You are ready to jump into a field you are confident you will succeed in, but don't know where to start, right? Welcome to a many membered club! The truth is, there's no one sure fire way to make sure you succeed in acting. There are many ways and each actor will find success in their own way, with a combination of luck, connections, perseverance and, of course, talent. However, there are a few basic tips I would like to share that will help the newbies get their foot in the door and with the hopes of sticking around.
Here's how you can get started:
Here's how you can get started:
Just like so many successful singers have their roots in a church choir, many actors credit their roots to local theater companies and playhouses. You'll find at least one small community space where local actors gather and put on performances in just about every city and town. Use and take advantage of this opportunity, even if your primary goal is to land in film and television. Acting is acting, regardless. It changes very little between media and any practice or exposure you can get while being involved in community theater will only improve your chances of making it in the film industry. Also, many agents and casting directors attend plays and showcases in hopes of finding talented new actors. Remember, opportunities can come at any time and in even the unlikely places.
If there's a college in your home town, the chances are, they will likely have some kind of film, media arts, or broadcasting program. Film students are always in need talented actors, and you could be exactly what they're looking for. Don't expect to get paid or expect an award winning production, but the experience will be beyond worth the time and effort. Just make sure you get a video copy of your performance and keep in contact with student director. You never know who that student director will become! Stay in touch!
Often times, these lower budget films just can not afford to hire experienced actors and will hold open calls. These calls can generally be found in local print or on community pages like craigslist. Just be cautious when responding to these ads. Take a friend with you to the audition and know what you're getting into. Most small films are wonderful experiences, but others can be purely exploitive. Use your best judgement. And remember, so many of these 'nothing films' have ended up winning some pretty great film awards, offering far grander exposure than you expect!
Be an Extra
Extras, also known as "background" or "atmosphere" actors, are used in almost every movie and television show. They may simply be a face in a crowd or someone who fully interacts with the other actors, but does so silently. In either case, getting casted for these jobs is totally accessible if you know where to be and look. Be on the lookout for ads or to see if a production is coming to your area. Even though extra work is not considered serious acting by most people in the entertainment industry, it still gives you valuable, on set experience. If you have never been on a film set before, you have the chance to really learn a lot just by watching the cast and crew at work. Also, there is a very small chance that you might get "upgraded" if the director decides that she needs you to say a line. This doesn't usually happen, but if it does you'll be paid more handsomely and become eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild.
You may be the most talented actor on the planet, but you'll never get anywhere without continued training. Classes offer feedback and tips from newbies to professionals. There are always things you can do to better and improve your skills and performance. Another benefit is the on camera and getting in front of people practice you get each session! Above all though, believe in yourself and never give up. If you want it, you can succeed in this business!
The New York Acting School for Film and Television desires your success on all levels. Get in touch today and let us know how we can help you achieve your dreams!