Have you ever stood in front of a mirror representing a scene from your favorite movie or imagined yourself giving a speech of thanks with an Oscar in hand? You can stop dreaming about how great you would have been in the latest blockbuster and instead learn about the ways you could appear on the big screen. It's definitely hard work, and it may take you many years to get a role, but you can take basic steps to start an acting career.
Method 1 of 5: Get Started
Step 1. Read books on acting
Reading books by actors or acting teachers is a great way to introduce yourself to that world. In this way, you will learn about the techniques and methods of acting, how auditions are carried out or what are the best ways to start.
Good books to start with include On Acting by Sanford Meisner and Dennis Longwell, and The Art of Acting by Stella Adler. Through these books, you will learn what to expect as an actor
Step 2. Study the great performances
Acting classes are a great starting point for actors, but watching classic movies can teach you a lot, too. From each one you can learn a different skill for acting, such as instinct, character development, stage direction, movement markings and physical quality. All of them are just a few essential tools and skills that you will need to learn as an actor, so to begin with, an excellent way is to observe professionals practicing them. The following are some famous actors and well-known movies in which they showcase their talents:
- Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Wild South
- Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther
- Johnny Cash in Johnny and June: Passion and Madness
- Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Fashion
Step 3. Consider what your schedule is
You should keep in mind that acting is very time consuming, so you will have to dedicate much more than just weekends if you are serious about starting an acting career. If you currently have a job with a demanding schedule, you may need to find one where you work fewer hours or find a more flexible schedule.
In many cases, budding actors seek restaurant jobs, either as waiters or bartenders, as this is a great way to earn a good amount of money, as well as allowing them to switch shifts with another employee. in case they have a last minute audition or also work only on a schedule that allows them to go out to participate in auditions anyway
Step 4. Prepare yourself financially
Many budding actors are surprised by the amount of time it takes to consistently audition, memorize lines, and develop their acting careers. Realizing the amount of time you will need to dedicate to acting may make you want to work fewer hours or be tempted to quit your job altogether in order to focus on acting. However, you shouldn't make any drastic decisions about your employment without first making sure you have a sizeable savings account to depend on, as you don't want to have to look for acting work at the same time as you can't pay your bills.
Step 5. Sign up for acting classes and workshops
You can do a little searching online to find local acting schools where you have a wide range of classes at your disposal. However, you shouldn't sign up for the first class you come across without doing some research on the school and the teachers first. In this way, you will ensure that they can provide you with what you are looking for. It's important that the classes you take teach you the basics of acting so that you can develop a solid foundation to build on.
Look for classes where you are going to learn how to break down a script, create a real character, and have a body and voice that are strong and flexible
Step 6. Talk to other actors
In this way, you will be able to know what participation in auditions really is like and dedicate yourself to acting. You should speak not only to acting actors, but also to actors who have struggled to find roles, as this could be revealing and help prepare you mentally for what's to come. You can also get some good advice from those who have already walked the path you are just starting out on. You could ask them the following questions:
- "What is a normal day like for a person who wants to dedicate himself to acting?"
- "How many times have you been turned down at an audition?"
- "How many auditions do you attend a week?"
- "How much money do I need to start?"
- "Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?"
Step 7. Determine what type of performance you want to dedicate yourself to
Because there are many different types of acting jobs available to you, determining your preferred type will help you narrow your focus and find what you are looking for. You can consider different areas of action, such as the following:
- movies, prime-time television, or soap operas
- be a tv host
- the commercials
Method 2 of 5: Prepare Essential Materials
Step 1. Take pictures of your face
These are an essential part of being cast because, with them, casting directors can get a basic idea of who you are so they can determine if they want you to audition. It is highly recommended that you take these photos professionally. This will give you quality images that flatter you and show the casting director that you are serious about acting.
- These photos are expensive, but you only need a couple of great photos to get started.
