#PostcardsFromParas

How to be an actor in a Netflix-Amazon age of openness

Ever wonder how do we do it? Well, let me tell you a secret then...

 |  #PostcardsFromParas  |  4-minute read |   18-03-2019
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Make out with a hot actress in a kitchen while smashing crockery.

Shave a male lover of mine because he couldn’t pull himself together.

Try on a bra while I explain the crafty nuances of strip-teasing on camera.

It’s been a busy few months.

From doing a campaign on safe sex — as I explained the importance of lubrication — to making not-so-subtle sex sounds during a shoot — which made the property owners of the studio wonder if we were just filming low-budget porn — it’s been a fun year.

Acting isn’t the same as it used to be — thank God!

Cringe-worthy melodramatic lines seem to be getting replaced with a kind of lingo that you and I are actually familiar with.

If I wasn’t comfortable using the "bc"s and "mc"s of the world before, now my work demands it. Surely you’re familiar with the changing landscape of newly-produced content on the web — but have you ever wondered, “How do they shoot this?”

1_031519084655.jpgBeing gay in Four More Shots Please wasn’t the character sketch. It actually added to the character I played. (Source: YouTube screengrab)

Two words.

Nipple pads!

Every steamy scene you watch with strategically placed side boobs has nipple pads to thank. The fact is, there is nothing between the male actor and his female counterpart. If it’s a lesbian scene, let us just double the production budget for nipple pads. Films aside, while being able to simply learn lines and give a string of expressions on television was once upon a time a part of being an actor, today the demands are very different.

There’s a level of comfort that’s demanded of you — of being able to share your body with someone on screen, of being able to walk stark naked for a shot, of being able to pleasure yourself because masturbation scenes are now common practice in a lot of shows, thanks to the Amazon Primes, Netflixes and Alt Balajis of the world.

And with good reason.

These shows are more real today — and let’s just get off our high horses and acknowledge that we all do jerk off.

For actors who aren’t comfortable with a lot of these scenes, choices are now limited to TV where the saases and bahus and the immortal nagins still rule. Not that that’s a bad thing, let’s just to say, it’s a different breed of actors.

I lost out on a short film that ended up winning a lot of accolades at film festivals across the world. One scene, in particular, needed me to run — butt naked — and barefoot in a Himachali forest.

I’m not sure what made me refuse. Perhaps that I was aware that for male actors, nipple pads aren’t a saviour, perhaps the mountain breeze just seemed piercing or maybe, just because I wasn’t entirely convinced if the script did in fact demand it. When I finally watched the film (well, could’ve been done without the naked shot in my opinion!), I did experience some massive FOMO.

The loss was mine.

And THAT is being an actor today.

Be willing to do everything. Be comfortable with everything. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Over the years, we’ve only seen the glamorous sides of characters. We saw characters after they woke up, and before they went to bed. We saw them walk a certain kind of walk, talk a certain kind of talk, even if sometimes it fell into a comfortable cliche. I played a gay character in Four More Shots Please, the Amazon series. And I play one in Sec377 Ab Normal which releases this month. The part that I LOVE about both these characters was that just being gay wasn’t the character sketch. It actually added to the character I was playing.

 
 
 
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Let’s play a game ! When #377abnormal releases on @zee5 on Mar 19, take screen shots and send me funny captions of scenes ! Will post my favorites on the story !!! Also personal favor, spam this post with comments please and tag friends who should see it! JUST SPAM! I'll personally come and give a pucchi to the one who tags the most friends :) bigggg pucchi!!! 😘😘😘😘😘 @farukkabir9 @aditya.n.singh.79 @mohdzeeshanayyub @anjumahendroo @sreejita.mitra @jaybhansaliofficial @dushysing @sid.makkar @preetika_pree @maanvigagroo @mohankapur @mohdzeeshanayyub @aditigovitrikar @azmitanve @subharajput @shashank.arora @kumud_mishra @srustij @theankitasrivastava @_mandakranta_ @sreejita.mitra @tarkat07 @sanket_bhatia @tfm360models @tfm360cinema @indianweb_series @the_indian_web_series @indianwebspace @indialgbtq @thehumsafartrustofficial @beinggayinindia @blued_india @lgbt_india

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I’m not sure how my conservative Rajput chachus would react if I was making out with a guy in our family courtyard — but when they’re collectively watching a scene in which I’m doing that, they’re so proud of the fact that I’ve acted really well.

Sure, there is a slight hesitation, there are questions — but it brings everything to a living room conversation now. I might be an extremely small part of the landscape of shows and films and web series that are being produced. But I take full credit for being part of something which is changing attitudes about sex, sexuality, gender and gender identity.

One nipple pad at a time!

Also read: 'Made In Heaven' Review: Zoya Akhtar paints a life-like canvas in the Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipala, Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin starrer

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