How To Get Into Acting

HOW TO GET INTO ACTING:

BEGIN.

To begin from the beginning, I would suggest that he/she start in school and/or community plays, any short films and/or student films as well. Short films & student films can be found on ActorsAccess.com, and several Facebook acting groups. Submit to be an extra on major films & tv shows. Being an extra gives people a good idea on how things work on big budget sets.

TRAINING.

Continuous training is absolutely necessary. Not just in generalized acting (how to breakdown a script, etc..), but also on-camera technique, improvisation, commercial acting vs theatrical acting, cold-reading, the business of being an actor, etc… There are many aspects to learn as an actor.

In Atlanta, GA, classes run $100-400/month. So, not inexpensive. That is why I suggest getting involved in local plays and student films to begin.

RESEARCH.

Read all the old ‘The Actors Voice’ articles by Bonnie Gillespie. It is an enormous WEALTH of information for FREE. https://bonniegillespie.com/category/the-actors-voice/page/120/

Read and read and read some more. There is so much great information on the Internet.

Be an extra.

OTHER ACTORS.

Wanting to be an actor is not an “I can just ask so&so who is an actor because I knew them 20 years ago.” Working actors do not have any pull to get someone into the industry. Working actors do not have pull to get anyone an agent. They cannot give anyone a magic formula. What have they done? They have worked their booties off training & doing everything they can to do what they love. They have sacrificed many things, scraped by, questioned if acting is what they really should do so many times it cannot be counted. They’ve been figuratively (& some literally) kicked around, taken advantage of financially, probably even relationally. They have auditioned (NOTE: “Job-interviewed”) anywhere from 10-1000 times before getting their first legitimate gig, and they have come out the other side even stronger. That. Is. What. It. Takes.

So, please, do not ask to meet with an actor to get into acting. Feel free to ask questions, but don’t expect us to have “actor-magic”…It’s simply not a thing. I’m sorry to reveal this heartbreaking piece of information.

…Get used to heartbreaking also. But don’t take anything personally. Build that thick skin. Brush it off. Let it go. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And all those other annoying clichés.

CAVEAT: A-list actors do have pull, but it is usually only for their own spawn. The rest of us actors? We *want* to be A-list and in-demand, but we are not right now. And you are not our spawn.

I AM READY.

Once someone has done that much, he/she will need:

⁃ 2 headshots, a theatrical (non-smiling, neutral look), and a commercial (smiling with teeth).

⁃ A demo-reel.

VOICE-OVER.

All the same goes for Voice Over work. He/she must have a professional Voice Over (VO) demo reel in order to get an agent (separate from acting demo reel).

FINDING BEGINNER ROLES.

For now, have them go to Actorsaccess.com to create a free profile. They can also see projects that are currently casting in their region, and submit to short films and student films on there. It does cost per submission.

AGENTS.

Agents in the major cities are not going to take anyone without a demo reel. A demo reel has clips of projects that show the actor in several of their speaking roles (all edited together into one file that is 1-3 minutes long).

Finding legitimate agents is as easy as going to https://www.sagaftra.org/contracts-industry-resources/agents-managers/about-professional-representatives/sag-franchised

and putting in the closest city and hitting the SEARCH button.

HOWEVER, he/she must RESEARCH each & every agency- their website, their rosters, their requirements, etc… because each agency is different. —>Follow. Their. Directions. Filter which agencies would work best… Bonnie Gillespie goes into this in her articles. If the agency doesn’t respond, it means they are not interested at this time. (Get used to not hearing back. We don’t hear back if we don’t get cast). It could simply be that the agency has someone too similar on their roster already. Give it 4-6 months and try again, hopefully with even more work on the resume and on the demo reel.

PATIENCE.

If he/she is truly interested, they will run the marathon which could take years. Perhaps even decades. But this business is not for the feint of heart, nor for the thin of skin. It takes persistence and tenacity while being KIND and humble. To everyone. The person you talk to at the sign in table today will be the major casting director tomorrow. BE NICE. This industry is small once inside it.

WARNINGS.

Never ever ever pay for an agent. Legitimate agents take a percentage off work that they get for you. Would you pay a temp agency? No. No, you would not.

If the person who wants to be an actor cannot wait to do all these things, to put in the hard work, and they (or their parents) decide to do a convention to “be seen” by <big entertainment company name> casting directors, it will be money down the toilet. Warning has been given.

If they have been scammed out of money, it is on them if they have already been warned.

CONGRATULATIONS!

You read all of this! Good luck. Break legs. If it’s not hard, then it’s not worth it. Many blessings for lots of patience & lots of peace ✌🏻

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