Acting is an extremely competitive field. The reason is that you have people who enjoy the work, and others who are attracted to the possibility of fame and fortune. There is no question, that if you make it onto the big screen, there is the potential for massive returns. However, getting there does not happen overnight. Many of the world’s most famous actors have experienced serious lows such as being homeless or working three or four jobs until they got their “big break.” Nonetheless, if you have the talent and desire, you can move forward with your goal. Just do not expect it to be easy. For more tips on how to get into acting, read on.
Start with a Plan
There is a saying that states, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” There is also another one that says, “Life happens when you’re busy making plans.” Either way, you need an actionable set of items to reach. When driving, can you figure out where you are going without directions? The same is true of life and careers. Set up some realistic goals. To illustrate, “Get a role as an extra in a play” is more realistic than “Get a starring role in a big-budget movie.” This is especially true if you are just starting out. You can find out even more by taking this Udemy course, How to Audition for Film and Television: Audition Bootcamp.
Plans can be altered. So, start with a timeline, as well. For example, you can write a goal such as “Get a role as an extra in a play by September,” or something to that effect. You can also set short term goals such as, “Practice different accents daily.” Once you reach a goal, you can tick it off and set another one that helps you to move further along with your dream career.
Understand the Basics
Make the effort to learn more about the fundamentals of acting. This can be everything from studying how to work with diverse types of monologue to emoting feelings, using hand gestures and more. Read about your favorite actors to determine how they got started in the field. Read some classic plays and practice some of the written dialogue.
Take an Acting Class
To get chosen for a role, you must first know how to act. Acting is a craft, even the most skilled and famous actors are continually looking for ways to improve their craft. Find an acting group where you can get hands on lessons and perform in front of an audience. If you can act alone, it might be much more difficult when you have a live audience. So, you have to get used to groups of people. The whole point of acting is to entertain. You want to appear natural and entertaining, not nervous. That takes much practice.
Try a wide variety of styles. Acting can be enjoyable because there is no monotony. So, try your hand at comedy, drama and improv. Directors want actors who can do it all. You then become more marketable to a wider audience. The last thing you want to be is typecast into a specific acting form, and eventually run out of good roles. Some actors who are very versatile include Robert Downey Jr., Julia Roberts, Amy Adams and Clark Gable, just to name a few.
Connect with Theater Groups in Your Area
This can be a community, commercial, high school or college theater. Develop friendships with fellow actors. Since you are interested in the same goals, you will have much to share and discuss. Practice with them, and get their feedback on your skills. Get to know their actor friends. This helps to expand your network, and it may lead to unforeseen opportunities.
You can also volunteer backstage. You can help with props, sets and costumes. This way, you have first-hand knowledge of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Need help achieving a better “look”? Check out this blog, Five Video Tips to Help You Shine on Camera.
Make the Move
If you are serious about learning how to get into acting, you will have to move where you have the most opportunities. Getting into TV and film means you need to live where the casting directors live and work. That is New York or Los Angeles. If you want to stick to plays, New York will be your best bet. Of course, many shows and movies are shot outside of those cities such as Canada, North Carolina and Miami. However, to audition, you need to be in New York and Los Angeles.
Moving is never easy. To help the transition, have enough money saved for at least three months worth of expenses. This includes your rent, food, insurance and any other necessities you have to pay for. You should also try to get a job before moving, if possible. Otherwise, you will have to find a way to bring in an income until you get your first paying role. For the most part, you will need a job that is flexible.
Many actors started out waiting tables because they could change their work hours to accommodate their audition schedule. Freelancing of some sort can also be helpful when you need time to audition and read for a casting director.
The world of acting has many ups and downs. Not every role you audition for will come your way. Sometimes studios want skill and a certain look. For instance, if the studio wants someone to play a 30-something single mother, they probably would not hire a 20-something or someone past their 40’s. Don’t let rejections get you down. They come with the territory. They also help you build a thicker skin and make you stronger.
You also want to give 100 percent to every role. When you are only halfheartedly into a role, it shows. Oscars and Tony awards are given to actors who literally transformed their entire being on camera. It is as if they are a completely different person. So, with every job, make the choice to commit yourself fully. It will pay off for you, in the end.
Do Not Take Anyone for Granted
Getting a good role also has to do with your personality. Be nice to everyone you meet, whether they are coworkers, agents or assistants. You never know if an assistant might one day become a film producer. If you treated them nicely, they might give you better consideration over someone who might have treated them poorly. In addition, to help you reach your goals, you should check out these two Udemy courses, Transform Self Doubt into Confidence and Play the Role.