Sure, you can just start acting but that’s like getting into the car and having no destination in mind or idea how to operate the vehicle. So it's important to get very clear on the foundations of acting and what you need to know so you can get where you want to go.
Know your type. In your youth you learned how to be whatever you want to be, but in real life you have to face your limitations.You are unlikely to be able to play much outside of your general age, height, weight, etc, so it’s vital that you have a clear understanding of who you as you truly are, when you walk into a room and what that means in terms of the roles you qualify to audition for. So be honest with yourself. Talk to your teachers, friends, family and directors and ask them for their opinions around your type so you can get a headshot and create a resume that powerfully and properly represents the who you are. First get cast for the roles you’re perfect for, and then once you expand your portfolio, your role options will expand too.
Be resilient. The beginning is the hardest. What I hear most from my students as they’re starting out is that they didn’t realize just how hard the beginning would be. There’s a big learning curve in the beginning and you have to push through it, take the criticism, learn constantly, get rejected and not let any of it get to you. Yes, you’re at the bottom of the ladder. So just keep climbing, one rung at a time and you will get there.
This is your day job. Ok, not literally, but you need to think of it as such, in that you need to be showing up every day for your building acting career. Every day, practice your skills, everyday, strengthen your weak points and learn new things. You can’t leave this to chance - you’ve got to curate and design the success you seek and that takes daily dedication. Write a list of the big and small things you need to do on a daily basis to better yourself mentally, physically and professionally for this path and stick to it.
Remember, the rejection isn’t personal. Agents, casting directors, producers, and directors are not the enemy. Sure they hold the power of who hires you and who doesn’t, but they’re not out to get you. Either you’re right for the role or you’re not. They want you to be good. If you are, it makes everyone’s life easier and makes for a great production. If you aren’t hired, it’s because you simply aren’t right for the role, or you’ve got more to learn.
Having good character is just as important as being in character. Who you are as a person, your integrity and how you show up in the world is the foundation of your career. You could be so talented that you master just about any role you’re given, but if you lack integrity or character, your career will be short lived. Know what your values are, hold to solid ethics and keep to them whether in public or private. Being in the spotlight is great for fame but it’s horrible for secrets. So do nothing you’ll be ashamed of being known or seen by all, and do what you know to be right.
It takes patience and resilience to succeed in the acting business and if you’re ready to commit, you’ll go far. To better your skills, take classes or learn more about private instruction, contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television today.