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Vipul Bhatt Is Not A Casting Director But A Casting Counselor


Jyothi Venkatesh

Having an experience of over two decades on television, advertising and films, teacher turned actor Vipul Bhatt has made his smooth transition successfully as an actor’s counselor. Using his experience as an actor, after having acted in films like Sapno Ke Bhawar Mein, Sukanya Beti, Gabbar is Back and last but not the least Band Bajaa Baraat, Vipul Bhatt is glad that he has exerciseg his wisdom in counseling thousands of strugglers not only in the Mumbai’s murky film industry but from remotest corners all over of India who nurture a dream to make a mark for themselves in Bollywood.

Vipul started tutoring in a coaching class at just the age of 17 not merely with the monetary inclination, but for the thrill of it and has become the classic example of a teacher who has become an actor by default. Vipul exults, “After years of tutoring, when the time came for me to think of opting for VRS, I joined erstwhile filmmaker Prayag Raj’s institute for a script writing course to pursue my hidden passion and when Prayagji suggested why not try acting , I decided to opt for a career as an academician turned actor!”

Vipul has also acted in several Television episodic serials and numerous ads like the SEBI advertisement on TV, Voltas, Parachute Hair Oil etc. When it is generally believed in Bollywood that ‘Once an actor, always an actor till the final stage of one’s life,’ why did an actor like him take up this work? I ask him when I meet him at a restaurant in Grant Road. “During the past several years I have noticed several gullible and innocent male and female strugglers coming from out of Mumbai getting trapped by bogus production houses, bogus co-ordinators and other ‘so called influential’ middlemen in Bollywood who exploit these fresh wannabes. You see, that there are many genuine production companies and professional casting agents but the majority of the strugglers are not in a position to identify them. Hence I registered a portal – that actually guides the beginner how to tread his or her initial steps into the Bollywood and Television industry cautiously”.

Most of us are aware of the exploitation including the horrendous casting couch syndrome faced by newcomers in Bollywood. Vipul’s website offers a WhatsApp Messaging service where he has divided newcomers in several categories like – Age 0-16, 16-30, 30-60 each of male and female categories. “My team collates the information of all the auditions scheduled for the next day, after which we segregate them into different categories as per requirements like male or female actors wanted, age, experience, attire needed and in some cases city wise like in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, etc. and send it early morning without fail on a regular basis so that the aspirants can plan out their day,” explains Bhatt.

Vipul Bhatt adds, “Most of the studios and casting agents are professional and genuine but it is only the few rotten ones that spoil the industry’s image. With my years of vast acting experience I have seen several aspirants running from one studio to another and by the time they reach the studio for audition, they are exhausted and may not perform to their optimum. I want my members to remain fresh and portray their energy in front of the camera,” he says.

Vipul Bhatt signs off.  “During the course of the day if any of my members report any untoward behavior from a particular casting agent or studio, I immediately shoot of a word of caution by my whatsapp broadcast in the list so that others can be cautious about the same and then proceed to the so called audition at their personal discretion. This is what makes me unpopular in the certain sections of the filmy town.”

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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Vipul Bhatt,  Casting Director