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How Do I Start As A Teen Actor At 14?

Con Anyone Answer This Question I've Been Wondering How To Start Out But I Dont Know

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


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Jimmy’s Answer

Hi Dashaun, First and foremost Acting is a job. It's a wonderful line of work, but it is still work. So, you must treat the craft with respect. If you want to stand out stay humble until called upon to light up. And Study, Practice, Audition, Repeat.

I see you live in Layfette, Louisiana. I suggest you begin by volunteering at The Looking Glass Theater located at 2807 Johnson Street. Then start learning everything they can teach you about acting. Here’s a link

What goes on behind the scenes is as important as what goes on the stage. Get as much experience as possible. Once you begin auditioning simply do not give up until you get a role. Learn, learn, learn.

The best advice I ever heard about acting came from Denzel Washington.
1. Be on time, (but early is better)
2. Know your lines.
3. Give the director something they were not expecting.

If you really want to do this, you have to do it from your heart. Nothing less than a total commitment will get you beyond the basics. It is a lifelong quest.

For what it's worth, in my first role my character was shot in the first 3 minutes and I played a corpse for the rest of the play. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Finally, remember this: Acting is not about you. It's about the story coming through you to the audience. Be a good steward of the story entrusted to you and the craft will teach you everything you need to know. Baby steps. Start with community theater.
Hope this helps,
Jimmy Hager, Actor/Screenwriter
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Dashaun !

Mr. Jimmy Hager has given you outstanding advice and he is right on target. I would like to give some advice as well.

If you are serious about being an actor starting at your age, that is most fabulous. The earlier you begin the better. One thing I need to explain and advise to you is how integral it will be for your parents or a trusted adult to oversee your acting. Since you still have a lot of high school left to complete, you may want to take acting classes, audition for every show at school and audition for community theatre. You may be able to be cast in things during the summer months as you won't have school, but finishing high school will be very important. You can get your foundation there as well as learn about video performance through any groups your school may offer. You will not be able to become a professional actor cast in union productions because the schedule would conflict with your schooling. You also have to be sure that the adult is willing to drive you to auditions and rehearsals and performances and stay there. That is usually called being a stage mother, but it is needed and suggested when you are under 18. When I taught acting for children, I loved the stage mothers and they are not pushy nor do they fit the stereotype. I appreciated that they cared for their children.

Consider participating in Summer Theatre Camp. I have left a link below for you to read about opportunities for this experience. The more experience you obtain, the more knowledgeable you will become on how to start your career. Give it time and don't rush it. There are parts for people of all ages, so you have a full career ahead of you.

If you want to register for Actors Access just for summer work and have transportation for any possible auditions, you can register via the link below. Try not to let anything interfere with your school schedule and consider focusing on it for the summer. Your account can be set for Extra work, Under Five (a feature role that has under five spoken lines) and any media you would like to work in. Look at what is auditioning in your area. Auditions Free is another website that you can register with to receive casting notices in your e-mail inbox.

You may also consider studying improvisation and becoming comfortable with your presence on stage and tapping into your creativity. I have left a link for you below for some information but you can easily find more resources online. So, to prepare for your career as an actor, you will benefit from education, experience and persistence. Never give up. It is a process like all other careers. Networking and making professional contacts no matter what your age is will be super important.

I hope that this has been a help and I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Dashaun,

Embarking on an Acting Journey at 14

Embarking on an acting career at a tender age can be a thrilling and fruitful adventure. Here's a roadmap to help you kickstart your acting journey as a 14-year-old:

1. Enroll in Acting Classes: Joining acting classes is an excellent way to hone your skills and grasp the acting fundamentals. Seek out local drama groups, acting academies, or workshops that cater to teens.

2. Accumulate Experience: Build up your experience by taking part in school dramas, community theater shows, or student films. This not only enhances your acting prowess but also beefs up your resume.

3. Secure Professional Headshots: Invest in professional headshots that bring out your unique personality and adaptability. These headshots are vital when applying for auditions.

4. Compile an Acting Resume: Craft an acting resume detailing your relevant experience, training, special skills, and contact details. Keep it current as you accumulate more experience.

5. Look Out for Auditions: Stay alert for audition opportunities in your vicinity. Auditions can be found on casting websites, via talent agencies, on social media platforms, and at local theaters.

6. Think About Hiring an Agent: Engaging a talent agent can provide you with more audition opportunities and guide you through the industry. Investigate trustworthy talent agencies that represent young actors and consider contacting them.

7. Network: Building connections is key in the showbiz world. Attend industry gatherings, workshops, and seminars to mingle with fellow actors, casting directors, and industry insiders.

8. Remain Dedicated and Resilient: Carving out a successful acting career demands time and commitment. Stay devoted to refining your craft, attending auditions, and chasing opportunities, even when faced with rejection.

Bear in mind that starting an acting career at a young age calls for patience, diligence, and resilience. Remain focused on polishing your skills and pursuing your acting passion.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

Backstage: Backstage is a trusted resource for actors seeking audition opportunities, industry guidance, and tools to boost their careers.

The Hollywood Reporter: The Hollywood Reporter delivers insights into the entertainment world, including advice for budding actors and updates on the latest trends.

Actors’ Equity Association: The Actors’ Equity Association provides invaluable resources for actors, including details on professional standards, auditions, and networking opportunities within the industry.

James Constantine Frangos.
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Elise’s Answer

Hello, first you have to focus on school and keeping your grades up. Then you have to maintain a good average. Discipline is key. If you can maintain school then you can balance acting.
Acting takes patience and a good memory. That's why maintaining a good grade average is important. Because you have to train your brain to retain information the scene and your tone to fit the scenario of the plot etc.