Read these 198 Acting Tips in 16 categories ranging from Acting - General Information to Voice Acting. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Acting tips and hundreds of other topics.
By Landra Lynn J
Perhaps you are looking for a way to enjoy theater without having to make it a career? Some of the biggest names in Hollywood started their careers by joining local acting groups, but many others have just done it for the fun. Here are a few ways to get started:
First, consider looking online. Many acting groups have pages on Facebook, Meetup and other social media sites. They are often thrilled to have new actors and actresses join them, and love helping these novices hone their craft.
Churches and other groups also usually have some sort of theater club or committee. By working on the holiday pageant or play, you can gain a bit of experience in acting.
Whether you are destined for stardom or just want to be on stage, consider joining a local acting group!
Think of your acting resume as a calling card. You are presenting yourself to complete strangers who know nothing of your talents. With that in mind, be sure your resume is:
- Neatly typed
- No longer than one page
- Edited and proofread
- Updated on a regular basis
- In correct format
In addition, you should be sure that your name and contact information are prominently displayed at the top of the page. This is so your resume can be found easily among others.
When attaching your resume to the back of your headshot, be sure it adheres solidly. There should be no clips or opened staples to snag on other photos in the casting director's pile.
Don't use clever fonts or colors on your resume. Keep the type simple, such as Tahoma, Courier, or Times New Roman. Always use black ink to print your resume, and be sure it doesn't smudge.
A small effort on your acting resume will go a long way toward presenting yourself as a professional.
One of the biggest stresses of auditioning is not what to prepare, but how to prepare. What you say or do during an audition is just as important as how you present yourself. If you're uncertain about what to wear or how to look for an audition, consider these points:
- What is the type of role for which I'm auditioning? You don't need to wear a nurse's uniform if you're playing a nurse, but a simple suit that mimics a uniform would work just fine.
- If you're not sure which role you're there to read, simply find out the age range of the character. Dress age-appropriately.
- If there's no information about the role, dress simply and neatly. Avoid garish colors or accessories.
Here are the top three most common ways of how to find an acting agent:
- Word of mouth. If your actor friends have agents, talk to them. Find out who represents them, then see if he or she can put in a good word for you. This will allow you to get your foot in the door for an interview.
- Be seen. Every time you're in a show or even a showcase, send agents postcards inviting them to come to see you perform. These postcards should ideally be miniature postcard versions of your headshots, but you can also send theatrical postcards from the show itself. (Be sure they get comped!)
- Attend talent agent seminars. Check Backstage newspaper on a weekly basis to see where there are seminars in your area.
- Check listings of local agents in the yellow pages or in publications like Backstage. Send blind mailings to agencies with a cover letter, headshot, and resume.
Once you've booked your headshot session with a professional photographer, you may be wondering how to prepare for your session. Here are a few key pointers for how to get ready for your headshot session:
- Call to confirm your appointment 24 hours ahead of time.
- Don't drink alcohol the night before, which can make you puffy. Get a good amount of sleep the night before.
- Show up to the studio 15 minutes early. Never arrive late.
- Keep colors basic. Blue is best. Your headshots should be shot in black and white, so stay away from white colors, as they tend to wash you out.
- Bring at least three changes of clothing: casual, business, and business casual.
- If you wear any jewelry, keep it small and simple. Remove any facial piercings or be prepared to have them airbrushed out.
- Get a professional hair and makeup artist to do your hair and face. Yes, men, too.
Your mail goal as an actor is to be the face (and body) of the human condition. Think of yourself as a diplomat for all mankind. The beauty of acting is the ability to "play" in the role of another human being, representing him/her to the best and most natural of our ability. Acting is communication. You, as an actor, have the honored task of creating (or recreating) life on the stage or in front of a camera. You must be able to reflect all sorts of characters, some of whom may even seem odd or distasteful to you. That's the challenge and the reward of acting!