So you want to act? Well, welcome to a world where talent is not, and will never be enough in order for you to be great. This is not to be harsh, but to prepare you for the reality of the career you are deciding to step into.
Acting is not for the faint of heart or for those that do not have tough skin. This is a business that comes with a ton of rejection, and where hard work will always beat talent. Perseverance and having a solid “why” are big keys to your success.
These, along with the 5 tips I have below should help you get started in the right direction!
1. GET HEADSHOTS A corporate headshot that a lawyer or business executive would take is not the same type of headshot you need as an actor. Be sure to search for photographers that specialize in headshot photography. There is nothing worse than spending $200-$300 on headshots, only to find out that they are not the right ones.
An important tip to keep in mind when getting headshots taken is to make sure that the pictures look like you. No casting director wants to call an actor into the audition room and feel like they are looking at a completely different person.
DO NOT wear a ton of makeup to your headshot session. Your pictures should look natural, so wear a natural makeup.
There will be a separate post solely about headshots in the future. For now, just know that you need them and be sure to get them from someone who knows what they are doing.
2. GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR LOCAL ACTING COMMUNITY Find out where the actors are in your city and get to know them. Get familiar with the film schools in your area, and let them know you would love to be in their student films. Audition for local theatre and indie films in the area. You may be working for free at first. As long as you are building your resume and demo reel, that is okay.
Even if you are not booking work right away, KEEP AUDITIONING! This is how you get better. It is almost 2019! Use your resources to find out who the filmmakers are in your city (Instagram, Facebook, Google, etc.)! A large part of this business is being a self-starter. NO ONE will hold your hand through this process. You have to be willing to find the right people, get in front of them, and show them what you can do.
3. PRACTICE, REHEARSE, PERFECT You will not become a good actor by simply wanting to be a good actor. There is work involved. The sooner you begin to hone in and work on perfecting your craft, the sooner you will be able to charge people for the work you do.
There are 2 ways you can go about perfecting your craft.
a. ACTING COACH/CLASS If you have extra cash to spare every week/month, get an acting coach. This is truly the best option for anyone just getting started. An acting coach will teach you character development, technique, and other important skills. It is also a great way to place yourself around other people that have the same goals as you! b. SELF COACH This is not the preferred way. However, if you cannot afford to attend an acting class you should not let that stop you from being great. Once again, it is 2019-take a semester at YouTube University…I hear it is free. There are tons of acting coaches that create YouTube videos with tips for actors.
There are also a ton of monologues online. Find one that fits you and learn it. Once you have learned it one way, then learn it again as a different character. There is so much material online, there is no excuse as to why you shouldn’t be constantly working your acting muscles.
There is also a great app called Scenebot where you can submit a monologue or scene once a month and have it critiqued by a casting director. This is a great tool for anyone looking to have their work looked at. Scenebot is a great way to track your progress as an actor. Submitting every month and seeing those critiques get better and better should really motivate you to continue putting in the work.
4. CREATE PROFILES ON CASTING SITES 3 casting sites you need to be on are Backstage, Casting Networks (LA Casting if you live in LA), and Actor’s Access. Yes, these casting sites do cost money. If you cannot get on all 3 at one time, then at least get yourself on 1. This is a career where you are going to have to invest in yourself!
The casting sites are a great way to find low budget and student films. You may even find a paid project. Your profiles on these sites will grow as you grow, but don’t be afraid to go ahead and create a site as soon as you get your headshots. Believe it or not, there are commercials and projects out there that book solely off the headshot.
In the future, I will do another blog specifically about setting up the casting sites and how to make them stand out. For now, get your headshots, get on the site(s) and start submitting.
5. DO THESE THINGS REPEATEDLY In order to succeed as an actor you have to constantly be concerned with your own growth and development. It will not always be easy and it will sometimes start to appear as if you aren’t going anywhere. DO NOT GIVE UP! If acting is something you truly want to make a career out of, it is imperative that you repeat these steps constantly.
Do not get distracted by what someone else is doing. Their path is not your path and their road to success will not resemble yours. The way to be successful as an actor is by following the steps and never giving up.
It may not happen overnight. Acting is not for someone that is looking for immediate success, stardom, or fame. If these reasons are your “why” then you may need to rethink your career choices. If your “why” is not strong enough to push you after constantly being told no, then you will quit within the first year.
Know why you want it. Follow the steps! Do not give up!
I look forward to sharing more tips with you. Use the contact tab on the website in order to ask questions, leave comments and concerns.