The life of an actress is an appealing one to many young women, but the road to success is often difficult and littered with failure. The field of acting is wide and varied, and very competitive. For those who are dedicated, there are a number of ways to become an actress.
The first step toward any successful career is often education, and acting is no different. Some actresses have had success without formal training, but education can give an aspiring actress a step up. Being involved in drama clubs and theater classes in high school can help one's chances of getting into a theater program on the university level. Theater training at a college or university helps thespians develop their craft, and gives them insight into the world of auditions and callbacks. Another important part of theater education is forming connections. Some of the top theater programs include: New York University, the University of Southern California, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Julliard, the University of Evansville, and the University of California in Los Angeles.
Aside from education, an aspiring actress needs to consider what type of acting interests her the most. The two main categories are film and stage, but they can be broken down to include theater, musical theater, television, and film.
Theater acting is very different from screen acting. There are no re-takes and acting in front of an audience can be daunting. To land a job as a stage actress requires auditioning. Most auditions are held in New York or London, although the jobs themselves may be in other cities. Actors and actresses usually go through many auditions before landing a job, so a second source of income is often necessary. Auditions vary but most require one or two monologues to be performed and musicals will obviously require a song as well.
Screen acting is another option for actresses. Most American film companies are in Los Angeles, so moving there may be necessary. Also, many acting jobs are acquired through an agent, so getting an agent is important. An acting agency will help direct new actresses on where to get head shots and find auditions. Most screen acting jobs will be for commercials and smaller roles on television and film. Having actual lines will give more pay and may help launch someone toward larger roles.
Becoming an actress is hard, but with education, dedication, and a degree of luck, success can be achieved.