You’re passionate about acting and want to pursue an acting career. You know building a career can take time, patience, and determination. But how do you get started? Here are ten acting tips to help you as you begin your acting career.
1. Build Your Skills
Even naturally talented actors benefit from developing new skills and trying different acting techniques. One of the ways to improve as an actor is to attend classes and workshops. If you are at the start of your career, classes can help you explore different types of techniques and roles. You’ll not only learn new skills but gain a better understanding of the kind of work that suits you best at this stage in your career. Taking classes and workshops also introduces you to other industry professionals, including other actors, teachers, and casting directors. Meeting others will help you build your network, which is a bonus that will help you when applying for work.
2. Practice to Gain Experience
When you have experience, you’re more likely to get paying work. While pursuing paying work is important, don’t overlook non paying opportunities early in your career. Look for opportunities at local amateur theater groups, improvisation groups, or student plays. Use these experiences to build your portfolio. Be sure to always be professional and on time. You’re making connections which may help you when looking for work or an agent.
3. Read and Watch All That You Can
As an actor, you must always be reading and watching plays, movies, or TV shows. Seeing how others performing the craft can help you grow and hone your abilities. Consider this work research. Being able to learn by watching other actors is an important skill to develop. Be sure that you’re also well-versed in theater classics, like the works of Shakespeare among others. Watch performances, but also read the original works, whether it’s a play or a book.
4. Try Different Roles
You may have an image of the perfect role you want to play in your head. That’s great! However, it’s also important to try a variety of roles early in your career. You never know when something may be a good fit for you. While at some point in your career, it may be helpful to focus on a particular niche, right now, your career is in the beginning stages. So, try different opportunities. Develop skills that help you become versatile.
5. Learn How to Take Direction
To succeed as an actor, you have to learn how to incorporate feedback from others. Opportunities like classes and amateur theater can help you learn this vital skill. Remember, everyone is working toward the same goal—to produce a stellar show that the audience loves. Feedback isn’t personal. The input is designed to help you give your best performance within the context of the whole production. Learning how to take direction effectively will make casting directors and other actors more likely to want to work with you.
6. Have Professional Headshots Taken
If you’re serious about your career, then you need professional headshots. Yes, this will cost you money. But, subpar headshots will result in casting agencies setting your information aside. They get tons of applications. You want to stand out in the right way.
7. Make a Stellar Demo Reel
A demo reel is a short video that showcases your work. You will need clips that show your abilities. You’ll need to edit this so it looks professional. If you have video editing skills, you can do this yourself or you can hire someone.
8. Start Marketing Yourself and Applying for Work
Once you have your acting portfolio completed, start marketing yourself and applying for jobs. You’ll always need to be building your network. Additionally, creating an online presence for yourself and following other industry professional’s social media is critical. Set up a website and include your portfolio and links to other social media. Keep your site updated. Consider starting a YouTube channel to build connections and also showcase your abilities as an actor. Be sure to follow other industry professionals such as casting directors and casting agencies in your area on social media.
9. Consider Joining SAG-AFTRA
SAG-AFTRA is a union. Their goal is to protect actors against unauthorized use of their work and to ensure that they are getting paid fairly and have benefits such as health insurance.
10. Get an Agent
Finding an agent that fits you can take time, especially when you are at the beginning of your career. But, an agent can help you find quality work faster. As you continue to gain experience and build your professional network, finding an agent will become easier. However, do your research when looking for agents to ensure you have someone reputable.