To be the next Indian idol
Q: I hold a diploma in mechanical engineering but I am keen to become a playback or a pop singer. I wish to follow my dream at all costs. Please tell me how I can achieve my ambition.
A: A mechanical engineer wanting to become a playback or pop singer ' that's a rare combination indeed. At the very outset I would advise you to take every opportunity to participate in competitions like Indian Idol, Antakshari, Sa Re Ga Ma, on television and the vocal music competitions conducted by All India Radio etc.
Moreover, it would also be prudent to get in touch with good sound recording studios in your city. It would be of immense help if you could record an audio cassette/CD with brief pieces of your repertoire to showcase your range and talent.
Armed with this professional 'introduction', you can approach recording companies and music directors or even pop groups to give you a break. Meanwhile, grab every opportunity you can get to sing on stage and at public functions. This will boost your confidence and you will develop the skills to perform in public.
Remember, nothing helps a budding singer more than daily riyaaz (practice), even if it's for an hour. Training with the right 'guru' makes all the difference. I presume you are well-versed in classical music. It's an absolute must if you want to develop the range and depth of your voice ' even if you are interested in Indipop. Your foundation needs to be as strong as your determination to succeed.
Be disciplined. It is important to avoid overly greasy, spiced food and go easy on the ice cream to keep your voice in peak form. And last of all, wait for the right break. Don't be rash about your debut number. Working with a good composer will make all the difference. Best of luck! And don't forget to send me an autographed copy of your first cassette!
Opportunities with food technology
Q: What are the prospects of doing a course in applied science in food technology (BSc)'
A: The government has set a target of attracting investments of over Rs 1,40,000 crore over the next 10 years in order to raise the level of food processing. Food processing parks and labs are being set up and grants of up to Rs 50 lakh are being offered to promote entrepreneurship in all sectors of this field. All these measures are expected to generate direct employment.
The industry offers several employment avenues. n Production jobs: Food preservation and specialised work in production units of the food manufacturing industry. n Technical jobs: Research assistants, food analysts, demonstrators, food scientists, etc. n Academic: Teaching jobs in senior secondary schools, polytechnics, etc. n Sales jobs and service jobs (in hotels, tourist resorts, fast-food joints etc.).
Dubbing your way to success
Q: I'm keen on making a career as a dubbing artiste. Is it a viable option'
A: Considering the multilingual nature of our country, there is a great demand for dubbing and voice-over artistes. Some of the larger film and TV production houses have their own in-house dubbing departments.
As a dubbing artiste you should be fluent in the language and also be versatile enough to match your inflections, tone and pauses to synchronise with the original sound track and visuals.
For example, the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, which were originally made in Hindi, have now been dubbed in most of the Indian and several foreign languages. Also, almost every Hollywood film, big or small has a Hindi release. Similarly, a large number of popular serials and 'infotainment' programmes are now routinely dubbed in Indian languages.
For TV serials, dubbing artistes are paid about Rs 1,500 - 2,500 per episode, but depending on the artiste's capability and the length and complexity of the role, they command as much as Rs 10,000 per episode. In films you can make as much as Rs 75,000 by lending your voice to a single character on the screen, if you are really good. You could also lend your voice to documentaries, presentations and radio/TV spots. Contact some of the better-known recording studios in your town for a break.
Q: Is it necessary to have a two-year gap between passing the NIOS secondary and senior secondary exam' My son has just been transferred to NIOS. How can we ensure better performance from him'
A: Yes, a two-year gap is essential. If your son doesn't have the requisite gap of two years, he can appear in a maximum of four subjects only in the first year. He will be eligible to appear in the remaining subjects only when he completes the two-year gap.
To perform better in NIOS make sure your son appears for the exam only when he is well-prepared in the subject. It is necessary to attend the personal contact programme (PCP classes) regularly to solve/clear the doubts and problems he may have faced while studying on his own. Do also ensure that he takes his Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA) seriously as these will help him assess his progress and level of preparation.
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