So You Want To Be An Actor
The journey to becoming an actor starts long before you go on your first audition. To be a great actor, you need to know about acting. This means studying the greats, deciding what kind of actor you want to be, and knowing your approach to breaking into the business. Here are the key things you can do to give yourself an edge before you book your first audition.
Creating Your First Acting Resume
Sounds like a catch 22, doesnt it? How do you make a resume of your work if you dont have any? Well, dont underestimate the value of your hobbies and specialty skills. Bilingual? Heck yeah! 100% add that to your resume! Dual citizenship? Absolutely add that to your acting resume.
Yall, this one is important. An acting headshot that looks like you, that is properly cropped, lightly edited, and is focused on your eyes is SO important. Please, do NOT add a filter on your professional acting headshots.
How To Become An Actress If You Have No Experience
Some women are born to act and therefore need very little technique training. More often than not, however, aspiring actresses need professional training to be successful in the business. Professional training helps you to not only master technique, but also to understand how the industry works, how to act professionally, how to get an agent and how to ace auditions. When these things align, you then have a chance at getting into the limelight as a professional actress.
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Famous Bollywood Actresses And How They Started Out
Mumbai film industry contacts are so important that dreams of acting careers are built or crushed on the basis of who you know. This is why nepotism has always been a relevant issue for people outside the film industry, with little or no contact in Bollywood.
Many of these wannabe actors have come from all over India, and even the UK and other countries to attend acting auditions in Mumbai, only to find to their dismay that a star kid has been chosen for the role and theyve landed the role of a Bollywood side actor.
However, some actresses have still managed to make it to the top on their own steam, through sheer talent and grit, and these are the people you should look to as role models. Here are some of them:
Getting Your Acting Career Flying
You now understand the importance of acting training. And I cant reinforce it enough.
There are elements of being an actor that are out of your control, and having a successful career can be dependent on big spoonfuls of luck, but being a great actor means you meet these moments of luck head-on and smash it out of the park.
So once your acing chops are well on the way you need to look at your acting toolkit:
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Get Your Headshots Done
You will need a good professional photographer to take headshots for you. These are very important and act as your calling card. When you have a chance to get a part, you will submit headshots to the producers and casting directors.
Its best to create two-sided page headshots with one side including your resume. This makes it easy for casting professionals to easily review what you have to offer and match you with a role.
You Care About Your Look
Your friends make fun of you when you spend a lot of time preparing for a meeting or just for going out with them?
Its great that you do it, because as an actor you have to look great all the time. Whether youre in London or Hollywood, this is an industry obsessed with looks, because it has to be.
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What Does An Actress Do
Actresses perform various roles in front of cameras or live audiences. They often work long hours rehearsing scenes, studying lines and performing on screen or stage. Professional actresses can be found working in dinner theaters, major theaters and repertory groups. Many travel with theater groups or help in the training of other actors for larger roles. Actresses are required to memorize scripts, research characters and rehearse performances. They may be required to confer with others, including directors or other actors, to correctly display the right emotions, gestures and facial expressions.
Keep Up With What Is Happening In The Entertainment Industry
Dont go into this blind. Nothing irritates me more than meeting an actor who doesnt watch TV or isnt up to date on what is going on in film, TV or theater. This is your job!
My favorites are The Hollywood Reporter and Variety for film and TV news. Backstage is good as well. And of course, Daily Actor, with our actor interviews and articles where actors talk about the craft of acting.
And be sure to check out our Acting Tips, Interviews with Actors and Actors on Acting pages!
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To Become An Actor You Need Dedication
Starting an acting career will likely be one of the biggest, and riskiest, decisions youll make in your life. While nobody can, or should, promise you success, the advice I’ve shared in this post will help start you on as best a path as possible.
Remember, your acting skills only matter so much.
Success in the industry requires a mix of studying, planning, and dedication. I must emphasize that that word: dedication. Working actors aren’t necessarily the most talented, but rather the ones who will stick out the years of rejection and financial/emotional struggle to make their dreams come true.
If that sounds like you, there’s no time like the present to get started.
There’s More to Acting Than “Acting”
With the right knowledge in hand, you can reach the next level in Hollywood. Purchase “Mastering the Business of Acting” today.
