If you feel that the Hollywood Walk of Fame is sorely missing your name on it, you've just caught the acting bug. It takes a lot of work, determination, and oodles of luck to break into movies, but there are several avenues you can take to make the trip to blockbuster stardom a bit quicker.
First of all, you'll need to develop as a performer. These days, you can't just expect to make it into movies based on pure talent alone. You'll need to hone your craft. Start with small theater roles and dancing classes to loosen up, develop your body for the rigors of performing, and get a feel for acting. Once you've gotten the hang of the art, you can consider studying acting. Prestigious academies such as Julliard and the New York Film Academy have churned out highly respectable thespians, and should be among your top options if you're serious about acting. Attending these schools and fraternizing with like-minded souls can only foster your love and passion for performing.
The top schools will also open doors for you, as the name recognition will make an immediate impact on casting directors. If you build quite the reputation during your formal training, you'll be getting calls from interested casting agents eager to work with your talents.
Somewhat related to the association with the recognized acting academies is the concept of using your connections to get you into the business. If the name of your school can get you offers, so can the name of a friend. Network with people involved in the movie industry and you'll eventually have friends willing to offer you a helping hand towards getting that big break.
You can also consider getting involved with an agency. A decent resume, along with some good headshots (preferably sized 8 x 10), can get you an agent willing to work his butt off to get you an acting job. Your agent will handle contact the casting directors and convincing them to give you a try - all you have to do is charm them into saying "yes."
A more conventional route is to start as an extra. If it worked for Jack Nicholson, it can work for you. Scour the Internet and entertainment publications for open casting calls. These are auditions in which you can walk in without need for an agent. Again, provide and impressive resume and headshot then knock the casting directors dead with your audition so that they remember you. A bonus to working as an extra is that you can make a pretty good amount of money for the work. To date, the average wage for a movie extra is around $13 an hour, with some going as high as $36 an hour. What's more, the minimum union pay rate for extras with speaking parts is $716 per day!
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to have perseverance. If you really love the work and are determined to make it big in the business, you just have to be patient and stick with it. Do a good job, be professional, and you'll start building your road towards Oscar recognition.