- Keep in mind that the cost of facial photographs ranges from $ 50 to $ 1000. For this reason, you should be careful to do your research before going anywhere. While you don't have to spend too much, don't forget that your photos should get the casting director's attention.
Step 2. Create an acting resume
It is necessary that this is professional and does not contain errors. Also, you should mention your personal statistics; that is, your height, weight, eye color, hair color and body measurements, among others. Also mention the work you have done, if any, in addition to the training you have received or are receiving, your related experience, your talents and your abilities. These are other things you can include on your resume:
- Your current contact information so that the casting director or acting agent can reach you.
- Include any acting memberships you have, if applicable.
- The type of paper you think you are best suited for. This will better inform agents and recruiters of your type. For example, you could mention if you are looking for leading roles, supporting roles, voice-over roles, or roles that do not have lines, such as extra or stuntman.
- Mention if you can speak more than one language, as this could open the door to more roles.
Step 3. Write a cover letter
This is an opportunity to forge a personal connection, as well as adding a professional element to the listening process. You should tailor your cover letters to the specific role for which you are presenting. Here are some essential elements to include:
- Start the letter with a greeting and explain why you are interested in that specific role.
- Mention where you studied, what you are currently working on for your acting career, and what your goals are. In this way, you will show them your commitment.
- Mention your best acting accomplishments or whatever you're working on to show that you have skills and experience.
- Suggest that they take a look at the photos of your face and your resume so they can learn more about the type of actor you are.
Step 4. Make a portfolio
You can do this in a filing cabinet or folder and you should be sure to include your face photos, your acting resume, your cover letter, and perhaps a business card. This way, all your important materials will be able to stay in one orderly place. If you have previously worked as an actor, you should put this material on a DVD or store it digitally so that you are ready to show it to a casting director or agent.
Method 3 of 5: Find a Job as an Actor
Step 1. Get an acting agent
These agents help you land acting roles through their contacts and inside information. Agents make money this way, so they will want to land you a role and will work to schedule meetings with casting directors and get auditions for you. Agents present you for the roles that are most suitable for you based on your personal information and skills. They also receive information to which you do not have access (for example, the reasons why they did not give you a role for which you applied). While receiving negative feedback can be difficult, it can also help you grow as an actor.
- If you live in the US, try to find a franchised agent who is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), as they tend to have more connections and may be able to represent you in a more legitimate way.
- You can search for agents online and make a note of those you are interested in working with. You could read reviews about them or look them up at a local entity similar to the US Better Business Bureau so you can find out if anyone has filed a complaint against them.
- After you find an agent you want to work with, you could either schedule a meeting or send them your portfolio. Hopefully, the agent you want to work with will also be interested in working with you.
- You should never pay an agent before landing a role.
Step 2. Find auditions on your own
If you don't have an agent or just want to find out what's available to you, city websites can be a great resource for finding local auditions and castings. In many cases, movies post their current projects and auditions and you can review them for free.
You should be wary of audition websites that ask you to make a payment to create an account so that you can search for auditions, as this could be a scam
Step 3. Prepare for an audition
For an audition, one of the most important things you need to do is memorize the script. In this way, you indicate to the casting director that you take your job seriously and that you are a professional. Also, you should not only know your lines, but also understand the character. You can practice auditioning at home in front of a mirror or in front of other people to get a better idea on paper and gain more confidence. Practice the role enough that it feels natural and believable.
Step 4. Have good manners
How well you perform in an audition may not matter if you come across as disrespectful, and you could also spoil your chances of landing the role. Consider the following helpful tips for hearing:
- Avoid touching any piece of equipment or food at the audition, as you are there as a guest and you must respect everything and everyone around you.
- Put aside your personal habits. You should never chew gum or smoke during an audition unless it is part of the role.
- At the end of the audition, be sure to thank the casting director and anyone else who contributed to making the audition possible.
