How to Become a Bollywood Actress

Bollywood is the Indian version of America's Hollywood, though Bollywood actually produces more films in a single year than Hollywood does. If you are looking for a way to get onto the silver screen, then consider Bollywood as an alternative to Hollywood.

Learn to speak Hindi before flying to Mumbai, India. You won't be cast in a Bollywood film if you can't speak the language. You can learn Hindi by taking classes, practicing with textbooks and language tapes or by working with a private Hindi tutor.

Develop your Indian dance skills. There are eight different dance styles in India: Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniaattam, Kathak, Odissi, Manipuri, Sattriya and Kathakali. Dance skills are generally more important than your acting skills, especially since there are at least six musical numbers in each Bollywood film.

Use family connections to get your foot in the door if at all possible. Bollywood doors are just as difficult to open as Hollywood doors, so if you can use family connection in Mumbai to get an acting job, you are very lucky.

Start as an extra and work your way up to a leading roll. It is difficult, if not impossible, to step off the plane in Mumbai as an unknown and land a leading role in a Bollywood film. Your best option is to work as an extra and gradually work your way up to speaking parts.

Find work by bringing your headshot and CV to a Bollywood studio like Studio 18 or to the government-owned studio complex known as "Film City." You can find "Film City" north of Mumbai in the suburbs.

Utilize online Indian casting and modeling services like "Uploaded Face" and "Indian Model Agency" to find projects to work on, as well as to get your information in front of casting agents, producers and directors.