How to Become an Actor or Actress

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The acting industry requires individuals to possess skills and determination to be able to succeed. Taking the first few steps toward a successful acting career can be the most difficult part of the whole process.

To start with, you need to analyze if you have the passion to tell stories and to entertain. Acting means more than just the glitz and the glamour, it is setting a mind-set that you want to succeed no matter how many hurdles will be thrown in your way. Note that in the acting industry, developing an edge over others is important as well. Your overall look, chosen medium (commercial acting, theater acting, film, or television), and career plan count and so you must decide on them as early as possible.

So if you happen to be in the early stages of your acting career, you may follow and internalize these helpful tips:

1. Learn to tell stories and bring characters to life

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As an actor, your job is to essentially bring to life a certain character and be able to portray it so well that the audiences can’t tell if you are acting or not. If you desire to be successful in the acting industry, then it is important that you learn to be a skilled story-teller first. You may practice this through performing in front of a mirror or in front of friends and family. Make sure they give you unbiased opinions after the performance.

2. Take acting classes

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The acting industry is fiercely competitive, and both experience and acting lessons will help you stand out. For beginners, acting classes will be a perfect way to familiarize yourself with the stage and how to connect with your fellow actors. There are all sorts of acting classes that you can enroll in, from local schools to improvisation classes.

Note that you don’t need to shell out a hefty amount to get good classes, as this won’t ensure you instant success in the industry. What you can do is find an acting class that will give you value for your money and will teach you skills on your chosen field of acting.

So for example you want to be a theater actress, then look for theater schools that can teach you everything you need to know. For established actors, acting classes may also be a way to discover a new set of skills or sharpen the ones they already have.

4. Get a good head shot

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A good head shot works like a passport in the industry. It give agents a way to profile you auditions and casting directors. Head shots don’t need to be over the top eccentric to stand out, so make sure you leave the theatrics or heavy makeup at home and settle for a head shot that showcases your look.

For those starting in the industry, you may consult photographers to take your head shot. If you don’t have the money to invest in a well-known photographer, you can ask anyone you know. Search for some examples on the Internet of what an effective head shot looks like. Remember, you are marketing your look, so try not to go overboard with light, exposure, and Photoshop.

5. Find a trusted agent

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Almost all actors in the industry have gotten an agent to help them out in their career. It may not be obligatory, but it is advisable so you can get acting jobs that best match your profile. The biggest challenge in doing so is finding someone who can really do the job. It is best to do your research before trusting an alleged “agent” straight off the bat. Remember, agents do not charge a single cent to represent an actor, instead they get paid through commissions based on booked jobs. Legitimate agents can be found on their Web sites. Don’t forget to check if they have a business permit to operate as well.

6. Go to auditions

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Got an agent? A head shot? Completed your first acting course? If your answer is all yes, then it’s time to head to an audition. Auditions can be daunting, and if you do not have an agent to give you an idea where the next audition is happening, you can always search for acting auditions around your area yourself. Keep in mind that your safety is priority, so try not to head to an audition on your own and be aware of shady ones (example: casting directors requiring you to undress or auditions being held in hotel rooms). Auditions are the only way for you to book a job, and whether you end up really signing up for it or not, commend yourself for trying out.

Becoming an actor is not an overnight deal, there are several things to overcome in order to become successful in this competitive field. Keeping people you trust around you and to never stop trying to learn something new are recommended tips for those wanting to stay in the industry for a long time. Continue to pursue your goals as an actor, and as what everyone in the business usually says, break a leg!

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