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Become an Actor or Actress

become an actor or actress

So, you want to enter the world of acting?

It is a long and difficult road, but with enough hard work and determination, it can be done. There are many stages that you need to go through in order to achieve your goal of becoming a professional actor or actress.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at exactly how to become an actor or actress. So, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get started!

become an actor or actress

What Is An Actor Or Actress?

An actor or actress is a professional who performs in television, radio, theatre, and film. They use their bodies and voices to portray different characters to entertain an audience. There are many different types of acting institutions that you can attend to gain the qualifications that you need to act.

How Do I Become An Actor Or Actress?

There is no one answer to this question, as everyone’s path to becoming an actor or actress will be different. However, there are a few things that you need to do to increase your chances of success:

  • Gain experience in acting by performing in plays and attending drama classes.
  • Attend an acting school or theatre arts institution.
  • Get an agent who will represent you and help you find work.
  • Network with other professionals in the industry.

Do You Need A Degree To Be An Actor Or Actress?

No, you do not need a degree to be an actor or actress. However, gaining a qualification from one of the many acting schools or universities can give you an advantage over other actors and actresses.

What Are The Different Types Of Acting Institutions?

There are many different types of acting institutions, each of which offers different qualifications. Some of the most common types of acting schools are:

Drama School

This is a school where you can study acting, theatre, and related subjects. It costs quite a bit of money to attend. But the qualifications you gain are equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

Theatre Arts School

This is a school that focuses specifically on training actors and actresses for stage work. It is less expensive than drama school, and the qualifications you gain are equivalent to a high school diploma.

Acting School

This is a school that teaches the skills necessary to become a professional actor or actress. It is less expensive than drama school or theatre arts school, and the qualifications you gain are equivalent to a certificate or diploma.

become the actor or actress

University Drama Department or School of Performing Arts

This is a university department or school that offers degrees in acting, theatre, and related subjects. It is the most expensive option, but it also offers the most comprehensive training.

You can gain a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degree from a university drama department. Some schools are more prestigious than others, so they may set you up for your acting career better than other schools, but usually, these schools are the most expensive option.

Acting Conservatory or Academy

This is a school that offers training in acting, voice, and movement. It is less expensive than drama school or theatre arts school, and the qualifications you gain are equivalent to a certificate or diploma similar to an acting school.

What Qualifications Can I Gain From These Institutions?

Each of the above institutions offers different qualifications, which can range from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree, and even a Ph.D. in acting theatre. In addition, many institutions offer courses in skills such as voice training, movement, and singing.

But moreover, the skills and connections you will gain from these institutes are worth more than the qualification in the end. Additionally, you can receive tips on how to be more successful in auditions and learn the ins and outs of the industry.

How Important Are Connections And Knowing The Right People?

Connections and knowing the right people can be very important in the acting world, more so than in any other field. It is often said that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

This means that having connections within the industry can be key to finding success as an actor or actress. However, this does not mean that you cannot become successful without them – it just makes things a little bit harder.

Where to find Connections?

There are many places where you can find connections within the acting world. Some of these places include:

  • Acting schools
  • Casting directors
  • Agents
  • Industry events and conferences
  • Social media platforms

The Range Of Wages An Actor Or Actress Can Expect

Acting is a unique profession in that the wages can vary greatly depending on the role and your level of experience. A beginner may only make a few hundred dollars per job, whilst an experienced actor or actress could make tens of thousands of dollars for a single role.

It is important to remember that most actors and actresses do not make a full-time living from acting and often have other jobs as well.

If you make it ‘Big’ in the industry!

The average wage for an actor or actress is around $43,760 per year. If you make it big, however, you could earn millions. Famous actor Brad Pitt is estimated to be worth around £300 million. Acting can also open the doors to deals with brands and other opportunities to make money.

What Skills Do I Need To Become An Actor Or Actress?

To become a successful actor or actress, you need to have a range of skills. Some of the most important skills include:

  • The ability to act – This is obviously essential for any actor or actress.
  • The ability to stay in character – To convincingly portray a character, you need to be able to stay in character even when you are not performing.
  • The ability to work under pressure – Acting is a high-pressure job, and you need to be able to deal with the stress.
  • The ability to work long hours – Acting is not a nine to five job, and you may need to work long hours.
  • The ability to be self-motivated – You will often be working on your own, and you need to be able to motivate yourself.
  • The ability to be creative – Acting is all about being creative and coming up with new ideas.
  • The ability to be flexible – You may need to travel for work, and you may have to work odd hours.
  • The ability to work as part of a team – Acting is often a collaborative process, and you need to be able to work with other people.
  • The ability to be a good listener – You need to be able to take direction from others, and also listen to your fellow actors and actresses.
  • The ability to stay healthy – Acting is a physically demanding job, and you need to be in good shape.

become actor or the actress

Steps To Becoming An Actor Or Actress

While everyone’s journey into the acting profession is different, some steps could make your journey easier.

