Beautiful girl holding clapboard

How to become an actress / actor

Being an actor is a daydream of almost any teenager. Have you ever dreamed of one day becoming a famous Hollywood actor? If you’ve always wondered how to become a film or television actor, then here are some steps that will help you to start your acting career.

Common requirements becoming an actor:

Degree Level:

High school,

Degree name:

The theatrical arts, Art of acting

Key skills:

  • Great communication skills

  • Talent and creativity

  • A good physical ability

  • Stamina, energy and physical fitness

  • Versatility and adaptability

  • Discipline, resilience and a hard-working attitude

  • A good memory, for learning parts quickly

  • Reliability and punctuality

  • Willingness to accept direction and criticism.

The challenges:

  • To support yourself;

  • Although being an actor is extremely rewarding, finding work can be a challenge;

  • The profession requires great commitment and fortitude;

  • A lot of work, often 14-20 hours per day, in all kinds of conditions and at least initially, for not much money.

Study acting at a university or arts academy

Though it’s possible to do without this step, if you don’t live in LA or New York, this is a pretty standard go-to option. Choosing acting program to study you’ll get exposure to the pros, learn about techniques, and get automatic chances to work on a stage.

It is still possible, however, for a person to be discovered while pursuing another career, especially modelling or singing. If someone appears to be an ideal match for a particular acting role, directors and producers will often employ acting coaches in order to get the level of performance they need from a non-professional actor.

An actor should have a broad range of personal interests and experiences, so an ideal early education would be fairly liberal, with a concentration on English and literature classes in order to understand the source material of many plays.

Get clear on your ‘type’

Think about what kind of work you’d like to do. Actors can work in lots of different environments, such as television shows, commercials, films, and theatre. You don’t necessarily have to pick one, but give some thought to the sort of work you’d like to do. For example, theatre actors have to focus more on lighting and voice work; film and television actors have to work well on camera and take different kinds of direction. The best way to determine your type is to watch films and find the people who look like you. What types of roles are they playing? Are they the best friend? The bad guy? The seductress? The nerd? The jock? The spoiled rich kid? The next step is to define what kind of actor you want to be. It’s very important to make up your mind on the niche you’re going to occupy. Analyse your skills and potential, choose the category, embrace it and run with it.

Build your network

Having connections can sometimes be as important as having talent. If you live in a small town or far from a major production city, it’s key, to build your contacts through social media, mentorship, and film making groups, before you make your move to pursue your dream. This way, you can continue to make money at your job, have the support of friends and family who care about you, and take the time to research and plan a strategy for making it as a film actor. Always accept invitations to industry events and parties, and meet industry professionals whenever possible.

Keep on looking for roles

Always look for new roles to play and never stop. That’s another common mistake that people make. For example, you are a tall, attractive and charismatic male, and you are just great as a leading guy who always wins and get the girl, but you shouldn’t be stuck on repeat just because this is the thing that you can do best. Imagine how many awesome roles Brad Pitt would miss if agreed to play hot shots only and refused to try new dramatic types! Being a villain, a victim, a shy/sneaky/cruel/stupid/hilarious character is a great experience as well!

Read the trade papers regularly: “Backstage,” “Dramalogue,” “The Ross Reports” and “Variety,” as well as online publications such as Know what is being cast where, and send headshots and notes directly to directors and producers whenever possible, requesting auditions.

Location, Location, Location

Move to a major city. If you hope to work in film and/or television as an actor, you need to go where the work is. New York and Los Angeles are where most of the casting directors work and live. You can start from scratch anywhere that has a decent film scene. You may have to take a waitressing job, but if it gets you a flexible schedule to make it to casting calls, great. That’s all you need.

 Get an agent

Agents can help you find work, negotiate contracts, and plan your career. Be careful though—there are many shady agencies out there making money off of young performers’ dreams. Never pay any upfront fees, and always read reviews for the agencies you’re interested in.

Be Persistent

There is one general rule in Hollywood — talent won’t get you there, but persistence just might.

Have Patience

Patience is an absolute must to keep from going insane. So develop your patience and you will enjoy the process of rising to stardom that much more even if you never end up getting there. Things happen by chance, luck, happen-stance, and divine intervention. You must be patient and wait.

Want to hear more about how to become an actor? Have a look at the videos below:

There are no comments

Add yours