There are plenty of job opportunities for actors, whether that be on TV, the big screen, the stage and even on the internet. Despite that, the acting industry is a highly competitive one. Although a successful career in acting requires a mix of talent, time, patience and luck, there are some deliberate steps that you can take to help make your dream a reality. Here are the top things you need to do to become a successful actor.
1. Learn how to act
The first step to becoming an actor is, obviously, to learn how to act. While you may have natural talent, even the best and most seasoned actors continue to work with coaches and mentors to further hone their craft and develop their skills. Depending on where you are in your acting journey, there are a number of paths you may choose to take, including:
Sign up for acting classes
You’d be surprised at how many types of acting classes are available for you to sign up for. Try as many styles and different groups as possible, from improv to comedy to Shakespeare. Learning a variety of acting styles will make you a more well rounded and versatile actor, meaning that you will be able to take on any role that presents itself.
Get involved in school theatre
If you’re still in school, you are actually in the perfect place to begin your acting career. Most schools offer plenty of opportunities that will help you in becoming an actor. Choosing drama as an elective will introduce you to performing, writing your own material and different methods and schools of thought in acting. Additionally, high school plays and musicals allow students to develop their skills and gain experience in performing for large audiences.
Get experience outside of school
If you’ve left school or are looking for further experience, there are plenty of other opportunities out there for you to learn to act and begin your path to becoming an actor. Sign up for your local theatre company and audition for as many shows as you can. Even if you only get cast as an extra, you are still gaining experience behind the curtain, which will help you hone your acting skills.
Sign up for the Bachelor of Stage and Screen (Acting)
To gain experience in all aspects of acting, both practical and theoretical, sign up for the Bachelor of Screen and Stage (Acting). During the two year course, students learn:
- Voice Production
- Self-Portrayal Skills
- Script Analysis
- Introduction to Screen Acting
- Speech in Performance
- Physical Character Development
- Character Personality Profiling
- Physical Storytelling
- Audition for Screen and Stage
- Physical Combat
- Genre and Adaptation
- And much more ….
A Bachelor degree has become the entry-level benchmark for the industry.
2. Network, network, network
Unfortunately, it isn’t always what you know, but who you know. Getting ahead in your path to becoming an actor is all about building relationships and sowing seeds. Thus, just like you would for any other career, it is a good idea to start meeting people in the industry as soon as you can. If you aren’t sure where to start, acting workshops and small theatre companies provide lots of great networking opportunities. It may sound tricky, but all you really need to do is strive to be personable. You never know who might help you down the road – that assistant you are working with now could become a film producer in a few years’ time. First impressions always count.
3. Go to auditions
It will be very hard to become an actor if you don’t go to as many auditions as possible. Many actors fail to attend auditions because they are afraid that they are not good enough, however, learning to accept rejection is all part of the craft. So, prove yourself wrong and go to every audition possible. After all, every auditioning experience –even the bad ones– is something that you can learn from to become a better actor. Plus, auditions are a great place to continue networking and further your connections to others in the industry.
4. Get experience to build up your acting resume
In order to become a successful actor, you need to seek out as many acting opportunities as you can. Submit yourself to every project you feel that you are right for, no matter how big or small. Begin to build up your acting resume, filling it with a variety of performances, from small theatre productions to student films, commercials and working as an extra. You never know which opportunity could be the catalyst to your acting career.
5. Be persistent and have patience
Let’s not beat around the bush: the acting industry is tough. However, if you really want to become an actor, you must be persistent and have patience. Actors who are gritty and unrelenting are much more likely to find success than those who sit waiting for an opportunity to just knock on their door. After all, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Just remember to be patient – you never know when your big break is going to come.
6. Get an agent
Once your acting work becomes a bit more serious, it may be time to call in some help. An experienced agent can offer actors a huge network of contacts and help secure major auditions. Although you won’t need an agent at first, if you want to become a highly successful actor you will need one eventually.
7. Keep learning
Doctors go to school for years to learn their craft, so why shouldn’t you? Consider completing a degree in acting, which can help aspiring actors hone their skills, understand what happens behind the scenes and provide countless acting opportunities that may kickstart your professional career.
Here at APAC, we offer an acting programme that teaches students to use speech, movement and expression to bring characters to life and equips graduates with the skills and tools required for film and stage work all over the world.