Ever dreamed of being on the TV or cinema screen but have no clue on where to begin your journey to entertainment stardom? Well look no further, as we bring you our top 6 tips for any actor wishing to start in 2020! Some steps can also apply to other entertainment roles, such as modelling or presenting also, so no matter what direction you would like to take your career, these tips can always assist along the way!
Before you jump in head first and potentially disappoint yourself, be sure you are ready for the road ahead, as it can be very difficult and complicated at first, especially for those without representation (agent, manager). Be sure to know what YOU want to do as an actor, and have a look in to the best ways of doing so. Considering you are reading this, you are already technically doing so.. but take it even further and build a list of casting sites you can join, agents you could apply to when the time is right, and the process of auditions, shoots, pre-release of a project and more.
If you can afford to, get some legal advice if you really need to, and sign up to unions such as SAG-AFTRA or Equity also (if needed), who are a union of performers and creative practitioners, united in the fight for fair terms and conditions in the workplace.
2. Gain Some Experience
Before you move 1000 miles to Hollywood or London in search to be the next superstar as you may see in many movies, you might want to get some experience under your belt first! This is not only important for when applying for larger roles to show what you can do on camera, but also for yourself, as it will help you gain confidence, skills and develop and stronger understanding of the production process in general.
Have a look for some unpaid, or local projects that need talents to play roles. There are many advertised on social media, casting sites and more, so its up to you to make sure you reach out and get active! Remember, you do not want to get in to a habit of doing this, as every actor deserves to be paid at some point, but it is necessary to build experience and also a great way to learn!
3. Practice your acting skills, it doesn't always come naturally!
It would be a lie to say every single major actor hasn't practiced. Nobody in the world who is the best at something hasn't had to practice and sharpen up their skills at some point! There are many ways in which you can work on your talents, some of which cost but are worth every penny for those serious about starting a long term career within the field. You could have a look at some tutorial videos online to start with, and pick up a few tips from those more experienced and willing to share with those such as yourself.
You can also have a look into signing up for an acting school. This is costly, but one of the most professional and effective way for any actor looking to start up to gain the skills they may require or need tweaking. Of course, there are also the opportunity to (if possible) to go to college/university and take a course surrounding Drama/Theatre. This, is obviously an amazing way to become an actor, as you will have a degree qualifying you to do so, however is very expensive, and time consuming also.
Check out this video for some extra tips by Makayla Lysiak
4. Look for an agent
If you feel you have some experience behind you, worked on the skills you needed, and are ready to make a move into the acting world, you could try reach out to some agents/agencies local to you who could further help you forward in your new career. This will open many doors for you as a talent, and can really be a great way to further connect with figure within the industry, but if you cannot find an agent, do not feel disheartened, as it is far from the be all and end all of your career!
Also, be very wary and careful when applying for agencies or management (see this article for advice on agencies/scams) and be sure to get legal advice and second/third opinions and read overs if ever asked to sign anything!
5. Be the Brand!
One of the most important tips we can give you, is to build yourself as a brand and revolve everything you do around your brand, being you! All experience, they posts on your social media, the interviews you may do, acting techniques and such all add to you as a individual and are noticeable even at the beginning of your career. Make sure you can be found, you are on the ball (in terms of reaching out for partnerships, auditions/casting calls etc), stay determined, and show respect to everyone as you would hope to be respected (sorry to sound like a parent). This all goes a long way and will influence people to recommend you, or want to work with you again in the future.
6. Stay Safe!
You also want to make sure, when you travel to auditions, meet with agents, filming scenes and such, that you feel comfortable, safe, and understand everything that is going on around you! When starting, ask a friend or family member to go with you if you feel unsure or uneasy about the project, and make sure you always do your research on locations, the productions team etc before accepting the role.
Like most industries, scammers and such may try to manipulate or use vulnerable talents such as new actors, so make sure you are on guard and informed on the roles you apply for. Ask questions, find out when and how you will be paid, dont travel to remote locations alone, bring someone with you. This does not mean to feel worried or anxious about starting, it is just we would rather give you a heads up on the dark side of the industry! Most people in the acting world are nice people though, but keep your wits about you!