Embarking on your new career as an actor can be a terrifying adventure. After all, how do you know whether or not the first step you’re taking is in the right direction? Setting off into uncharted territory comes with many uncertainties and challenges. But if you have the right roadmap and take the prescribed steps, jumpstarting your acting career can be a fun and exciting endeavor.
1. Training - Take Advantage of Online Resources
You can never stop improving, right? Learn audition techniques and attend interactive workshops with seasoned actors and casting directors whenever you can. Take advantage of resources like Backstage and, in your downtime, peruse materials like No More Waiters and Acting Career Basics: On-Camera Audition & Industry Tips. There are an abundance of affordable, accessible resources online that will help pave the way for your acting career.
2. Get Headshots
You know that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Throw it out the window. As an actor, your first impression with most casting directors is going to be through your headshot - which is why it’s crucial that your headshot evokes your brand, personality, professionalism and skill all in one glance. This image will not only appear on your website, but also your casting profiles, your applications and all other marketing materials you choose to disseminate.
To take the perfect headshot, find an expert photographer with experience shooting other actors and make sure the final product looks like you (there is no catfishing in acting). Tell the world what kind of actor you are in one snapshot!
3. Create a Demo Reel
A demo reel is a compilation of an actor’s most impressive work. You have two minutes or less to ‘wow’ casting directors and give them an idea of how you look and perform on screen. Whether you’re shooting new footage for your reel or splicing together work from past projects, it’s important that your reel is edited to utter perfection.
If you don’t have past footage (everyone needs to start somewhere), try self-taping your reel. All you need: a neutral background, a camera with a microphone and ample lighting. Check
out my shop for some of the equipment you may want to own as you start an acting career.
4. Secure a Talent Agent
Sometimes to get that dream role, it helps to have legitimate representation in the industry with connections and experience. Landing a talent agent can be a difficult task, but with the right directories, you’ll be able to sift through a handful of professionals until you find the right fit for you. Do your research, submit your marketing materials (headshot, demo reel, resume) and try to secure a talent representative you can trust and rely on.
5. Attend Casting Calls
More than anything, it’s important that you get your name out there as much as possible. Make it a habit to scan casting notices and subscribe to industry-related job sites. Regularly attend auditions to meet other actors, network with casting directors and grow your confidence. Don’t forget that with repetition comes improvement: the more you audition, the better you’ll get at auditioning.
6. Get Inspired
One of the most important tasks you have as an aspiring actor is to stay inspired. There is bound to be rejection and disappointment on your horizon, but don’t let that get you down! Remember that every actor to hit the silver screen has been in your shoes and faced the same hurdles as you. Keep your morale high and try to inspire yourself on a daily basis by reading memoirs from successful actors, studying films featuring your favorite thespians and consulting motivational materials.