waters Production, Rowdy Rascals, Set Rite Ads, Sa Re Ga Ma, 24 Frames amongst others.
The author elaborates ,“I heard many such stories in my six year long career as Casting Director. Most sad part is when people hear the word “Casting”, only thing they can relate to is a “Couch”.I do not blame them, because it is usually only thing covered in the Media. In addition, Casting is relatively very new term in Indian film industry. It was a cultural when veteran Hollywood casting director Susie Faggis started auditioning actors for film Gandhi (1982). If you go by the credits, Hassan Kutty (Saalam Bombay) is probably First Indian casting director. However, it was Tigmanshu Dhulia, who made it mainstream with Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen. Again, both were respectively involved as an assistant director and writer with the said films. It is not a long time since casting directors started doing casting only and casting is now been treated as dedicated profession. Still even today everybody knows about Casting Couch, but not how casting actually happens.”
Audition Room is a unique book. While Hollywood seems to have many books and resources to help potential actors, there is no Indian book or even a blog, which explains Casting and Auditioning process in details and fills that information gap.
Manoj said, “I come across many actors, who try to beg or bribe me into getting a role. They do not even understand the difference between casting director and coordinator. When prey is so confused, why won’t predators thrive? I felt bad for such actors who are pursuing a profession, with so little knowledge of it. There is a huge information asymmetry between dreams of professional acting aspirants and reality of the entertainment industry. And it is root cause of all frauds and exploitations. Casting is a hectic profession. Before we can find a suitable one, thousands appear for auditions. Hence it is not always possible to answer their queries in the “Audition Room”. And it became a genesis of the book “Audition Room”
Manoj Ramola is working on the book from last one year. English and Hindi Manuscript of the book are ready. But now in order to take make this book available to acting community, it needs Rs.1,50,000 raised through a crowd funding platform – Wishberry, by 27thAugust 2015 to see the light of day. Aspirants can contribute to the campaign by visiting
Wishberry is an online platform, where like-minded communities and backers can come together to help produce such innovative projects via monetary support in exchange for rewards, and privileges like early access, one-on-one time with the creator, or even a master class. It’san ‘all or nothing’ policy where if the target amount is not met,all the funds are returned to the backers.