10 Steps For a Successful Acting Career
Prepare Yourself to be Discovered
As we have already established in How to Get Discovered As an Actor, such practice as being accidentally given the major role in the upcoming blockbuster movie isn't going to happen to most of us out there. Statistically, the chances for just “being discovered” are slimmer than winning a millions of dollars in the lottery.
As sad as that is to learn, unlike winning a lottery, you can do something about increasing your chance of so-called “discovery”. You need to work your way towards the position in your acting career where one day you would be ready to take the offered to you role, perform your heart out and receive your well-deserve acclaim, fame and fortune.
In order to get to that place or “readiness”, you need to learn a little about the acting craft and the business side of it, as well as how the entertainment industry works and what is waiting for you around the corner. Below, you can find 10 steps you would need to take to raise your chance of becoming successful in the acting business and turning yourself into a serious working actor in either London, Los Angeles, New York or any other major film/TV and stage acting city.
10 Steps for a Successful Acting Career
Here is your checklist of 10 to-do things. Write it down and hang it on the wall, somewhere you can always see it so that every day you remember that your ultimate goal by the end of this year (or whatever your deadline) is to check the very last 10th step as “completed”.
- Acting training
- Industry knowledge
- Acting type
- Marketing skills
- Auditioning process
- Acting community
- Keep learning
- Give back
- Reinstate your passion
Acting training is your first goal. Find a class in your area (take a look at my previous article on How to Find Acting Jobs Where You Live and Acting Classes or Drama School Training for additional insight), apply for their free audit class and see if you like it. When you find one that you feel would greatly benefit you and you enjoy being and learning there, pay your monthly fee and attend every single session. Dedicate yourself to your acting training.
Industry knowledge is important to every beginner actor. You must learn how the process of getting called in, auditioning and being cast works. Do you know who’s responsible for finding talent? Who’s responsible for casting them, who has the final word? To whom should you talk to when looking for representation, how to approach an agent, how to talk to casting directors in audition sessions? It’s all very sensitive as you need to learn every subtlety about this industry to move forward. Every actor needs to learn how to get an acting agent and start auditioning as soon as possible.
Acting type is another important thing you should pay attention to. Here’s the best tip on how you can figure out your acting type and what kind of an actor you are or can be. It’s important to know your range, what you look like, how old do you look like, what parts can you play and which ones you shouldn't apply for, and so forth. This is another thing that will make you look professional, and vice versa – if you don’t know your type, you’re applying to wrong parts, casting directors aren't happy with how you approach this and they feel you’re too amateurish for this business. Don’t let them think this way.
Marketing skills are essential for every actor’s arsenal. One thing is to be a good actor, and it’s a totally different thing to be a good actor with great marketing skills. The first example will be a great performer, but what good can it do when nobody knows who they are? You need to make sure people in the industry are aware that you exist; they need to know your name, where to find your website and what parts you can play so that as soon as that perfect role comes up, you’d be available on an instant. Get a great acting book on developing marketing skills – it’s truly the only way to learn this (there are top 3 best books listed at the end of this article that you should definitely consider).
Auditioning process can be either very simple or very complicated, depending on how well you are prepared. If you haven’t taken any auditioning classes, you better read a few books on how to audition, succeed and book the job (books listed below). After industry people know you as an actor, this is the second most important thing to you – not to screw up your audition. Perform well!
Connections are vital in this business. You need to know people who will get you into audition rooms, introduce you to talent agents and casting directors. Make connections everywhere you can; go to parties, gatherings, expos, film festivals and so forth. Have business cards to give out for an easier way for industry people to reach you.
Acting community is an important part of every actor’s life. You need to always have a circle of like-minded people around you who understand what you’re going through. Family and friends sometimes won’t do this – only other actors, your fellow colleagues will know what it’s like to be an actor. So have your support group with you at all times. Even communicating online is usually a big help to any actor! Here’s a great acting community for every struggling actor out there to ask for tips and advice: Acting Community.
Keep learning on a daily basis; always stay hungry for knowledge and improvement. Don’t ever assume that you know it all! An actor has to stay in training for most of his/her life, so please at least try to do so. While training, read books on the acting business, on marketing, on the craft; read plays and novels. Constantly improve yourself to become a better actor and a better person!
Give back to the community, to people around you, to your friends and family when you come to a certain point in your career. Help them when they need it; give advice to other actors just like you’re receive some now. It will help you to stay sane in this cruel business; it will help you to be a good person.
Reinstate your passion and never forget the first reason you got into this business – your love for acting. When everything gets tough, forget about the business, about the struggle; drop everything for a moment and go play, do some acting with your friends or family. Get in a better state of mind and rest from all the crazy things that has been happening in the entertainment industry.
You love the craft, and you should try your best to maintain that love and avoid developing hatred towards it. And trust me – with the way this industry works, this could very easily be achieved.
There you go – your 10 steps for a successful acting career. Try to follow at least a few of them starting from the top, and you’re already ahead of half of your competition! For more great advice and to learn about marketing, auditioning and the craft, give these great acting books below a shot. Read the reviews on Amazon; these books are amazing.