Devise Your Acting Career Path

by Sarah Bennett

Man wondering where to go

Here are a few tips which will clarify your acting career path.


The moment you say that you are considering acting as your career, you see a lot of quizzical eyes and raised eyebrows. This is not without reason of course. In any other profession, you go to a school, get education, and on completion of which there would be a job you can step into. For example, if you want to become a doctor you have to go to a medical school, followed by a residence program and on successful completion you can become a doctor. Similarly, if you want to become an engineer, you need to go to an engineering school, follow it up with internships and projects and there would be an engineering job waiting for you.

In acting, the career path is not as clear as in the other professions. But there is no denying that there is a career for the discerning. You may get bogged down by the people around you because they think acting is not a serious career and that it is a career for a special kind of people.

The only problem in pursuing a career in acting is that most people don't know where to begin. For those of you who are ready to 'face the odds' as seen by your peers, here are a few ways by which you may get some clarity about acting as a career path.

Start at the beginning.
To begin with, you need an impressive acting resume. You may wonder who would give you opportunities as a beginner, but don't worry, there are ample acting jobs all around the place. In any job, you may have to start at the bottom and work your way up to the top. The same applies for a career in acting. You start with doing small acting jobs that sometimes don't even pay and slowly work your way up to bigger roles.

Work locally.
Now let's not move straight to Hollywood and try to get added to the already bustling crowd of actors, hoping to make it big there. It makes better sense to start with any large city in the United States close to your town. You may get acting roles in plays, theater, TV commercials and sometimes even feature films.

Earn acting experience.
Community theater and student films might not earn you great money, but it earns you a rich experience which you may use on your resume. If you are considering acting as a career out of greed for making big bucks and fame then you are in for a let down and may consider community theater a let down, too. You can make it big only if you see acting as your passion. This way you would act and keep acting in any role that comes your way and soon you would see that you are noticed by people who would recommend you to some bigger roles they have heard of.

Make your own big breaks.
While on plays and student films you may learn a lot of necessary traits required for becoming a successful actor. You will learn to be patient, sociable and a person who is fun to work with. Once your resume looks impressive enough with such roles you may consider trying for movie extras in the big budget movies. As an extra you get to learn and understand what really happens in the filmmaking process and you are also in the vicinity of producers, directors and talent agents who may just discover your talent and send your career rocketing up. Only remember that you should not disturb these busy people, you may want to get their attention by exhibiting your talent on the job and not by bragging or showing off.

Though there is some confusion on where to begin when you are considering acting as your career, once you've tackled this hurdle, you're in the game and you will find that you can easily overcome such teething trouble to become a successful actor.
Copyright © Sarah Bennett. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the author. Not to be reproduced or distributed.
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Reader Comments

i really want to get into acting on television. i have always been in plays and assemblies i am the first to put my hand up and some times I'm the only one that's doing it. I'm 15 years old. i have no problem standing up in font of 600 people doing stuff with people or myself please can someone take me on there shows like BBC or Simone please i am desperate to be a star and i will be shining on top of other people. thank you.

Posted by michael forde (2011-02-15) 2880

Hi Sarah, other BIG thing missing is treating this acting desire as a business. You are paying a lot of people money along the way. Headshots, submission services, acting classes, clothes for pic, travel costs excetera. For all of this, I turn to PerformerTrack Online. It's saved me a ton of money, it's helped me evaluate what is the best career investment. Even more exciting it gives me an audition callback booking ratio that's unique to me and helps me see which headshots, agents and submission services really pay off. They often have reviews come up. Perhaps you could contact them and write one. I know readers should be aware of it. Thanks for advising making our own breaks. It's very true!

Posted by Erik (2010-09-05) 2698

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