Step 5. Consider moving to a place where you can have more opportunities to act
Since acting auditions are not offered anywhere, if you want to increase your chances of starting and developing a career in acting, you may need to move to a city where you have a greater chance of auditioning and establishing yourself. acting contacts with other people in the field.
If you live in the US, Los Angeles and Hollywood have a great reputation as places for actors to kick off their careers, but other places in the country have become popular with production companies (e.g. New York, Chicago, New Mexico, Oregon and Louisiana)
Method 4 of 5: Avoid Scams
Step 1. Do your research
You need to make sure that what you are going to do is legitimate before you jump into it. Something is probably too good to be true if that's what it sounds like. There are a lot of people out there who try to take advantage of budding actors to make money, so you want to be sure that every audition you go to is for legitimate roles and that they don't just want to keep your money.
In case you are unsure about an audition, you can contact the local office of the relevant union (for example, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists in the USA) to tell them about your concerns, since they will be very well informed and can give you good advice
Step 2. Be careful about auditions that are advertised
If you find out on the radio or newspaper about an acting opportunity, it may be a scam. Casting directors and film productions occasionally hold open auditions for films, but information related to these projects should be freely available. Every week, hundreds of trained actors submit their resumes and photos of their faces to legitimate agencies, so they don't need to go out and search for "new faces."
Step 3. Avoid websites that charge
Many professional-looking websites promise that they will get you an audition to help you become an actor, but they are most likely scams and only take your money.
Step 4. Avoid paying talent companies for photos
In case a talent agency wants to charge you for photos, it may be a scam. Talent agencies try to take advantage of inexperienced actors by making them believe they have to pay for photographs. However, there is no reason for you to do so at any time. If you find yourself in a situation like this, it is best to withdraw.
Method 5 of 5: Promote Your Acting Career
Step 1. Get a lot of experience
You should take advantage of everything that can hone your acting skills. You could find out about community theater, low-budget projects, student movies at local colleges, commercials, or independent movies. Also, in addition to gaining experience in acting, you should seek employment behind the scenes on a television set, a movie, or a commercial in order to learn as much about the profession as possible.
- Art colleges with film programs may allow students to post advertisements at the institution when they need actors for a project, so you could gain experience by trying these roles.
- If you are just starting out as an actor, you should not look down on small roles or those for which you do not consider yourself very suitable, as every role is an opportunity to practice your rank as an actor and develop skills and experience.
- You never know when one role could lead to another.
Step 2. Take time each day to work on acting
You should aim to dedicate at least one hour a day to working towards your acting goal, regardless of whether you have decided to devote all of your free time to pursuing an acting career or are trying to balance it with your full-time job in an office.. You could find out about new auditions, attend acting classes, see a play, study a movie, or update your resume. You should try to achieve something every day, as there is always a lot to do.
Step 3. Improve your performance through feedback
Learning the craft of acting is eternal, regardless of the number of years during which you have practiced acting or the number of classes you have taken. You can always get better at something, grow from something, or challenge yourself with something. Never stop being open to suggestions and willing to change.
If a casting director or acting instructor wants to give you advice, avoid ignoring their suggestions and taking offense. Instead, really listen to their criticism and ask for their advice on how you can improve
Step 4. Prepare to face rejection many times
You may participate in a dozen auditions and not get called for any of them. While this can be tough on the ego and spirit, you must not forget that it is part of the business. You will have a lot of competition and you will not get many of the roles you are applying for. Sometimes your agent will tell you what the casting agents didn't like about you or your audition, so you need to prepare yourself emotionally to hear it. Don't let your self-confidence crumble but instead consider how you can grow for future auditions based on those criticisms.
- You should bear in mind that perhaps there was nothing wrong with your audition, but that the casting directors had a very specific idea in mind and you did not embody it. You just have to be patient and don't stop showing up for auditions.
- Acting is not for the weak. If you feel overwhelmed, you should not forget that, for the most part, actors had to go through this before they landed a role.
- Talk to other actors about their difficulties and fears to get emotional support.