So You Want To Learn to Act? Well, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that more than 350,000 adults act every year. For those of you who want to perform in film and television, Actors Workshop Studios is a great place to get started learning about acting and the acting business, and to get audition exposure for jobs. It’s also a great place for personal development – including self-confidence, public speaking, memory and concentration.
We can also help more advanced actors learn how to take the next step to becoming a full-time working actor. Listed below are some of the first steps an actor needs to take to break into the Film & TV business:
Gain Basic Skills
Good actors make the acting look easy, but it is actually a little harder than it looks! Acting is a craft that one must learn and practice. Actors Workshop Studios starts a new student off by learning the fundamental film and television skills of auditioning and acting.
- Using your sides
- Getting off the page
- Breaking down the scene
- Dealing with the Casting Director
- Handling the room
- The do’s and don’ts of an audition
- The Fundamentals of listening, reacting and connecting with your partner.
- Breaking down a scene – Making choices about the character, what you want (objective), how you are going to get it, the stakes, where you are, the relationships, etc.
Get a Headshot
You need a “Headshot,” also known as an “8×10” to market yourself. This should reflect your personality – who you are. When you are starting off, one headshot will suffice. Later on, you may consider having more than one to show your range.
Commercial Headshot – Goes to anyone involved with the making of commercials. The commercial headshot should show you smiling and looking happy in a “It’s great to be alive” manner.
Theatrical Headshot – Goes to people involved in films and television shows. It should look like you. Your theatrical headshot should suggest your special qualities as an actor, whether warm and happy or not. Are you funny? Sincere? Smart? Intense? Manipulative? Charming? Sexy? Menacing? A little offbeat? Crazy? Whatever your special qualities are, make sure you project them to the lens through your eyes, face, and body.
After you receive your headshot, you will need to obtain copies for marketing purposes.
Build a Resume
After you obtain your headshot copies, you will need to attach resumes to the back of the pictures. Use a professional industry format and make sure the resumes are cut to the same size (8×10) as your headshot.
Develop two or three monologues of 1 to 1½ minutes in length. Have them down cold and ready to perform at any time. Monologues are mostly used for agent auditions. You may want one dramatic and one comedic, or one that combines elements of both. Actors Workshop Studios provides binders full of comedic and dramatic monologues for men, women, and children. We have also provided links to monologue sites you may use. Remember, your monologue must be performed as a film and television monologue, not a theatre piece!
Begin to Market Yourself!
Actors Workshop Studios provides ongoing opportunities. You will be able to meet and perform live for some of the top Casting Directors, Producers, and Agents in the industry, from both Los Angeles and San Diego.
If you don’t have a lot of film and television credits, one of the best ways to start filling out a resume is to do student films and non-union projects. You may not always get paid, but you will gain valuable experience and can use the project as a resume credit. Try to obtain a copy of the final project so you can put together a reel of your acting. As an actor with Actors Workshop Studios, you may participate in the many ongoing casting opportunities to audition and act in student films.
Continue Training, Improving, and Marketing Yourself!
Keep working to advance your skills as an actor for film and television. Your competition is!
Increase the amount of time you spend preparing for each and every audition you go on. Preparation is a principal key to success. As they say, Luck is when Preparation meets Opportunity. Be ready when the door of opportunity opens!
Stay involved with the Studio! It’s not just what you know – meaning your craft and training – but also who you know. Follow up with the industry professionals you meet. You are the product and you need to consistently and persistently market your product! The longer you stay at this, the more people you meet, the better connected you are, and the more successful you will be.