10 Ways to Get Your First Acting Jobs12 Aug 2016, Posted by Casting Tips in
I often hear the plaintive sobs of actors at the start of their career that’s usually goes something like… “That’s all well and good, but how do I break into the industry. I’m not on Spotlight. I don’t have an agent, it’s a conspiracy…”
HOW DO I GET MY FIRST ACTING JOB???
Firstly bear in mind there is no conspiracy theory: they really did land on the moon, there are no aliens in Area 51, Elvis and Margaret Thatcher did not have a love child and oh yes most importantly…
Nobody is conspiring to keep you out of the industry.
The first challenge of the industry is getting in the industry. This applies all across the board in film and TV, and we will give some other examples generally in another blog, but today we will look at some strategies for getting yourself started as an actor.
To paraphrase Basil Fawlty this might sound like “stating the bleedin’ obvious“, but to be an actor you need to act. It has to become like breathing and eating.
Take. Every. Opportunity. To. Act.
It bears repeating!
Take. Every. Opportunity. To. Act.
Not only will this allow you to perfect your art, but it will help you network and also it will give you something for a showreel.
This is the most important rule. Everything else is just detail.
2. Weebles wobble…
But they don’t fall down! If you are younger than 30 this will probably mean nothing to you. Let me explain.
When I was growing up there was an egg-shaped toy that if you pushed it over it would just right itself. The Weeble is the perfect metaphor for what an actor must be.
You can wobble, but you can’t fall down. You have to get back up again. There will be MANY MANY MANY rejections. After each one you have to pull yourself together and live to fight another day and to do that you have to be hungry. You have to want it. You will have to be resilient. You will have to work HARD. You have to channel the Weeble. You will have to earn EVERY role.
3. Build Relationships
Take every opportunity to build strong and deep relationships with other creatives. And not just the obvious ones like directors and producers but also other actors, It’s not a competition. Even if two actors are going for the same part, you just need to be the best YOU can be and hope that everything else on the CD and director or producer’s list is aligned. Then hope that the Gods of casting smile down on you.
Building relationships with other actors means that you can recommend each other and have a support network. Being an actor is the best crap job in the world or is it the crappest best job in the world – either way having a safety net who REALLY understand your situation is vital and something that even the most supportive friends and family have no frame of reference for.
If you can’t act then practice. Work with your actor chums that you have build relationships with (see 3 above) on scenes to hone your craft. Video it on your phone, critique, adjust then rinse and repeat.
5. The University of Life
Life is an education. Always approach EVERY situation as an opportunity to learn. Dissect it. Log it. Recall it. Your life’s journey’s and experiences will help you be a better actor. Your performance will then always be informed by real life. Be an emotional magpie. Create a diary (paper or even something like Evernote). Think like an actor. Become an actor.
6. Be a Class Act
There are some great classes out there, go forth and Google. Classes enable you to keep trying out new techniques that may or may not work for you, but why worry remember… In Classes Nobody Can Hear You Fail. What you got to lose?
You will also work with different actors which is always a plus and again there are opportunities to build relationships.
7. Educating Actor
The internet is great, but also make sure you read real books. There are also some great books that can help your education process I will blog with a list of these sometime soon, but make sure you know Stanislavski from “Stan’s Lav Key” and Meisner from Miserly
Another opportunity to learn is by reading film and TV scripts. There are many dodgy transcripts of film and TV scripts online, but you should ignore these. Invest some money in the “reel deal” at Script City – it will be a revelation!
8. Actor For Hire
When you are confident that you have read and practiced and have channeled said Weeble and attended classes then why not contact film schools and see if there looking for actors for any of their films. Sometimes there are just not enough actors to populate the filmmakers focussed on the practical and technical side of filmmaking
Part of the building relationships tip really, but you should attend networking events where ever you can. I know many very confident actors who can get on stage in front of hundreds of people and not be phased, but put them in a room of 10 people as themselves and they are knackered.
It can be daunting when you don’t know anybody and they are all talking in their little cliques or groups, but this is a perfect example of putting your acting talents to use. Pretend to be confident and “Fake it until you Make it.” Act like a confident person would.
As I said in a previous blog keep your ear to the ground and get in the middle of projects – Be Part of The Solution Not Part of The Problem.
We will explore making a showreel in a future blog post, but you do need to try and find ways to let the world how bloody great you are. Why not start to blog about what you are up to, try to build up a following use it as a platform for your showreel. Self-promote. Tweet. Facebook. Instagram whatever spread the word.
But bear in mind make sure it is QUALITY. The interwebs doesn’t need to see what you have had for your dinner or to see you slag off your BFF’s ex.
A Final Thought
You could marry a sugar daddy and get him to fund a $10m feature film starring you. Maybe not so useful if you are an overweight 53 year old ex builder called Barry. Possibly more applicable if you are a young ingenue.
In fact strike this. This is a rubbish idea. It’s Friday afternoon and I’m obviously past my best. See my other post… Respect yourself!
This is like Rule 1. VITAL.
Never Miss A Post!
Subscribe to our mailing list: