Acting – one of the hardest professions in the world. Not only one of the hardest, but the scariest, nastiest of professions. Despite this, so many hopefuls dream of becoming a successful actor – including you. Most young actors today have no idea how to get onto the right track, what to do to get involved – or simply, the basics of becoming an actor. Think that’s you? Well I’ve produced a dummies’ guide to succeeding as an actor, starting from the very basics.
When you’ve finished this article you’ll (hopefully) feel far more enlightened on which way to go, and which step to take next.
An actor needs EXPERIENCE. Although auditioners and drama schools may not be persuaded by the lack/amount of experience a performer has, it is always beneficial to any sort of performer. An audition is usually always based on ability, not experience. However, your skill will inevitably develop through the amount of experience you have. You’ll be prepared for many types of situations and types of performance, and you’ll radiate confidence and skill!
The one thing that will make an actor succeed – auditions, auditions, auditions! To an actor, audition experience is key! Even if you’re rejected rather than accepted, you can learn from where you went wrong, or even where you went right. Feedback from a director is sometimes given, and always pay attention as it benefits only you! Remember, an audition is the only way you’ll get a job!
The acting profession is vain – get over it. The trouble is, most actors look the same and most of them have the same, good ability. Directors want someone who stands out from the crowd, someone who is striking and catches their eye. Create a look that defines you as a person and makes your look more distinct. Don’t dye your hair pink or shave your head bald, but try and authenticate your look to make you individual and to make you stand out from the bunch of ordinary hopefuls.
Your body is a temple, so worship it! A healthy body is a healthy mind, which means a healthy, very able actor. If you’re in great shape and take care of yourself it’ll show on the outside, not just the inside! It’ll give you bags of energy and will allow you to work to your full potential.
Familiarise yourself with the theatre – visit different theatres, read different plays from different playwrights, look-up information on different practitioners. An actor needs to know how the theatre works, and it would benefit you as an actor greatly if you got to know different plays. Not only would it strengthen your understanding of different playwrights and create social understanding, but it would also help you to understand certain characterisation and motives within plays.
Easier said than done, but try to get an agent. They’re not always required, and there’s usually no use in getting an agent if you live outside of London, but auditions are usually closed and otherwise, an actor will not hear about them without an agent. Having an agent is usually free; however an audition is usually always required. However, if you don’t want an agent or are finding it hard to get one, just keep an eye out for open auditions online.
Last, but certainly not least – never give up! This is probably the hardest discipline any actor will have to learn. Acting is all about rejection, roughly only 7% of actors are in work as we speak, but if you give up you’ll never succeed! Daniel Craig was homeless and still didn’t give up – look at him now! Endurance is the key here.
Remember, it’s a hard profession but if you have the talent and passion you’ll make it, good luck!