So I get asked often how I got into the whole acting thing and how they can too. It makes for great convo and I love telling people about it. Therefore I've decided to write it down so current and future friends get read it anytime they need to!
So... how did you get started!?
Unless you know someone in the industry, you would have no clue where to begin (like me). So I did what most people would do, I Google'd it haha. And I researched and I researched. Below is a key question & discussion that I wished someone had talked with me about.
What are you looking to do exactly?
So there are actually multiple fields in which you can work in. The big three is Film, Television, and Theater. The minor two are Commercial and Comedy (Improv). There is so much detail into each discipline, that I don't have enough writing space here to talk about them all, but know that you have the option to do them all or just focus on one. However, know that each one requires a different skill set, training and approach.
For example, theater requires you to have great stage presence and to be able to project your voice, whereas in television, not so much (as there are boom mics right above your head). For commercial work, there is a lot of voice-over narrations so most times you won't have a dialogue or script, but it does demand strong body language & facial expressions. This applies to comedy improvisation as well. Creating a scene or telling a story with just body language while keeping the audience's attention takes considerable skill.
There is so much more detail we could get into but below is a great summary of step by step guidelines to get started on your journey.
What do I need to get started!?
1. Get professional headshots taken. When printing them out, make sure it is 8x10 size.
2. Create an actor's resume (or sometimes referred to as a CV). It's totally different from a regular job resume btw. Note that when auditions asks for your headshot & resume, make sure to attach your resume to the back of your 8x10 headshot.
3. Research local or regional talent agencies, then contact them for representation. If they hold orientations, attend them to get the feel & scope of who they are, what they do, and what they expect of you.
4. Submit your headshot, resume, and any demo reels you may have to the agent/agency. There are also online resources where you can create a profile and submit those to as well, such as: Backstage, Actors Access, and Casting Networks.
5. Work on your craft! Take acting lessons either at your local college, university, private teach or from your assigned agency. Get involved with your local theaters! Take improv classes! All of these will greatly help you learn the craft, act fast on your feet and be comfortable in front of a live audience.
6. Now start auditioning! The more you do, the better you get. Sometimes you'll nail the audition, and well, sometimes you'll won't. Even famous people have had bad auditions though. Other times its just that the scripted character we are reading for is not right for us. The casting directors knows exactly what they are looking for in the role people are auditioning for. So even if you gave it your best and felt like you rocked the audition, if you are you not what they are looking for then you are not what they are looking for. It's easy to make it feel personal, but keep in mind it's all business.
"You will get a million no's before you get that one yes"
Last Legit Tip:
Legitimate talent agencies WILL NEVER ask for money upfront. That is not how they operate and that is not how they make money. They only make money when YOU make money (through booked gigs). Think of them like a temp agency, therefore it is in their best interest to try and make sure you get acting gigs. If an agency or an agent is asking you to shell out a bunch of money upfront, you should probably want to stay away from them.