Many people decide for different reasons that they want to become a actor. Some, like many want to become rich and famous, others for the simply enjoyment of the craft. Either way, figuring out what to do first is the hardest.
Understand the odds are highly stacked against you that you will reach the level of fame of a Brad Pitt or Sylvester Stallone. If you plan on making this a career choice, plan for a backup or you face the possibility of starving! Remember, as a actor there are many venues to choose from, theater, voice over, commercial, film and more. Even the late night infomercials are a venue of acting. There are five basic steps that a up and coming actor still need to do first.
All actors need headshots. Headshots need to be in both paper form and a jpg file. Headshots are the first images a casting director or agent see’s of you. Several important factors to remember. First, your head shots should be current. If you are a red hair in your headshot and show up as a blonde, it is going to damage your chances of getting the role. Same if you gained or lost weight. If the headshot don’t look like you do in the mirror then you need to get them redone. Second, all headshots should be done in a relaxed setting. You don’t need to be formally dressed or have heavy makeup on . Consider looking at some of the actors today such as Julia Roberts, Natile Portman,Johnny Depp and more. The agent and casting director sent them to audition for roles because their look met the criteria of what the producer was looking for. Third, don’t spend a lot of money. The headshots should not be expensive. Shop around, look online, and ask word of mouth. If you see another actor and you like their headshots, contact them as ask who did it. Finally, have more than one image on your headshot. Let the director see your diversity.
Although some people will tell you not to work as an extra, don’t discount the job. The pay will range from zero to $150 dollars a day, but there is priceless value there. First, it shows work on your resume. Second, believe it or not extras have been offered roles in both film and TV shows based on their reputation working as a extra and a opportunity that might have been created. Extras have to show up on time, show set etiquette, and build a reputation with the extras company. These extras companies get contracts for some of the biggest Hollywood films. Once your in with them working on several projects your in. They will use you when you are available. The roles offered may not not be big, but they will have lines and can make you SAG eligible, credited for the role and AFTRA eligible as well.
Next considered looking at blogs offered by other aspiring actors. These blogs usually will have auctions and castings posted on them. Some will be indie films(independent) other will be large casting calls. These auditions offer a great opportunity to get your foot in the door with acting. Make sure to submit as quickly as possible. There are many actors who patrol these blogs. Once the information is posted they will be inundated with resumes and headshots.
I get many questions about sites that offer you auditions information if you pay. There are only a handful of sites I recommend paying a subscription on,
The first thing many people will ask is, “Do you have an agent?” My answer is what good is an agent if he or she doesnt’t get you work. Agents, before the time of the Internet, had the “genie in the bottle” as to auditions. Today, thanks to bloging, casting website, and postings, these auditions are not out there for the world to see. Agents are still very valuable, but I tell most actors agents will get you 10% of your work and you will get the other 90%. Take for instance the duo from the hit show Psych. The main character was discovered through his work on indie, or independent films. This was not agent driven, but instead done by the actor himself. Don’t expect to sit back and wait for the agent to call, text or email you a job. A agent is like a employment agency, they will call you for something, but don’t expect them to get you a job all the time. You, the actor have to be willing to submit yourself out in the acting world.
You don’t when fame might arrive. It could come after only a few years of work or a decade later. Sometimes that kind of fame break never comes at all. Time is all you have as an actor. So be prepared to wait it out patiently. Think of the stars you see today. Many you think achieved overnight fame. But look back over their career and you will find many minor roles in movies that you never even noticed them in. Just be patient.
Choosing to be a actors should be done simply because you love it. Regardless if you do community theater or large scale productions, you are contributing to the enjoyment of others and are still in a position many will never attain and only wish for.
www.ActorsAccess.Com, www.Backstage.Com, and www.NowCasting.Com . These sites offer a great value for what you pay and the other sites have pretty much the same postings or waste your time with posting that don’t apply to your area. You end up paying for more than what you need.