Many actors go years taking hobby gigs and not gaining momentum. But if you’ve got the talent and the drive, it’s time to step up your game and start moving in the professional crowd. You can do it and we are here to share some pointers.
Go from hobby actor to pro with these important moves:
If you are looking to act, you're going to need to get some experience in front of a crowd. Local theatre and school theatre is a good place to start. Take classes on public speaking or get involved with Toastmasters. This is an organization geared to help people learn to speak in front of large groups - an essential skill.
Get professional headshots done. You'll need two different looks for acting head shots. Make sure you work with a professional photographer, skilled in the category of head shots. Please remember to staple your headshot to the back of the headshot, text opposite from the back of the picture.
Once you do get your headshots done, the best route to go is with a union franchised agent. A union franchised talent agent can work with both union and non-union talent. EQUITY is the union that works with TV - Commercials and TV Shows - basically shows in a videotaped format. (Beware of agents that don't have real offices. The unions will not franchise anyone who works from home. An agency needs a professional office in order to interview clients.)
Put a reel together. This is like a visual resume. Send this out to directors, casting departments, art schools, and agencies. Don’t have a reel? Start developing one.
Don’t demand the best roles, but still choose wisely. Reach out to up and coming directors, writers and producers. Buy them a coffee and tell them your goals. Ask them for an opportunity to read to them. Be willing to be cast in student and college short films. Just get on camera so you have experience to promote.
Add every bit of good experience to your linkedin profile. Network like crazy. Ask everyone you’ve ever worked for to validate your experience on your page.
Do that, and you’ll get the right momentum moving to becoming a working paid actor.
Ready to take your hobby to professional? The choice is yours and we are here to help. If you are looking for classes, a coach or additional guidance, please contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television!