Playing a baddie in your debut movie can be a suicidal decision. But when there is a Shah Rukh Khan as your idol, who doesn’t want to play the baazigar? So it happened with Shaan Groverr who took up the challenge to play a character with negative shades in the 2019-release, Noblemen. Though he may be 24, this Dilli ka chhora is a veteran when it comes to acting, having given his first performance as Mowgli when he was five, in a play directed by actor-director Lushin Dubey.
All Shaan reminisces now is that his parents took him for this audition as his homemaker mother felt her son should indulge in a cocurricular activities like her kittie party friends’ daughters did. “Their daughters were my friends, they still are, and had already been selected for the dance sequences in the play. I remember crying en route but do not recall what audition I gave. Before I could realise, I was selected and doing rehearsals,” says Shaan.
It is ironic that the youngster finally forayed into the profession his businessman father, Rocky Grover, never wanted him to. “My dad was a model in the 1990s and had closely seen how the industry worked. He was aware of the struggles one needed to go through to make a place in Bollywood. Not that he was not confident about me, my efforts and hard work but knew that in the absence of a filmi background, we were already fighting with a handicap. So, dad had made it clear while I was doing theatre that he wouldn’t let me pursue it for long,” recalls the Modern School, Vasant Vihar alumni. But then the father did let his son, at 17, shift to Mumbai and said, “Jaa, Shaan jaa, jeele apni zindagi. And Shaan didn’t disappoint him and has managed to carve a niche for himself in the ad world and the film industry.
At present, with Covid-19 ushering in a period of uncertainty and the question of “what lies next in our lives?” for a majority of world population, Groverr has chosen to remain positive and utilise the time to work on an online acting course, Acting Is Easy. “I have had this secret passion to teach since I was a kid though I don’t know where it came from. As I have been doing theatre for years, having started when I was five and have deep knowledge as far as acting and human emotions are concerned, I decided to put it to good use – by creating a course for aspiring actors. The ones who need it the most, especially the ones in Tier II and II cities and who neither have the resources nor the finances to learn acting from a reputed acting school,” says Shaan, adding that more than anyone else, aspiring actors can help aspiring actors the most — by sharing their experiences and ups and downs. “Normally, no one discloses these due to the levels of competition as well as insecurity,” he puts in.
So, Shaan got on the job – doing research and consulting books. “I knew the craft but had to seek help on grammar and language quotients to create modules for the online teaching course. I ended up creating 18 of them, each between 10 and 15 minutes. This is a very intense course which walks you down the deeper intricacies of acting — breakdowns, relationships, conflicts, opposites, stuttering, movement before, what to do before an audition, how to prepare for an audition, how to give an audition, what should your warmups be like and so on and so forth,” shares the young actor. Acting Is Easy has six-seven Hindi and English monologues, not easily available online. One needs to do is sign up and then pay a fixed amount, between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 per module for lifetime access.
This venture also consolidated Shaan’s belief in the famous ad line – Har ek friend zaroori hota hai… “Two of my friends, Aditya Vikas Agarwal and Jayesh Hans, have been pillars of strength during this initiative. While the former has been boosting up my morale and confidence since childhood days, the latter, one of the best digital marketers in Delhi, is my partner in Acting Is Easy. All I hope now is that this online course helps the maximum number of aspiring actors in India,” says Shaan, adding he is working on a few OTT series and is open to TV offers once the Covid-19 dust settles.