Chase your dreams of becoming an actor with Ekalavya
India is a land full of aspiring actors, theatre makers, storytellers, each with their own unique voice. Ekalavya seeks to discover and empower all of them.
2 min read
Jehan is the Head of School at DSM and is the Co-founder of Ekalavya
The Drama School Mumbai has been very fortunate in being able to bring together quality faculty, rigorous training regimes, and a strong level of organisational and design thinking to our curriculum. This has resulted in many successful alumni, and a strong word of mouth, all based on the transformative experience students have had during the courses, which has built our reputation. Organically alone, last year, 3000 students from 43 cities across the country expressed a strong interest in joining our flagship program. But the barriers to entry are steep, and Ekalavya was conceived to remove the gates to quality training that the DSM provides.
To illustrate this, from the 3000 expressions of interest, only 132 applied, out of whom only 100 came to auditions. Out of these 100 individuals, 50 did not make it to the second round due to a lack of exposure. From the 20 who were finally selected, 5 were unable to join, despite getting part scholarships, because of a combination of lack of funds, parents’ concerns about a career in acting, and the cost of living in Mumbai.
These drop offs are not purely financial, they are also psychological and social.There are so many who think, “Am I talented? Do I have it in me? Will anyone let me pursue this highly risky, or unusual career path? Is it safe for me to move to Mumbai? I want to act, but must I go all the way to DSM to train? Can I afford it? Do I have enough understanding of what acting is, to even be accepted into the school?”
Imagine, if all of those 3000 people could be touched by the experiences of participating in theatre, if all 3000 could get one step closer to being better human beings. If 3000 people could be put on a journey which starts at their doorstep and ends at the Drama School Mumbai?
My dream for Ekalavya is that it discovers, not just 3,000, but 30,000 new voices each year – new talents – and gives them a means to develop both personal transformation, and build the fundamental skills and understandings for theatre, with which to pursue a career.
The importance of reaching these participants has a fundamental belief that drives it. I believe that theatre makes you a better human being. People who are interested in it, have discovered something in themselves, their creativity, their humanity, their interest in understanding the world around them, their interest in telling stories, in performing for audiences, and in creating the joy of a shared experience. People who participate in theatre experience self-confidence, communication, collaboration, and community. They also discover team-work, listening, and empathy and in every way become better members of a community.
Imagine helping create 1,000s upon 1,000s of people like this!
This is why we created Ekalavya.