How to Get Started Acting

by Mary Pratt

Little boy with film slate

For those of you who have the talent, confidence and determination in you, here are a few tips on the right way to get started acting.


There are many actors who wish to make it big in the film industry and in show business, but do not know where to start. For those of you who have the talent, confidence and determination in you, here are a few tips on the right way to get started acting.

Learn
You need to be a voracious reader and a hungry learner. Read and know everything you can get your hands on about acting. Having knowledge on various types, techniques and principles of acting would give you a great deal of confidence. Take lessons in personality development, dance, singing, martial arts and any thing that can give credit to your talent list. You also need to enroll in theaters in the neighborhood, be it school theater, community theater or a children's theater (if you are a kid).

Network
A community theater is a nerve center when it comes to networking or making contacts. In a school theater you only get to know the basics and you are most likely to meet teachers and aspiring actors. But in a community theater, the business gets much more serious and there's no guessing who can exert what influence to sign you on a role. So, the baseline is "Be nice" to everyone, and at the same time let them know that you aim high and your passion is acting. When you chance upon somebody who knows 'who's who' in the industry, don't shy away from asking a favor.

Practice
Keep acting. Do anything and any role that comes your way or if it doesn't come your way go in search of it until you find it. While knowing is one thing, practicing reinforces what you know. All the big timers in the industry today have the cutting edge because of the years of honing they have given themselves through rigorous practice in a medley of challenging roles. So the take away here is keep practicing and don't let any chance pass you. Join modeling competitions, talent shows, television series, or anything that can give you a chance to practice.

Homework - A Must
Make it customary to read a lot and update your knowledge on the industry. Researching on what you already know can further your acumen. Look up directories and web sites for established actors and email them your profile. For all you know they might trigger your career to a jumpstart.

Peer Group
If you had started early in life pursuing your dream career of acting, and right from kids' theater graduated to a university, then you may have a lot of people who can be your peer group. These are people with whom you might have maintained good contacts and who would be eager to see you perform. In all probabilities one of these well wishers would call you up for an opening with a role that is just right for you.

Is it too Late?
If the acting bug has bitten you rather late in life then you suddenly realize that you have an actor inside you who can perform miracles. "If only I had known this earlier" - this phrase can just be deleted from your mind for it is never too late to start, especially in acting, as there are roles for kids and as well as older people. There is a need for performers in all the age groups right from kids to oldies, so just wake up and make your dream come true.

Still Feeling Shy?
Are you still not sure if you are considering the right career path and want a hands-on assurance then there is still a chance for you. Get familiar with the industry by volunteering as a crew member. This will give you an excellent opportunity to see how things work.
Mary Pratt is an actress and voice talent who can be seen performing at various theatrical venues in and around Los Angeles. Her acting and career advice column "Expert Acting Advice" can be found on Actingland.com. For more career advice, acting jobs, casting calls, and movie audition notices visit www.actingland.com.

Copyright © Mary Pratt and Actingland, Inc. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed.
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