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So You Want to Be a Working Actor?

So You Want to be a working Actor?

The most important thing an actor should have is an arsenal of material to perform at the ready. You need a rehearsed and polished sample of every style of song and or monologue (classical, contemporary, funny, and serious) ready to perform at all times.

So you want to be a working actor

Your 2nd most important tool is a fantastic headshot. It is your business card. If you are under the age of 16 you should not spend a lot on pictures because your appearance will change. You will probably need new shots taken every year. However, if you are an adult, this is where you are going to want to spend a little money. A really good headshot is very important. Your photo is the initial meeting you have with agents and casting directors so it needs to make a good and lasting impression on them. It must be the best representation of you and your personality.

You should find a photographer who specializes in headshots for actors. Look at their book. Do their shots jump out at you? Look at the eyes, are they saying something? If not, find another photographer. Once you have picked a photographer they should be able to tell you what to wear that will photograph the best. And for a woman, they should have a make up artist available for you (about $150 extra, but well worth it). Make sure you have a couple of different looks, commercial & musical theatre, (usually smiling), a serious shot for TV and film, and possibly a business shot (for adults).

Once you get the photographs done, the hard part is picking 2 or 3 of your favorite shots. You may want to get some different opinions from friends, family and anyone you know in the industry. You do want to look your best, but make sure you look like your picture so the people you are auditioning for are not surprised or shocked when you walk in the room.

When you have made your choice of shots, take them to a reputable reproduction shop. My recommendation is Reproductions in midtown Manhattan because they will know exactly what to do. You will have a few options to choose from you can do a composite shot so you have all your different looks on one 8×10 or separate shots with your different looks (commercial, theatre and TV and film). Make copies of whichever ones you decide on. Believe it or not some auditioners still ask for a hard copy of your picture and resume.  It’s something you should have on you at all times.  Never leave home without it!  You will also have the option of putting your resume directly on the back of the shots (which could be a problem if you want to add or change your resume) or you can just staple your resume to the back of your headshot.

When writing your resume, it should be in a 3 column format. If you have access to the resume of a working actor, copy their format. Otherwise here are the instructions in a nutshell. Your name should be centered along with your contact info below it. You want to list your show categories in the first column, the role you played in the 2nd, and where it was done in the 3rd. You do the same for film and any television. At the bottom of the page list your training, vocal range, dialects you have perfected and any special skills. Be concise as possible. You do not want to bore them!

Make yourself a website with video of all your acting gigs.  You’ll want to put all of your different looks on there as well. Be as specific as you can as you are selling yourself as the perfect actor for the job!  Be creative as well, just like a headshot you want your website to stand out from everybody else’s.

Now you can call yourself a professional actor. All you have to do is get the job!  How do you do that?  You spend every waking moment studying and honing your craft!

So you want to be a working actor?

 

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You Can Make It in Show Business

How you can make it in show business

Fame – television series

You can make it in Show Business!  

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “What is the secret to making it into show business?” Here’s the short answer; study, study, and study some more! You are just like an athlete, you’ve got to be the best of the best to compete in this business.

The long answer is you’ve got to start with passion for what you want to do. If you love what you do, you work diligently to master your craft, and you persist, you will succeed. First off, let me give you my definition of success. Success has nothing to do with how much money you make or what kind of celebrity status you achieve. Those things do not equal success in my opinion. If you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t matter how much money you make. 

And being a celebrity has very little to do with talent. Celebrity is a plus but not mandatory. There are lots of reasons why people become celebrities and talent is usually not one of them. Ask yourself if you’re happy doing what you’re doing. If the answer is yes, then you are a success! The money will follow your passion, but never let it be your motivation.

I believe the key to being a brilliant performer is being a well-rounded human being. The more skills you have developed combined with a wealth of knowledge give you a much better chance of working in show business. Read the paper and or listen to the news. Know what’s happening in the world around you. Be knowledgeable in as many subjects as you possibly can. This will not only make you a better performer, but a person as well. There is far more demand and way too much supply so you will need every possible advantage.

Always strive to be the best (as a performer and a person as well). I can’t stress this strongly enough; that there are a plethora of performers ready, willing, able, and waiting in the wings, so to speak. Never stop honing your craft. Remember, this is what you love to do. If it stops making you happy, change careers!

I have two pieces of advice that were given to me early in my career and it changed my life:

  1. Be the best you, you can be. No one is going to be better at it than you. Don’t try to be somebody else. Chances are there will be somebody better at it than you.
  2. Learn to love auditioning because you will be doing a lot of it. If you’re enjoying yourself your audience will too.

You can make it in Show Business!

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