How to Become an Actor or Actress
Career advice on how to become an actor, get started in your acting career and achieve your dream of becoming a working actor.
Do you have a desire to perform? Do you enjoy entertaining friends or imitate life and people around you? If so, you may already have what it takes to break into the professional acting business.
To become a working actor, all it takes is a bit of research, a passion for acting and patience to wait for your chance to break into the show business.
“I have wanted to act for as long as I can remember. This guide gives me all the answers I couldn’t find anywhere else. It tells you how to find out about auditions, how to get an agent, how to meet casting directors and a lot more.”
Cool Facts about Being an Actor or Actress
The most obvious benefit when you become an actor is the chance to pursue your dream career and become a superstar, but there are others:
- Self satisfaction when you do a great job.
- You will meet other actresses, actors, and famous people.
- You get to do what you are passionate about for a living.
- You will get to see yourself on the silver screen.
- The money is very good if you are a popular actor or actress.
- You will get to go to glamorous parties and wear designer outfits.
- You will likely get to travel to some exotic places for shooting.
- You will get praised for your work and build a loyal fan base.
Steps To Become an Actor or Actress
When you decide on this career, you should lay out a plan that will guide you to how to become an actor, and meet your goal.
First and foremost, you will want or move to live in a major city. Living in a major metropolitan area can give you opportunities in independent film communities or live theaters that will help build your resume. While it is still possible to find acting work in a small town, however, the fact is it is not easy to get any major recognition for it.
The best actors study their craft, so as any aspiring actor or actress, you need to take some acting classes. Ask around for references from those actors you admire before enrolling.
Have some professional headshots done and a resume written. Keep revising your resume and adding new work, as well as dropping earlier projects (like school theater.) Read trade papers like Variety, Backstage, and Dramalogue, for casting calls and keep up with the internet sites that post auditions as well. Send headshots and notes directly to producers and directors requesting acting auditions.
Accept all invitations to industry auditons, parties and events. You never know who you will meet – and who you know is vital in this industry.
Income Potential of an Actor
More than almost any other profession, this is a completely wide open range. Beginning actresses and film extras might be paid just a few hundred dollars. However, the flip side of that is that A List Hollywood actresses (think Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie) regularly pull in $15 to $25 million per film.
In between those two extremes, you will find daytime television actress making $72,000 their first year, and up to $5,000 per episode for a well-known, seasoned actress like Susan Lucci.
Likewise, television actors in comedy or drama shows start out at the low end. Their pay can go up, depending upon the success of the show and their star power. For instance, Charlie Sheen earns $825,000 per episode of Two and a Half Men, and Mariska Hargitay earns $400,000 per episode of Law & Order.
The Professional Guide To Becoming An Actor
If you are interested to find out more on how you can become a professional actor or actress, check out the FabJob Guide to Become an Actor. It will help answer a lot of questions and provide you with up-to-date insider information on how you can break into this competitive career and achieve your dream of becoming a working actor or actress.
“This is a really nice guide… It shows how to get started, where to find an agent, what to do for an audition, where to train, where to live, etc. You won’t be disappointed.”
– From a review by “Actor in LA” published at Backstage
Tips & Warnings
- Do not move to Hollywood and expect to land a major film role. It takes time and perseverance.
- Stress and lack of sleep are constants in the industry.
- You must be able to handle criticism and rejection. There will be a lot of no’s before you get a yes when you become an actress.
- You will need a “day job” until you get your break, to account for periods when you have no work, and no flow of acting money.
- When you do get a role, be aware that there can be long hours of rehearsals, and sometimes 70 and 80 hour work weeks.
- Personal relationships are often difficult because of the schedule an actress keeps, and traveling is frequent.
- Always be on your game. That means you need to always look your best, and keep your attitude optimistic and ready.