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Preparing For An Audition
When you land your first audition with a casting professional, your little actress will undoubtedly be nervous. As with Disney channel agents, most casting directors and agents are looking at screen presence and personality as much as acting ability. So, its important that any young actress simply be herself during the question-and-answer phase of the audition, then transition into the role when its time to start reading.
Before attending your first audition, find a few good monologues that showcase your childs acting ability and relate to the type of role, then rehearse them exhaustively on camera. You may be given scenes to read when you arrive, but having that material on hand at all times can prepare for those occasions when you arent. Study the call sheet in advance of the audition and research as much as possible about the project and those who are conducting the casting.
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Resumes And Reels For Children
Another important item your child will need to apply for roles is a resume. If your child is a newbie, dont sweat her lack of experience. Any credentials will help, including acting classes, school productions and community theater roles. This is where getting some theater experience can come in handy before reaching out to the big dogs.
One way to land acting auditions is to post a demo reel online. Although your daughter may not have any on-camera roles yet, its important to be thinking of this as she does start to work. If she doesnt have any work to share, you can always gather some actors together and do some short videos just to showcase your childs skills.
You Are Good At Dealing With The Situation
This does not apply to everybody, if youre great at not letting things get to you, and dealing with people, then its a valuable skill to have as an actor.
Actors have to deal with a lot of people: directors, agents, journalists and other actors. Its possible that sometimes they will drive you crazy and you can easily loose your focus and your cool, but if you are good at handling such situations, then you are one step closer to not driving your acting career into a wall.
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Acting Auditions For Children
Once you have your headshots in hand and are ready to go, its time to start tracking down auditions. Backstage.com lists open casting calls for children on their website. Look for those in your area and consider whether youre willing to drive a few hours to work if theres an opportunity outside of your area.
In the early days, its important to take as many opportunities as possible to get experience. An opportunity may be low-paying, or not pay at all, but it could be seen by a talent scout or casting agent, as well as serving as a clip for your demo reel and credit for your resume. They also give your child acting experience.
How To Find Voice Over Work
Getting started in the world of voice acting takes a bit of research and a lot of practice, but if you have the right tips on hand and some sound advice , navigating the industry is possible.
The voice over industry is rife with a diverse range of job opportunities. While youre probably already familiar with voice acting as it pertains to radio and TV advertising, animation, or video games, there are actually plenty of other industries that commonly hire voice actors when they need a professional delivery of a script.
One of the fastest-growing fields of voice over is actually in the education industry. Voice actors who specialize in educational reads are increasingly sought after. Find eLearning voice over jobs online to voice content for eLearning courses and corporate training.
Speaking of corporate training, business jobs regularly abound in the voice over space. Whether a business needs a brand voice to perform their IVR and telephone voicemail system or to speak for their brand across all of its online videos, business voice over will always be in demand.
In todays world, consumers are also always yearning for compelling narrative content. As a response to screen fatigue and the growth of audio streaming services, such as Audible and Spotify, audiobooks and podcasts are becoming even more popular venues for storytelling and advertisingyou can easily find a plethora of voice over opportunities in either field!
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You Watch A Lot Of Movies
Many people are naturally talented actors, but its the passion for the craft and the industry that will make you a working actor and help you push through all the hardships of this business.
Leonardo Di Caprio said in his acceptance speech at the SAG Award 2016 that he would never become such a great actor if he wasnt watching movies made by great directors and with wonderful actors.
Training: Get Good At Acting
If you want to get into acting you have to train. This is non-negotiable! Would you expect to get a gig playing Piano for the national orchestra, without having done a single piano lesson? Of course not! Acting is just like any other skill, sport or job it takes training and lots of it!
Training doesnt necessarily mean the conventional 3 year acting school approach, but it does mean training in a serious way. You need to refine your craft and build up experience if you want to be a professional actor. Here are the various forms of training you can look into:
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Typical Costs Associated With Becoming A Young Actress
While many aspects of becoming a teen actress cost nothing at all, there are general expenses as with any other hobby, extra-curricular activity, or career training.
- According to Backstage Magazine, the average cost for headshots is anywhere from $400 to $1,500 depending on the area you live in and the photographer you choose.
