The dream for most people at one point or another in their lives is to become famous or a Hollywood actor or actress. For those who are serious about pursuing an acting career, there are some steps that should be taken to ensure a long career in the entertainment business.
- Find a good acting school - whether it's a traditional program or an online one - and enroll in the classes.
- Search either in the phone directory or Internet for a photographer that specializes in headshot photography.
- Work and save for the move to Los Angeles, make sure to secure a safe place to live and have a job ready.
- Make appointments with potential agents or managers in the Los Angeles area.
- Learn about the city by taking a bus around town, subway train, by foot or rent a car. Memorizing streets in strongly advisable.
Those are the top five basic steps that an aspiring actor or actress should take to get an acting career started. After acquiring an agent or manager the next steps that are necessary in order to work in Los Angeles are:
- An actor can work in a non-union film or union film at the early stages of one’s’ career. On a non-union film an actor or actress can work on a film for up to 15 days, then become eligible to join the SAG (Screen Actors Guild). The dues are based on a sliding scale system, how much you earn is what the dues are base upon. The annual dues are $116.00 and are paid in 2-installments.
- The top unions an actor should join are SAG, AFTRA, LORT or EQUITY.
- To work in television one must join AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). The initiation fee is $1063.00,which covers dues and application fees.
- To work in professional theater one must join LORT (League of Resident Theaters). The theater must have a show or play for a minimum of twelve weeks and only then can an actor apply for LORT or Equity membership.
- Equity is a program that allows actors to obtain credit by working in an Equity (union) theater. The training program is for 5 years and the initial fee is $1,100.00 and must be paid within 2 years. The application fee is $100.00 and dues are $118.00 annually.
These are the unions a successful actor or actress must eventually join in order work in top Hollywood productions to and partake in the many benefits such as health insurance. There is also the SEG (Screen Extras Guild) that was absorbed into the Screen Actors Guild. Non-union work pays less than union productions, however gaining the experience is what’s important. You may also want to consider keeping your skills as sharp as possible by taking online classes in drama while you're scheduling those auditions. It takes time, dedication, connections, talent and money to become a successful actor or actress in Hollywood.