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Since the acting and film world is so competitive, how do I succeed in getting my name out there and where do I start?

I am an incoming sophomore at Georgia State University. So many people attend this school, so I don't know where to start making connections in order to get into the acting and film industry. #july #july20
#actress #acting #film #film-acting #college #cinematography #creativity #inspiration #hope #love

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John’s Answer

Alliyah, how is it that some people get discovered as actors? Why does it seem like they don't have to work so hard to get the attention of agents, directors and casting directors? Why do some people get all the good roles? Easy "They got lucky." and that can be you to... you just need to be in the right place at the right time.


Get yourself out there as much as possible – and don’t be afraid to submit to every project you are right for, no matter how big or small. Small student films can help build your reel and widen your network. Big projects just might be looking for someone like you – and you never know when you might be submitting to a casting director who just saw you in a workshop and wants to give you a shot. This truly happens all the time. It might not end up in a booking, but it could end up in a great audition. And making your mark in a big casting office is a milestone. Go to every legitimate audition you get, no matter what. Many actors skip auditions because they’re afraid, deep down, that they’re not good enough at their art, but I encourage you to prove yourself wrong. Every auditioning experience – even one that goes terribly wrong – is something you will learn from and can use to become a better actor. Show up scared and prepared, if you have to, but just show up. You will be miles ahead of a lot of actors who chicken out.


One thing that can be a pervasive problem while pursuing your dreams is keeping your mind on your ultimate goals while you’re struggling to make a living. The need for comfort and security can derail even a great artist—and wanting a nice car and clothing can really keep people from exploring their potential. So, if this is something that truly matters to your career, you’ll need to really prioritize, saving your extra money for classes and headshots instead of restaurants and vacations.

But you’ll also need to take care of yourself. Keep upbeat, positive music in your car or on your mobile device. When you feel a hard day coming on, combat this with a mandatory dance break or a happy sing-a-long. Surround yourself with supportive people who are on the same path or who understand your struggle. Take a walk and feel the sun on your face to get your head in the right place. Read a book or do whatever you need to feel important and happy in this moment. And above all, remember how lucky you are to be pursuing this dream. So many people out there don’t have the chance or don’t believe in themselves enough to even try. Just to be attempting your dream is a blessing.

Being discovered out of the blue without any preparation or without having done any work is about as likely as winning the multi million dollar lottery. Some people play all their lives and never win.

John recommends the following next steps:

Study the industry. Find out how it works. Find out who casts what, what agents look for in an actor, what the unions do, what the current issues are in the industry, etc.
Learn basic business, networking and self-promotional skills. So important! You need to make sure you stand out from everyone else. You need to be delicately tenacious as well!
Surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want and not with people who are trying to get what you want. You are more likely to learn from people who are already doing what you want to do. So go find them and learn from them!
Stay curious and never ever think you know it all. Be humble. You can always get better, whether in your acting technique, auditioning, sharpening your monologue delivery, on-camera technique, learning about the industry or whatever. You never stop learning!
Once you start to achieve some success, help others who are in the same position you were once in. You'll see that it will pay off.

Wow, thank you! I love that advice and will really work on those things! Alliyah J.

Be so good Alliyah, they can't ignore you. John Frick

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Natasha’s Answer

You might start by drawing inspiration from topics or themes from your life, your city or region. You might adapt some projects in documentary format or fictional short films.

Gravitate towards people who also thrive in creative settings. Try to get a couple of good internships in settings such as theatre, gallery, advertising agency, architecture-design studio. You might have a chance to be a production assistant (research fellowship opportunities out there). Learn some pragmatic software during your studies or in-between semesters: Adobe, Marketo, Autodesk, etc. Essentially, think of the kind of the companies that you'd want to work for and the tools that they use.

Consider whether you can gain some exposure to your chosen field through specific creative hubs (cities). In other words, does it make sense to move to Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles? Think very carefully about a move to places that might be saturated. Discuss your hopes and dreams with your parents and teachers.

Don't listen to discouraging people. Do know that it is okay to get a decent job (and not starve) as you continue to work on your film related goals. Take care of your health even while you are young.

I really hope that you find your niche, your tribe and expand your network as you make good friends who want to see you Thrive.

Stay Well and do Dare to Dream,

Thank you so much, that was very helpful! I really appreciate your feedback! Alliyah J.

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Sendil’s Answer

Make stuff. You will learn so much from making your own projects, however simple.
Screen your films to a live audience. There’s nothing like seeing the reaction to your work live, and it will improve your films especially the edit.
Build your own team. Film is a very collaborative process so get a group of like-minded friends together so that you can make more films faster.
Work on other people’s films. Even if it’s as a runner, you will learn more and more importantly make connections.
Meet other filmmakers. The film industry is all about connections so try to get out there to film festivals, screening events, Film Courses and join a film group.
Filmmaking is not just about directors, cameras, and lights. There are a lot of other on-set jobs in the industry that could be easier to get into at the start. Films productions need drivers, caterers, painters, carpenters, accountants etc. especially runners.
Learn your trade. If you know what part of filmmaking you want to pursue go for it. Read every book, watch every YouTube tutorial, take Classes, and more importantly start doing it on your films and other people’s projects.
Post Production needs you. London is at the heart of the post-production industry at the moment. If you are into this side of filmmaking all the software is out there for you to learn and show off your potential.
Get your films seen. The internet is a great place to put your short films and build an audience. Whatever job you go for in the industry having finished work online shows your commitment as well as your skill.
Make contacts and make an impression. Your reputation is everything in the industry; so many jobs are through word of mouth. Build yourself a good reputation and you will be the one they recommend for the next job.

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Crissy’s Answer

Don't even worry about it being competitive or assuming that it will be hard to get into. When I was at school nobody told me it would be tough or that I'd have to work extra hard to be noticed. The thought itself of it being hard I think often makes people think it will, then it can become that way just because you think it.

I'm really successful at what I do - I'm a graphic designer and what I did was after I left University i applied to jobs and wrote to every single company in the media world until I got a job. And I first got freelance work with this company that become my very long term freelance clients on and off for 10 years and working on projects that had big names behind them. When my first freelance job with that one company ended (the first job was only a month or so long) I did the same thing: I continued to contact more jobs and more companies. Never be discouraged, you will always get work, even if it takes time. If you apply to 100 different jobs one of them HAS to get back to you.

So I kept building up my contacts over time, I got lucky in that the first few jobs I had in my career were at big companies. Always apply to jobs even if you think you may not 100% be qualified.

Later on in my career I worked on a lot of side projects, some just for fun that I found out about when i was networking with other creatives, some of the projects got put towards awards shows, and some won. I wished I had created my own projects earlier on and submitted them to awards - it's easy.

Thank you so much! That was very very helpful! Alliyah J.

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John’s Answer

One thing you can do is to study the biographies of your favorite actresses and actors. How did they get started?

Thank you! Alliyah J.

If you have a Kindle, you can download for free from Amazon the opening pages of many biographies. These prefaces, introductions and first chapters could tell you a great deal about how the stars started. John Lowe