- Acting classes for kids and teens can cost about $30 per class and usually require a commitment of something like 6 weeks, which ends up costing anywhere from $200 to $400.
- Talent agents typically take 10 percent of what the actor makes especially for union jobs, but can take up to 20 percent. If your job pays $2,000, expect to pay your agent about $200.
Associate Degrees In Acting & Theater
Students pursuing associate degrees can expect to take two years of coursework, including general education classes along with more targeted classes for actors. This provides a firm foundation for students who want to eventually move into bachelor’s degree programs or directly into the acting world. Here are some common courses:
History of Cinema
- Conveying emotion, interaction and characterization
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Attend Every Hindi Movie Audition You Get Called To
In the early days of your career, you need to attend every Hindi movie audition that your manager or agent lines up for you. You can liken it to attending numerous job interviews when youre looking for that dream job.
You may attend a number of auditions but can choose your roles only when youre selected in most of them. So, make it a point to be a well-known face in every audition, whether its for a minor role or a major one.
As Woody Allen so famously said, 80 per cent of success is just showing up.
If youre wondering how to apply for auditions in Bollywood, consult your acting school or your manager. They are usually informed about upcoming auditions and will recommend the best Bollywood job vacancy for you.
How Much Are Female Actors In Bollywood Paid
Many actresses look for jobs in the Bollywood industry to earn loads of money and enhance their living standards. If youre one of them, and money is your first priority, you should know how much female actors in Bollywood are paid in general.
According to an article by Forbes in 2017, Indias gender pay gap extends to the Bollywood industry, to no ones surprise. Women are believed to earn 25% less than their male counterparts, according to the Monster Salary Index 2016.
Actresses like Aditi Rao Hydari, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Kangana Ranaut, have raised awareness of this pay gap in the Bollywood actress salary and against gender inequality prevalent in the industry.
Here are some stats to give you an idea of how much these actresses are paid on average:
- Kangana Ranaut: She charges about INR 10 to 11 crores per film.
- Deepika Padukone: With a net worth of about $7.5 million, she charges INR 10 to 12 crores per film.
- Kareena Kapoor Khan: The self-proclaimed queen of Bollywood, Bebo charges INR 9 to 10 crores per movie.
- Priyanka Chopra: Her net worth is $8 million, and she charges INR 8 to 9 crores per film.
- Katrina Kaif: She has a net worth of $18.3 million, and charges INR 6 to 7 crores for every film.
So, if you can make it to the position that these actresses are in, you could end up living lavishly in the lap of luxury, if thats what you desire.
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Choosing Your Voice Over Microphone
There are a lot of different microphones available on the market and about ten times as many opinions over which microphone is best. However, the process of choosing a mic must be tailored towards which one best suits your unique voice. You could have a low pitched voice, a raspy voice or a booming voice. Each may need a different microphone.
Its worth shopping around to discover all of the options before making such an important purchase. Keep in mind that the most expensive mic doesnt necessarily mean its the best for your voice.
Professional Quality Head Shots
Casting directors use head shots to get a basic idea of your appearance and personality and often ask for them before letting you audition. These are the most important photos youll ever take as an actor, so it is important to get them professionally taken. The cost of a professional photo shoot varies widely as little as $50 to $1000 so make sure to get advice from your fellow actors.
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Acting Schools & Theater Degrees
Many different institutions offer actor training and theater degrees. Here are some of them.
These dedicated schools are designed exclusively to teach aspiring actors. Students work closely with seasoned actors, theater directors, producers and others who can show them the ropes and skills they need to stand out during casting calls.
Performing Arts Schools
Performing arts schools are ideal for students who know they want to work in the performing arts, yet haven’t decided how. There are classes for actors, dancers, choreographers, singers, comedians and more.
Community Colleges & 2-Year Schools
Some community colleges offer associate degrees in theater, drama and other performing arts fields. Trade schools, meanwhile, tend to offer more specialized diploma or certificate programs in areas like set or costume design.
Universities & 4-Year Schools
A large number of colleges and universities offer bachelor’s or master’s degree in acting, theater, drama and similar areas. These programs provide a well-rounded education for students who want to make a lifelong career in the performing arts.