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What is the best way to jump start an acting career?

I want to know this because my dream job is to become a Hollywood actor. I know that this is a competitive field, but I am up for the challenge because I know I am a good actor, and I want to make money off of it. I want to start as soon as possible, and if I could get some help on how to start my career, I would greatly appreciated. #acting #future #careers #entertainment #dreams

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Phyllis’s Answer

I admire you for your self awareness at a young age. I'm assuming you've done some acting in your home town. Are you anxious to start quickly because you want to work in LA as a young person? That's totally legit.

I cut my teeth in NYC as a young person and I'm glad I did. I worked a lot in theatre and musical theatre and as a stand up comic. As long as you know that starting in a major market takes lots of money and tenacity, it can be a great experience. Try to take classes and connect with other actors. Subscribe to Backstage for articles and auditions. Subscribe to Actors Access for jobs too.

Dive in to LA when you're ready. Or when you're not and learn as you go. Although I think the latter strategy is way more difficult.

Phyllis recommends the following next steps:

Read K Callan's book about getting an agent in LA (and all her books on acting).
Do student films and get footage from them. Then hire an editor and make a great reel. You'll need it in LA.
Make sure you have a reliable car.
If you know people who live in LA see if you can stay with them. See how the city feels. Research neighborhoods to live in. Moving to a new city as a young person is challenging. Research the process, read books about acting in LA. Research is key.
Don't be so intent on going this second. Prepare yourself as much as possible before jumping. You want a safe landing.

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Jimmy’s Answer

You have a ton of confidence, and that's a great tool for an actor, but there are no true "jump starts" or shortcuts. LA, New York and Atlanta have more "big" opportunities than Detroit (I am from Detroit also and still work here, so I know what it's like), but those cities also have much more competition. If you have a reel of acting work and believe you can relocate to one of those cities and live, remember that almost no one makes money from acting immediately. You will have to find another source of income to support your acting career. If you do not have a reel, I suggest you go about getting enough work in Detroit to compile one. How do you do that ? Acting in Michigan, Acting Opportunities in Michigan Film, or any other Facebook group based in Michigan. Many of these opportunities are non paying, but will provide experience and material for your reel. MPI in Troy may hold open spring auditions. It is entirely possible to book enough work just from those to build a decent reel, or at least get one started. If you have any more specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them, one Detroiter to another.

Jimmy recommends the following next steps:

Make a reel/book work for a reel.