How to Become an Actor or Actress

To become an actor or actress can often take many years of perfecting the craft and searching for new jobs due to the unique challenges of the dramatic arts. However, acting itself can be a very financially and personally rewarding career for anyone who has a passion for being in the spotlight. If you are considering becoming an actor or actress, there are some ways to be successful in this endeavor.

Consider whether You Want to Become a Professional Actor

When deciding how to become an actor or actress, start thinking in terms of where you see yourself in a year or more. Is acting full time a good fit for your individual lifestyle? Many actors start out in amateur roles for many years before branching out into full time acting gigs. This is perfectly acceptable. If you want to go for professional acting, then you will need to develop the right skills to be successful.

Get an Education in the Performing Arts

While it’s certainly possible to become an actor or actress without going through a formal acting program, many of the best actors receive instruction in the performing arts in order to have a solid foundation on which to build a successful career. It’s becoming more common for actors to go to prestigious acting schools in order to land acting roles, so doing so will give you an advantage over less educated actors. Choose an acting program that has a track record of getting actors into decent roles.

Create a Professional Acting Portfolio

In the world of performance and acting, image is everything; therefore, having a professional acting portfolio is a must. Find a professional photographer to take headshots and full body, candid and posed photos of you to include in this portfolio. Establish a website and post your personal statistics, such as your height, weight, eye and hair color, plus any hobbies you have. List any acting roles you have done even if they seem minor or were unpaid.

Relocate to a Major Entertainment City

In order to have the best chance at becoming a professional actor or actress, you will want to be in the right place at the right time. Major entertainment hot spots like New York, Los Angeles or Miami are places where actors migrate to get close to movie and television studios that are recruiting new actors for supporting roles. Learn where the acting pros are hanging out and start spending time there to learn about new opportunities.

Market Your Acting Talent to Land Jobs

Once you have established yourself in a new city, have gotten some training and have created your acting portfolio, it’s time to start marketing yourself to casting directors. One of the best ways to do this is to contact an acting agent and ask for representation. In addition, you can respond to all acting casting calls found in entertainment websites, magazines and online. Ask actor friends to introduce you to movie and television producers. Accept invitations to film openings, casting parties and other places where you may catch the eye of the right casting agent.