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Is it harder to become an actor/actress as an adult?

I know there's a lot of casting companies who come around for children or teenagers to be in commercials and start off acting that way. But I am almost 17 and I can't afford to go to the acting programs offered for me. So my question is, is it harder for opportunities like this as you reach age 18? I really enjoy acting and want to do it for a living but I also understand that it's not a secure job choice.

#acting #act #film-acting #theatre #theater #short-films #films

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Alexis’s Answer

I don’t think one is ever too old to start acting. I know professional actors who didn’t get started until they were almost done with college.

I also understand that acting programs can be expensive. Ask about financial assistance. There’s no harm in asking. But also, look for opportunities in school. Is there a drama club? Is there a speech and debate team? How about a show choir?

Acting is about doing, so find some way to do it anywhere you can! I asked teachers if I can do a presentation instead of writing a paper. I joined clubs where they might be doing skits.
And if you feel like studying acting, major in theater in college.

As a career choice, no I wouldn’t say it’s a secure job choice. But life isn’t just about security, is it? It’s also about deciding your lifestyle, finding your tribe, doing what you love.

And the craziest part is, you can change your mind! No choices are permanent. I had a classmate get an MFA in acting only to become an anesthesiologist after! Go with your gut, take a chance, be brave. You’re young, you’ve got plenty of time.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I actually am in the process of auditioning for my school's musical and run an improv club! Acting is definitely what I'm passionate about so hopefully my gut is right and this works out !! Maricela
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JoLynda’s Answer

San Pablo isn’t a bad place to be since there are quite a few Performing Arts Centers nearby. Ask to be a volunteer and make contacts. You’d be amazed the kinds of backgrounds theater and performing arts professionals have and the contacts they have. If you make a good impression most would be happy to share their contacts with you or refer you for special workshops or acting programs.

I’d also recommend joining a local improv group and/or taking improv classes as they aren’t usually as expensive as formalized acting classes. Also, take advantage of the contacts you DO have. Ask you high school drama teacher for advice and contacts. Never be embarrassed to ask for advice or contacts to further your passion for acting. However, always have a back up plan.

I had friends who worked as extras through Central Casting for years and made/make decent $$ just being extras. That said, they all had full-time or flexible part-time employment elsewhere. One of my really good friends found more interest in working behind the scenes and became and exec at a large film group. Another friend took side classes in casting and has been/is now a casting director for several prominent shows. Both also had their Bachelor of Arts so I do suggest getting some type of formal college education even if it’s an Associates Degree.

Also, remember to be tenacious and super thick skinned. I had 15 interviews just to work for William Morris till I was hired. One of my acting friends (Broadway professional) said hearing all the feedback from directors and casting directors could be depressing and demoralizing. Realize that the audition process truly stinks. Good news is, YouTube!

Create a YouTube channel and create little bits and short films to display your abilities. If you’re concerned about writing for that type of thing, find a local script writing group (there’s GOT to be one in your area). Have a 5-10 page sample so they can help you out.

As mentioned in other recommendations, I’d also suggest taking movement, dance or voice lessons to get a better grasp of your strengths and weaknesses.

As for “starting at 17,” Gene Hackman was about 30 when he started acting professionally. If this is your passion, explore all avenues. I thought I wanted to be an actor or director, then when I was a teenager I discovered what a talent agent was and chased after that for a while. In college a prof suggested I become a Line Producer, so after a couple years I became a Theatrical Company Manager for a few years. I then worked in theatrical facility management for about 15 years. So you never know where your passion could lead! Good luck and never forget to always be gracious, ethical, and kind. The more people who like you and who you like in this business, the further you will get.
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