by Aveline MacQuoid on June 28, 2021

in Extras

10 Tips For Beginning Your Acting Career

Embarking on an acting career can be terrifying, but it can also be exhilarating. It’s notoriously one of the most competitive and difficult careers to break into, but once you’re there, it’s rewarding in a way few other vocations are. When you’re just starting out on the road to becoming a professional actor, you might think that it’s hopeless; breaking into the industry feels impossible, and it always seems like opportunities aren’t coming. However, while you wait, there’s plenty you can work on like pursuing a degree in film or cinematography. Here are 10 tips for starting off your acting career.

1. Be prepared to wait

Acting is not the career for you if you want instant gratification. It takes a very, very long time to achieve anything approaching success as an actor, and you’ll be working long and thankless hours. That doesn’t mean that an opportunity won’t suddenly present itself. Rather, actors often work for a long time before that opportunity comes, but you can spend the intervening time building up connections and establishing yourself wherever you happen to be based.

2. Don’t quit your day job

Sometimes, the phrase “don’t quit your day job” is snarky advice for those who are perceived to be inferior as actors. That’s not how we mean it, though. It’s important to keep yourself funded while you train and grow as an actor. If you absolutely must quit your job, be sure to seek out alternative sources of funding. When you need a quick cash injection, bad credit personal loans can be a good option, but make sure you don’t come to rely on loans if you’re going to struggle in the long term.

3. Always observe and learn

When you’re a professional actor, you’re going to find it hard to watch movies, TV shows, or theatre performances for pleasure. Instead, you’ll likely find yourself constantly observing and analysing the performers, seeing if there’s anything you can incorporate into your own repertoire. This isn’t a bad thing; instead, it’s something you should encourage yourself to do regularly. Learning how to become a better actor is one of the best ways you can set yourself up for success!

4. Take jobs to build your portfolio

People looking to hire professional actors will almost certainly want to see some experience under those actors’ belts. While it is possible to land a paid job without any experience, it’s better to try and find ways to build your resume first. Unfortunately, this might mean some unpaid volunteer work as you build up your profile, but make sure that you know your worth; you should be fairly compensated for work, so know the difference between fair volunteering and simple exploitation.

5. Film yourself and watch it back

Many actors say they hate watching their own work. While that’s understandable, such reticence isn’t conducive to growing as a professional, so if you want to become an actor, you need to learn to watch yourself. Study your audition tapes or demo reels, and ask friends and family to do the same. They’ll likely be able to spot flaws or weaknesses that you should work on. Similarly, it’s a good idea to ask people with whom you audition for feedback, whether or not you manage to land a job.

6. Find other actors and network with them

In all professions, finding people with whom you can connect is a great way to get ahead. That golden opportunity might not come unless you know someone who can offer it to you, so take every opportunity you possibly can to talk to people already in the acting profession (or adjacent to it) and see if you can build connections. It’s a good idea to have business cards printed with your information and social media details on them, too.

7. Keep up your social media feeds

These days, prospective employers will want to see your social media before they think about hiring you. It’s a good idea to keep up with platforms like Twitter and Facebook, not only because they allow you to talk to fans and potential employers, but also because they’re a great way to showcase your talent without directing employers to time-consuming portfolio sites. Social media also affords a golden opportunity for networking, which, as we’ve established, can lead to work.

8. Take some acting classes

Regardless of where you feel your acting skill is right now, there’s always room for improvement. Even the greatest actors of all time are continually honing their craft and refining their style. These classes don’t need to be in person; there are plenty of online platforms that offer remote courses, and some of them are even free, so be sure to shop around to find the perfect set of classes for you. Whatever you need to learn, there’s bound to be a teacher out there who can help you with it!

9. Get good representation

It’s not your responsibility to know everything about the business side of acting. That’s what your agent or manager is for. Of course, initially, you likely won’t be able to afford such an expense, so you will need to be fairly savvy in marketing and promoting yourself to begin with. However, when your profile starts to become more prominent, that’s when you need to find yourself an agent. Make sure to talk to other actors you know in order to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.

10. Always, always study the role

If you want directors, actors, and other industry professionals to respect you, the best way to achieve that is simply to know as much as you can about what you’re getting yourself into. Naturally, this involves reading and re-reading any scripts you’re sent, but it’s also important to make sure you immerse yourself in your role. Conduct as much background and ancillary research as possible, and remember to think outside the box. Sometimes, inspiration can strike in the strangest places!

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