How To Start an Acting Career

Are you an aspiring actor or actress? If so, you can't just move to Hollywood and hope to land a leading role. There is actually a lot of preparation before you can expect to have a chance at landing roles. When embarking on this career, it's important to dream big, but start small. In this line of work, expect failures, and keep a positive attitude even if you can't seem to get auditions or call-backs. Here's how to start an acting career:

  1. Enroll in acting lessons. If you want to be an actor or actress, hone your skills through acting classes. You may also find it beneficial to find a class specifically for audition preparation. This will add to your resume, build up your acting repertoire, and also give you a chance to meet industry contacts that may prove their worth as you start an acting career. Find a reputable acting school, and start reading up on acting techniques.
  2. Get your pictures. Once you're ready to start acting, good pictures are essential. They will represent you to directors and others involved in the hiring selections. There are photographers who specialize in headshots, which are the photos you'll need as an actor.
  3. Put together your portfolio. Along with the photos, you'll need a resume of your acting experience, a cover letter, and at least two monologues, a short comical monologue and a longer, dramatic one. Make sure that all of these materials communicate a well-defined message about who you are as an actress or actor and what type of roles you hope to get.
  4. Get some experience. Even becoming an extra or acting in student films can go a long way towards starting your acting career. Community theater is a great opportunity to hone your skills. Signing with a casting company can give you the opportunity to appear in small background roles. Don't expect to land a leading role without working your way up, and don't quit your day job or expect to rely on an acting income right away.
  5. Find representation. An acting agent or manager works to find roles that may work for you. Send your resume and headshots to a few talent managers to see if they would be interested in representing you. Talent agents don't usually cost money; beware of those who ask for a large upfront fee and promise to launch your career.
  6. Reevaluate your goals. Once you have embarked on an acting career, re-evaluate your situation often. Are you still enjoying it? Are you getting the roles you want? What could you work on to improve your acting skills or your chances of being selected for a role? If you stop working towards your goals, you will stop getting the roles you want. Acting is a tough business, and you'll be getting rejected a lot. You must have thick skin, and this business is not for everyone.

Embark on an acting career not because of the money or the potential fame, but because you love it. Remember to start with the basics and be realistic about your acting career goals. Every year, thousands of people decide to pursue an acting career, but it's not always as simple as they imagine. Aspiring actors need dedication and a plan to make it in the acting world.  If your plan includes consistently honing your craft through regular practice and pursuing your education at every opportunity, you'll definitely be in the running for some great roles!


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