There are many arguments about what acting really is? Some say to be an actor is to act as someone else, others say it's being yourself on different levels.
Acting = Being: Being someone else, being yourself, being at a certain place, being at a certain time.
A professional actor is someone who can make us believe he is not acting, but actually being.
Below are some recommended steps to start or try an acting career.
Know that you are entering one of the most competitive businesses in the world. Even though you are an amateur, it is no place for amateurs. With that being said, take this trial, or new career very seriously. Be professional.
If you live in New York, Los Angeles, London, or any other major city, then you are lucky. If you don't do your best with what you have, but consider that eventually, you'll probably have to move to a major city. However, no matter where you are, you have to start 99% the time in an acting class. Don't live in an illusion that you're skilled just because you think so, or someone else told you so. Skills and experience are very different.
Enroll in acting class. Good actors study their entire lives. Just like a professional basketball player is practicing twice a day (no matter how great he is), same go for actors. There is always something to learn. There are many places and individuals that offer acting classes, make sure they are certified, or at least recommended by someone. Just like that a good acting teacher can help you grow, a bad one can hurt your career. Choose wisely.
Get a headshot. It doesn't have to be a great, expensive photographer, but it needs to be a great shot. My first headshot was with a very famous photographer which worked with Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp , and Keanu Reeves, unfortunately it didn't do anything for me. I wasted a lot of money, and it wasn't a good experience or a good result. A few years later, my girlfriend took a few pictures in the back yard with her new camera. Those picture gave me more auditions then any other professional one. So, it is not the photographer, it is the picture. Get a great one!
Compose a resume of all the work you have done so far. As your body of work grows, drop the less professional work (such as school plays) from your résumé. If you are just starting, and don't have any experience what so ever, then list only your training, and add hobbies(that you're good at), and other special skills. For more information how to compose an acting resume, read about our Resume tips.
Send your headshot and résumé with a brief Cover letter to all the casting directors and agents in your area. Follow up with postcards every four to six months, updating them on your current acting projects. Always remember, you are your best promoter. No one can promote yourself better than you.
Read the trade papers regularly: "Backstage," "Variety," and "The Ross Reports", as well as online publications such as =SITE_NAME?>. Know what is being cast where, and send headshots and notes directly to directors and producers whenever possible, requesting auditions. Always seek new information, and also share new information with other actors. Don't be afraid that they will take the job from you. Only your lack of desire and experience can do that. If you share with other actors, they will share with you.
Always accept invitations to industry events and parties, and meet industry professionals whenever possible. Who you know is extremely important. Be accessible and open. Actors need to be seen at all times.
Believe! Believe! Believe! Don't get disappointed, depressed, or give up because things don't go your way. I got my first gig after five years of struggle. My first gig was with Steven Spielberg. I have friends that worked those entire five years, and all they really want is to work with Spielberg. A true actor never gives up.
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