Get Involved with your Highschool Play

The journey to becoming an actor or actress often starts with involvement in your high school play. This is a great way to get experience and learn the basics of acting. Plus, it will help you get over any nerves you may have from performing in front of a crowd.

Out of School Acting Clubs

There are many great acting clubs that you can join outside of school. This is a great way to gain more experience and meet other actors and actresses who share your passion for the arts. Plus, you never know who you might meet! Another member might end up being a great contact in the future!

Attend an Acting School or Theatre Arts Institution

There are many great acting schools and theatre arts institutions all over the world. Attending one of these will give you the chance to learn from some of the best professionals in the industry. These schools offer qualifications that can help you make a career in acting.

You will have to decide what type of degree you can pursue and to what level; most actors do not need a Ph.D.! The contacts and lessons you will gain from these institutions, however, can be very valuable. You can also learn about behind-the-scenes professions such as set design, stage management, and more.

Get Experience in the Real World

A good actor or actress can perform as a number of different personas. Going out into the real world and meeting a range of characters can help build up your repertoire and experience. You can bring this experience to your roles and improve your acting skills.

You can meet people everywhere so take the time to speak to people in coffee shops, restaurants and on the bus! You never know when that character will come in handy!

Start Applying for Casting Calls

Once you have some experience and feel ready, start applying for casting calls. There is no guarantee, but putting yourself out there and auditioning for as many roles as possible, will increase your chances of being successful.

become the actor or the actress

Get an Agent

Once you have a degree or some experience, it is time to get an agent. An agent is someone who will represent you and help you find work. They often have relationships with casting directors and other people in the industry, which can give you a leg up on the competition.

Network with other Actors and Actresses

Networking is a very important part of being an actor or actress. Meeting other actors and actresses can help you make valuable contacts in the industry. You can also learn from their experiences and find out what works and what does not work for them.

Be Prepared to Work Hard

Acting is not an easy profession and requires a lot of hard work. However, if you are passionate about it, the rewards can be great. Persevere and do not give up on your dreams! It can be an unstable profession, and you may have to sacrifice a lot to get to a professional level, but it is definitely worth it!

Where To Find Acting Jobs?

There are a few places you can look for acting jobs:

  • Casting call websites such as Backstage.com or ActorsAccess.com.
  • Agent’s website – Your agent will often have information on current casting calls.
  • Online databases such as IMDB.com – This is a great place to find out about upcoming films and what roles are being cast.
  • Social media – Platforms such as Twitter and Instagram can be great sources for finding out about auditions and other casting news.

Tips for Attending a Casting Call

When attending a casting call, it is important to remember the following:

  • Arrive on time and prepared.
  • Bring your headshot and resume.
  • Bring a copy of the sides (the part of the script you will be reading from).
  • Be prepared to do a cold read (reading from the script for the first time).
  • Be polite and professional to everyone you meet.
  • Stay positive and do not get discouraged.

How To Improve Your Acting Skills!

How exciting! Why not let us help guide you with these excellent books on the matter! First, take a look at the Sanford Meisner on Acting guide, or perhaps An Actor Prepares, as well as Respect for Acting, and finally Michael Caine – Acting in Film: An Actor’s Take on Movie Making for creative inspiration!

But wait, there’s much much more with the Acting for Young Actors: The Ultimate Teen Guide, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, The Power of the Actor: The Chubbuck Technique — The 12-Step Acting Technique and How to Make Your Audience Fall in Love with You all available online in 2023.

Last but not least, we have A Practical Handbook for the Actor, or the popular Acting: A Handbook of the Stanislavski Method, and even The Acting Bible: The Complete Resource for Aspiring Actors, and the Acting in Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course for those taking on the musical stage!

Final Thoughts

So, these are some of the steps to becoming an actor or actress. It is not easy, as you can see! But with passion and dedication, it can be a very rewarding profession.

If you are successful, you can look forward to a career of performing in front of live audiences and making people laugh, cry, or think. So, go out and start your new exciting journey!

And as they say in Show Biz… Good luck and ‘break a leg!’

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