Seven Steps for a Successful Acting Career

by Sarah Bennett

Drawing of career ladder

Several steps for laying a strong foundation for your acting career plan.


There are no "overnight discoveries" in the tinsel town. Almost all of the famous celebrities and actors you know today by name made it to the top by sheer hard work and of course a lot of career planning too. It is very important to approach you acting career in a planned manner and this article aims to help you do exactly that. Read on to discover the seven steps for a successful acting career.

1. Learn the rules of the game.
Read anything and everything you can lay your hands on regarding acting. With the Internet your access to articles on acting is unlimited; just know where to look for useful data. Once you are confident that you have a deep understanding of the acting business, try establishing contacts with actors in the industry. Keep meeting as many people as you can from various areas in the industry like directors, producers, editors, production managers, stage managers, grips and the like. Don't be shy. Ask questions and make it a point to take notes when they clarify your doubts. Sending a thank you card later on to those who answered your question is a good idea, too.

When you come across an actor that you feel has got to the place where you are aspiring to reach, interview him/her and persuade him/her to share their road map to success.

It is in this first step you lay a strong foundation for your career plan.

2. Analyze your odds.
It is not a simple task to become a Hollywood "A" list actor. The route to an Oscar is a pretty tedious and a tough one. It is always better to aim for the sky knowing fully well you may land on the roof. Aim to become a successful working actor who is able to bring the character to life effortlessly and you will soon find that your performance is beginning to get noticed and talked about.

3. Go to school.
Get trained on anything that can remotely help you improve your performance. Take classes on dance, signing, martial arts and personality development. Enroll with a good university and learn techniques of acting and the history of the industry. This would certainly boost your passion.

4. Get a head start with headshots.
Good headshots would portray your personality and give you the head start you need. The challenge lies in finding a photographer who can know your strengths and project them on your headshots. Take your time in selecting the photographer and doing the headshots. Don't rush because your headhshot can be your ticket to stardom.

5. Keep practicing.
Get going with any role that comes your way and give it your best. Don't eye the pay part during the early part of your career, every role you play gets you richer with experience. Being seen on the sets keeps you noticed in the industry and your chances of landing other roles are higher.

6. Network.
Be friendly, sociable and approachable. You will soon find that more and more people like you. This way your contacts in the industry expand and therefore increase your chances for success. Remember that most directors and producers like to work with people they are comfortable with.

7. Traverse the road positively.
Always have a positive outlook and never mix your personal problem with your profession. Try to brand yourself as a person who is fun to work with. Be very professional in managing the relationship of your peers. Have your radar for data always on and be hungry for any information that can help you get better. Finally act, act and keep acting.
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 was just wondering if anyone could help me out for the first step to become a movie star. I am a dual enrollment student and i did a report on the top career that i really want to do and i did acting. I think i wold be good because people like me and yes i do obviously have some people that don't, bjt everyone has someone that they don't like. Anyway, when i did my presentation, i had people interested and someone said that I interest them and they like me and also i always have people say to me that i have something that is just unlikeable. So i am hoping that if i ever get an audition, that the people think the same thing.

Posted by Bethany Miller (2011-07-05) 3802

I love acting very much m 18 years old.at my school they dont normaly check if the are children able to act they only give for those other activities attention,im worried no 1 wil ever notice my talent.

Posted by Mmatau louisa phaka (2011-04-02) 2993

Hi, I was wondering about how to write a resume when you don't really have an acting career. How would you write a strong resume that will give you a chance at an audition without having any real acting roles?

Thanks, I am really interested.

Posted by Michelle (2009-01-05) 841

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