Beginning acting: “Do you really want to be an actor!!
The first step to becoming an actor, and this will probably sound ridiculous to a lot of you!
But, I’m not asking you “If you want to be an actor or movie star”. Hell…everyone wants that!
I’m asking you: “Are you willing to pay the price and go the whole nine yards?” Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be successful as an actor?
Are you ready to suffer the indignations, humiliation, disappointments, ego crushing scenarios that will constantly cross your path? Have you got the resilience to deal with this on an everyday basis?
The whole nine yards doesn’t mean the couch game, we’ll leave that out of this newsletter and leave that as a ….personal decision! Reality (it happens)!
These are questions you must ask yourself, and honestly answer!
If you think: I’m really talented, or I’m so beautiful, handsome, unique etc. SURPRISE! There are thousands of you already pursuing a career in showbiz, and everyday another thousand actors drop out, and another thousand begin! More reality!!
This is not meant to discourage you.
This is meant to motivate you!! After hearing something so seemingly negative from a 30+ years working actor, it could be disheartening.
But, if you’re one of the ones reading this newsletter, and saying to yourself…I’m the one that’s going to beat the odds and become a successful actor, I’m going to do it, and not let anything hold me back!
I BELIEVE IN ME!
I’ve got the resilience, drive, dedication, motivation, work ethic, and psychological strength to get up every morning and face that world!
Well, welcome to the club!! Because this is what you must believe!
This is what I meant when I asked you: “Do you really want to be an actor!!
Now, you’re ready to start the journey to become a professional actor!
OK, WHERE DO I START?? THIS IS A 2 PART QUESTION!
There are many of you who might have already done some acting in some way, shape, or form…meaning school, neighborhood/church productions etc. or worked in a professional job passing through your town ( if you’re from a small town), where they needed some extras or a day player.
The other group, are people who have never worked in any sort of production and all of a sudden got the bug, or felt it was something they wanted to check out.
I’m going to separate the groups in this newsletter. The first part will be for people with no experience.
NO EXPERIENCE PEOPLE
You have to start some place. Where you’re living at this moment will determine on how you approach your beginning.
SMALL TOWN OR SUBURBS, meaning quite far from a major city. I would go on Amazon and pick up a couple books. The first would be “Respect for Acting” by Uta Hagen (this is the bible of acting technique), and if still in print “The Season” by William Goldman ( insight into the CRUEL world of show biz, which hasn’t changed) and this book was written 40 years ago. He also wrote “The Sting”.
These 2 books should be MUST reading for all of you!
Uta’s book gives in-depth exercises and anecdotes in regards to what acting is really all about. She is considered one of the greatest actresses ever in the history of American theater. If you read the book and utilize the exercises (really do them), you will start a journey into the world of acting technique from most honest place in your being!!
Goldman’s book will blow off the myth of talent reigns supreme. He will talk about the business and the luck involved needed to get a break, along with many crazy and ridiculous tales of the business.
My first agent in New York told me to read it; then come back to talk and see if I still wanted to be an actor. You know the answer!
This is for both the experienced and inexperienced future actors.
There usually are church groups, school productions, and sometimes acting schools in town. If you’re near a college or university (they have film departments or theater departments) you should check them all out. See if they’re doing any productions and find out if you can audition.
Sometimes, they’ll announce in the local papers about auditions, and now with technology…probably announce on the web.
These productions always need actors and are thankful when people come to work for no pay.
Which you have to accept because you’re getting the experience of working as an actor!
The people with some experience may already have pictures and resumes. You will need this down the road. Don’t run out right away and spend a fortune on pictures. We’ll talk about pictures and resumes in another newsletter.
PEOPLE LIVING IN MAJOR CITIES OR CLOSE TO MAJOR CITIES.
You have the advantage of being closer to the “action”, the obvious major cities are Los Angeles, and New York. I noticed a few questions from outside the USA, so wherever you are, you probably know what is the major city.
The major cities will have “trade papers”, like Variety and Backstage. They will have a casting section listing auditions. You should also Google casting for your city and see what’s available in on-line casting.
Here in LA, there is “LA Casting” online, you sign up and they will email you daily casting calls. You check out what you’re right for and go for it!
This is how you start in the States, and pretty much anywhere in the world.