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Youngsters From Mumbai’s Slum Get A Lifetime Opportunity To Participate In A Workshop Conducted by India’s Most Prestigious Acting Institute

25 youth from NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation’s Arts Academy selected for a special workshop by Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares – The School for Actors

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Mumbai: Students from Salaam Bombay Foundation’s (SBF) Academy of Arts got a lifetime opportunity to learn the craft of theatre and camera acting in a special workshop conducted by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, India’s premier acting institute that has trained popular actors such as Deepika Padukone, Kiara Advani, Varun Dhawan, Ananya Pandey, and many others. The special workshop that took place on May 7 at the institutes’ premises in Andheri West, Mumbai, became a major hit, SBF students were elated and inspired post the workshop.

The institute founded by international actor Anupam Kher also offered scholarships to select exceptionally talented students from municipal-run schools in an attempt to help these resource-challenged acting aspirants build a career as actors and performers. Out of 25 students, three students have been selected for the scholarship by Actor Prepares. These selected students will get complete support from the acting school in terms of further training and guidance. Most of these students hail from humble backgrounds and yet have achieved a remarkable feat in the art of acting. The workshop is organized with a motive to teach them the finer aspects of the performing art, improve their skills and guide them on their path to pursue acting professionally.

20-year-old Siddhesh Pardhi who was a part of the workshop expressed his excitement and gratitude for this one-of-its-kind opportunity. Siddesh is a 2nd-year college student who suffered his share of hardships during the pandemic. His mother was a tailor who lost employment due to Covid-19, now she runs a small-scale bakery and Siddesh helps her with it. Siddesh caught the craze of acting when he was just 10-years-old, he was a movie buff since childhood and took pleasure in mimicking actors. Following his love and enthusiasm for acting, Siddesh got enrolled in SBF’s Theatre academy at the age of 12. It was because of the correct means and appropriate training that just within months he started improvising his scripts and developing his own style. From class 7th, he started taking part in theatres and local stage performances. His talent and zeal got him a role in Rani Mukherjee starrer Bollywood movie Hichki. Following that Siddesh appeared in a couple of episodes of Crime Patrol also.

Somewhat similar is the story of Priyanka Kotwal, another acting aficionado who is also going to be a part of the workshop.

Priyanka is a daughter of an auto-rickshaw driver and a resident of Borivali but she never let her limitations stop her from pursuing her love for acting. Priyanka discovered her fondness for acting after she attended SBF’s introduction to theatre sessions at her school. Since 8th standard, she started participating in theatre workshops and performances and then never looked back. Today, Priyanka boasts a rich resume, she is an assistant trainer at SBF’s theatre academy and has performed several times with renowned actor, writer, director and puppeteer Meena Naik in the past, plus she has also appeared in a series on YouTube and has done numerous voice-overs for several animated shows. She believes that theatre has helped her in building confidence as well as enhanced her personality. Her dream is to make a career in theatre and take up scriptwriting and direction in future.

Sharing her thoughts after attending the workshop, Priyanka said, “The experience was very enriching, we got useful knowledge, the best part was that we got a chance to learn from mentors who have taught some of the best actors of our film and television industry. We all are going to cherish this experience for a long time.”

Abhishek Waghmare, another student of the Theatre Academy at Salaam Bombay Foundation’s Academy of the Arts who was also a part of the workshop said, “After attending the workshop I am feeling so empowered. At the beginning of the workshop, I was a bit nervous, but the way the coach explained and taught us has really boosted my confidence and reduced my anxiety. I definitely look forward to making a great career in the world of acting”.

This workshop was most awaited for several such acting enthusiasts, it gave them an insight into the professional world of acting along with educating them about the dos and don’ts of different sorts of roles and characters. Most of the students who participated in the workshop looked forward to opening their avenues in the world of professional acting.

Suveer Bhambani, Acting Coach, Actor Prepares, “Our acting workshop for the youth of Salaam Bombay Foundation is in line with the vision of Actor Prepares’ founder and chairman Anupam Kher to empower underprivileged youth, with professional skill training to help them realise their dream of pursuing professional acting as a career while helping boost their confidence and capability to follow this passion. Actor Prepares compliments Salaam Bombay Foundation on the wonderful work they do and looks forward to this collaboration”.

Devyani Singh, General Manager,  Communications, Salaam Bombay Foundation said, “We are very grateful to Mr Anupam Kher and Actor Prepares for giving our students the opportunity to learn and grow as actors. They have extended a unique opportunity and platform to the underprivileged children from urban slums to compete and chase their dreams on an equal footing.”

Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares came into existence in 2005 in Mumbai as a professional drama school for actors to learn the craft using modern techniques and methods. It is the only institute in the world that is headed by a globally recognized actor who is still active professionally.

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