Read these 8 Acting Jobs Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. 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.
Keep in touch with the industry community. They will be your peers, your support group, and hopefully your connections to better acting gigs. Go to the plays of your friends and get to know the cast, crew, and any management. Watch new movies and television shows to see which way the industry is headed. If you like a show, find out who casts it. There are several seminars in larger cities you can attend and meet agents, casting directors and managers. Go to as many as you can to network and learn the names of important players in the film and/or theater community.
Don't take rejections from acting jobs personally. If you have a bad audition, or if you botch a performance, don't get depressed, just move on to the next audition. If you don't get a job, it's nothing personal. Not getting a part just means you did not get a job, it doesn't mean that you're a bad person. Remember that everyone has a slow period in his or her acting life. During a tough spot, keep yourself focused, and remember your passion for your art (the reason you're in the industry in the first place).
Pilot Season runs from January to March every year in Los Angeles and New York City. If you want to get in on it, you should plan on arriving in December, so that you can set up a base of support. Get to New York in December, and begin doing monologues for casting directors and agents. Inquire about general auditions. Send out headshot postcards to remind your contacts that you're still in the business, active, and available.
You have to pay your dues in the industry before you land the ultimate acting job. Yes, you may think that you're going to land job after job, but the real story is this: There is no such thing as an overnight success. You have to be around for a while, and show that you're willing to work before you begin getting reasonable breaks. So work on that film for free. Do some favors. People will remember you, and then they'll be more inclined to employ you later on.
When starting out in an acting career, take as much work as you can. Yes, you should shoot for excellent roles from the start, but expect to be rejected in the beginning. Do extra work, do favors, and do non-union work until you are able to join SAG, AFTRA, and/or Equity. If you can only get in to student films than do as many as possible. As long as you are working, learning, making connections, and gaining exposure, it is not a wasted experience. The good acting jobs will come with time, and when you encounter them, you will be a more experienced actor.
When seeking acting jobs, persistence counts. First of all, you should display persistence in your training. Never give up honing your craft. Secondly, you need to display persistence in your contacts. Always market yourself, look to make connections. Lastly, show persistence in your application. When mailing casting directors, call to confirm that they've received your application. Afterwards, send in a headshot postcard every six weeks.
One of your biggest assets in acting jobs is professionalism. You show professionalism through both your attitudes and your actions. Always be courteous, no matter how you are treated. Always arrive to a set or rehearsal (or performance!) on time. Keep good notes on your connections to make the relationships more personal. Always follow up; it shows that you care. Be respectful to both your peers and the industry professionals with which you are meeting.
There is a natural cycle in the process of moving through acting jobs. It begins with an examination of you. You need to know what your motivation is, where your goals are set, and what your relative strengths and weaknesses are. You also need to know what the industry wants: what kinds of roles are available, and what kinds of actors are in demand. Almost always, the summertime hits a slump in auditions. Don't lose hope; business picks up again in the fall!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|