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Where should someone who wants to become an actor start. What are some things a person should expect while becoming an actor. ?

High school graduate of 2024 wanting to build the career in acting and theater

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Subject: Career question for you

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Shirley’s Answer

Hi Nathaniel,

I took a playwriting class in high school for fun, and my teacher loved theater and acting. A lot of my classmates went on to attend acting school or set design. The most memorable exercise we did in class was an improv session. It was spontaneous, encouraged creativity and most importantly, helped us adapt to new situations.

I think acting and theater can be fun, but also be prepared to invest in hours of hard work and dedication. Although your first role may be a few lines, it may involve drawing upon inspiration from others, then making it original and memorable. After all, people may not remember what you say, rather remember how you made them feel.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Nathaniel
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Dora’s Answer

Hello Nathaniel,

First of all, it is wonderful to hear about your acting ambitions.

I would say the most important is to believe in yourself, know that if you work hard on your skills, keep on being curious about movies and plays, and focus on practicalities as much as on your dreams, you will be capable of building and sustaining an acting career.
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As others have mentioned already, joining local theatre makers, connecting with local independent filmmakers - maybe through social media and film events - are great first steps. Taking acting classes for a year, preferably as part of a small group, can help gain confidence too. In the meantime, I would say consume art as much as possible, see if that world fascinates you enough to become committed to it. If so, then audition, join casting sites and communities, send self-tapes, constantly learn new monologues, and be up to date with movie and theatre trends - producers and directors will want to engage in conversations with you, see if you truly are a well-grounded professional. Work on projects all the time, whether it is something you shoot with a friend over the weekend or a full-on professional set. And don't forget to only take advice from working industry professionals!

Keep it up and best of luck.
Dora
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Nathaniel,

Where Should Someone Who Wants to Become an Actor Start?

The first step to becoming an actor is to develop and refine your acting skills through training and practice. Here are some steps to help you get started:

Take Acting Classes: Enroll in acting classes at a local theater, community college, or professional acting school. Look for classes that cover basic acting techniques such as improvisation, scene study, and character development.
Participate in Local Theater Productions: Audition for local theater productions to gain experience and build your resume. Consider joining a community theater group or volunteering to act in school productions.
Create a Demo Reel: Create a demo reel showcasing your acting skills. This can include clips from local theater productions, student films, or any other projects you’ve worked on.
Build a Professional Resume: Create a professional resume highlighting your acting experience, training, and education. Include any relevant skills, such as singing or dancing.
Hire an Agent: Once you have some experience and a strong demo reel, consider hiring an agent to help you find auditions and represent you in the industry.

What Are Some Things a Person Should Expect While Becoming an Actor?

Becoming an actor requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. Here are some things to expect:

Auditioning: Actors spend a lot of time auditioning for roles. Be prepared to face rejection and keep auditioning until you land a role.
Training and Practice: Acting is a skill that requires ongoing training and practice. Be prepared to continue taking classes and practicing your craft even after you’ve landed roles.
Networking: Building relationships with other actors, directors, and industry professionals is crucial for success in acting. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with other actors on social media.
Unpredictability: The acting industry can be unpredictable, with long periods of unemployment followed by short-term projects. Be prepared for the ups and downs of the industry.
Criticism: Actors are often subject to criticism and scrutiny from audiences and critics. Be prepared to handle constructive criticism and use it to improve your craft.

Authoritative References Used:

The Actor’s Guide to Creating a Character
Back Stage: The Actors Resource
Acting for Film: A Complete Guide

(Note: These are not actual links to the references, but rather the names of the references used.)

GOD BLESS,
JC.
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Marlan’s Answer

I'm not an actor, but I've had friends who have been. One of my friends took an acting course years ago and the first thing they told her was to have a solid day-job. That advice stuck with me. I'm a writer on the side, and a good, regular job has enabled me to pursue my writing how I want to do it, not out of desperation to make it pay. Most arts do not pay, but if you have a good day-job to rely on, you can pursue your art as you want, even just for fun, and get out of it what you want. Making it pay is another topic, but the odds are, unfortunately, low to be able to do that, but you can almost always get a job that will allow you to survive, with some hours in the day to create what you want.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Nathaniel !

Someone who wants to become an actor should start out by going to college and taking an introduction course and a beginning acting course to see if it indeed is something they want to dedicate themselves to. When you are ready for the Acting career, you will be very confident on exactly how to go about it. First you will need the education, training and lots of the experience it takes to focus on developing everything you need to be an actor.

You must discover yourself as an actor. That is another place to start and an academic environment with theatre, film and television classes will greatly help you make these discoveries. You need to know your ability level of acting, singing and dancing and become comfortable with movement, blocking and taking direction. As you start to advance, you will discover your type, that is what roles you are suited for. As a beginner, you will audition for all the on campus plays and musicals as well as those in your community theatres. This will give you needed experience as well as start your resume.

Many of my classmates in college when I was a Theatre Major didn't aim for a degree but just took all the performance classes they could. So you do not exactly need a degree to be an actor, but because I did obtain my Bachelors Degree, I was able to get work in theatre administration as well as other non-acting jobs. So this is why I stress going for the degree because for me it provided an enormous amount of benefits in many ways.

Everyone does have their own individual experience while pursuing work as an actor. You will have to expect that it is an opinion business and you will be evaluated on how you look and how you sound. The essence of what to expect is a lot different between Los Angeles and New York. I worked on both coasts and I can tell you that. I began in Los Angeles and transitioned to New York City. It was so different. Let's just say everything was more productive in Los Angeles for me. Most of the work, studios and television production are in Los Angeles, but now there are opportunities for actors to do cast UGC (User Generated Content). This is acting work that you probably can do now with no experience. It's not videos on You Tube, rather it is something that a casting director of a company gives a notice for regarding a particular project and it can be done remotely. Sometimes it is for commercials, a documentary or an industrial training film. There are these UGC casting notices on Indeed and also on Auditions Free, sometimes through Backstage and New York Casting's Direct Submit. I follow some of these on Linked In, too. You just have to register at their websites and they send you casting notices via e-mail. Personally, I still hold the principal of not paying for any acting work which most of these websites require. I have found a way to bypass paying but still be able to submit for some of the jobs. You should never pay to get an acting job even if it's for a website registration (just my opinion).

There is so much advice and so many details that pertain to starting out and becoming an actor. You will continually learn by doing and if you have anymore questions about Acting, we are very happy to share advice for you. Best wishes in all you do !
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