Where Might You Work
According to the BLS, 26% of actors are self-employed and 13% work for a theater company. In most cases, youll work on projects of varying lengths in a range of environments. Work assignments are typically pretty short, and actors must continuously be looking for their next job. One assignment could last for a day, while the next might last a few months. Consistent gigs might take the form of a long-term contract with a touring company or a starring role in a television series.
As you might imagine, work hours are irregular. Few actors work full-time, year-round, but when they do book work, they often work 12 or more hours at a time, on weekends, holidays, early mornings, or late at night. Film and television actors may be required to travel to work on location and often travel with a tour.
In addition to time spent on paid work, actors must consider the time investment of auditioning, networking, and developing their skills. As they get started in this industry, actors often have a day job that pays the bills, on top of learning lines, taking classes, and trying to land their next role. Some actors teach acting classes as a part time job. Those considering this career path must weigh all of the hidden work that happens before making it big.
Learn How To Actseriously You Cant Skip This
This may sound silly to say, but you would be surprised by how many people try to skip this step. Yes its true that there are a handful of lucky ones who are born naturally talented and get discovered, but most people have to work their butts off to learn the skills. Did you know that Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones and Mira Sorvino all graduated Harvard Drama School? And Lupita Nyongo, Meryl Streep, Paul Giamati, Angela Basset, Paul Newman and Frances McDormand all graduated from Yale Drama School? This is no coincidence that so many Hollywood A-Listers come from Ivy League schools. While I understand that we dont all have that opportunity, you can still start from where youre at. Learn the basics of Scene Study, Camera Techniques, Script Breakdown, Creating a Character and Spoken Level Voice. If you havent, chances are someone in the audition room has.
Modeling Is Pretty Nice
Modeling is probably one of the best industries to get into at 13. Because modeling is for the younger age group, you are more likely to get a green light for auditions, as well as continued guidance and coaching throughout your career.
If you want to become a model in a specific area, start modeling at 13. For instance, you can become a model in swimsuit, editorial, or commercial modeling, depending on your own interest and time availability.
For some ideas, you can take some modeling classes through the community college, the community arts center, or a local school. It is a great way to learn some great skills that can help you later in your career.
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What Age Can You Go To Acting School
Acting schools are the go-to place for aspiring actors as you can learn and refine your skills there while also networking. But is there an age bar for acting schools?
The answer is technically no, but it depends on individual acting schools. Most acting schools have the minimum age set at 18.
However, there are plenty of acting workshops suitable for youngsters. So, you have enough options if you wish to start early or encourage your childs acting interests.
Kids below 18 can join acting schools that are specifically for their ages and can attend acting classes. All in all, whether you are 4, 16, or 40, you can join an acting school despite your age.
Working With The Camera
More often than not, youll be auditioning in front of a locked-down video camera. Locked-down means that the camera sits on a tripod and doesnt physically move around. For the sake of keeping things simple, the camera generally sits in the same place, shooting from the same angle all day. Often the camera operator will zoom in or zoom out to simulate camera work that may happen during actual filming, but thats about it for tricky camera moves. Note that even though you may gather from the storyboard that theyll be shooting from many angles when the commercial is finally filmed, dont worry about that here.
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The Impact You Make By Lending Your Voice To Projects Around The World
Even small voice over projects can make a big splash. Every client you work for, whether its an international powerhouse or a local small business, is made better by the voice over you provide. It can be extremely fulfilling to witness what success is achieved with your help. Voice actors have expressed this fulfillment time and time again, and its often paired with another benefit of being a voice actor: continuous learning.
Voice actors commit themselves to understanding the content in a script so they can speak about it from an informed place. Many voice actors love how their career opens the doors to learn about aspects of all kinds of industries they would otherwise never come into contact with. For instance, voicing an elearning module about mechanical presses in the morning, and recording voice over for an online recipe video in the afternoon.
Choosing The Best Headphones
You want to spend a bit of your studio setup budget on a good set of headphones. Recording with headphones will allow you to hear if you are making unwanted sounds with your mouth, or if there is any other interference being picked up by your mic.
You will want to get a good pair of over-the-ear headphones that are comfortable and allow you to hear yourself at a comfortable audio level. A decent pair of headphones will cost anywhere from $100 and up.
Two great examples are:
The Sony MDR-7560
The Sennheiser HD-200 Pro
You should also be aware of the difference between closed-back headphones versus open-backed headphones to know which ones will work best for your needs.
Here is a list of other reputable headphones that voice actors recommend:
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Audition And Develop Skills
After graduating, its time to hit the pavement and start going to auditions. Beyond trying to book jobs, though, it might be smart to take improv classes to develop your skills and network with other actors. Attend workshops, events, and keep honing your craft. The point is to act as much as possible, both to stay in top form and build up a resume.
Actors need to get as much experience as possible to improve their range and land more roles. Unlike other trades, where specialization often outweighs versatility, an actor can benefit a great deal by being able to move from comedy to drama, disappearing into different kinds of characters. Future actors need to create ideas and portray characters in theater
Freedom To Make As Much Money As You Like
Voice actors are often entrepreneurs. Their voice is their business, and they treat it as such. When youre your own boss, the skys the limit on how much you can make. Of course, thats not to say that becoming a successful voice actor is easy. As a business owner, be prepared to work hard and learn a lot in the process.
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Soundproofing Your Home Recording Studio
Regardless of whether you choose to spend or save on the cost of building your home recording studio, there is one important step that is often overlooked: soundproofing your studio.
Soundproofing is one of the most important considerations for those who wish to set themselves apart with professional sound quality, as well as those who wish to save valuable time. Imagine how much time and frustration you would save if you could reduce the number of unwanted sounds you had to edit out after recording your track.
Ways to Effectively Soundproof Your Recording Studio
It helps to remember that soundproofing has three key phases, all of which must work together to create the perfect voice over environment. Specifically, soundproofing needs to address:
Soundproofing tips from an audio expert:
Dont Quit Your Day Job Unless You Can
One of the benefits of starting acting later in life may be that you have been able to achieve some financial stability in your previous career.
Bridgman still lives in Ohio. When necessary, he can fly to Los Angeles for an acting gig.
When he talks with younger peers, he said a lot of them change course from wanting to be an actor to becoming a camera operator, producer or writer because working for next to nothing and supplementing your income with a service job isnt always sustainable.
I am simply not in the same economic condition that I was in when I was graduating from college. Which was zippo money and zippo prospects, other than law school, Bridgman said.
White also isnt financially dependent on landing acting gigs. But if youre not financially secure, dont throw away your safety net, Sturges said.
Ive had people say to me, Im all in. I quit my job, and Im going to live in my car, she said.
Instead of quitting your day job, talk with your employer about your new pursuit and see if theres the possibility of a flexible schedule, she said.
People are often so supportive, she said. The people who arent supportive are usually people who havent followed their dreams. A person following their dreams is a threat to those who havent.
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How To Market Yourself As A Voice Actor
1. Build an Online Presence that Mirrors Your Professionalism
Online presence building includes sharing happy client reviews and being active in relationship management .
An established online presence helps a potential client feel more confident in their decision to hire a voice actor, because it serves as further evidence of their professionalism and skill.
So if youre auditioning for voice acting jobs, expect potential clients to research you onlineand make sure your online presence reflects your professional persona.
2. Dont Make Celebrity Comparisons
When youre attempting to market your sound, it can be tempting to make comparisons between yourself and celebrities. For example, listing out known actors that you sound like may seem to be an easy way to help potential clients understand what you bring to the tableexcept, what it actually does is pigeonhole a voice actor into a typecast niche net.
So, rather than compare yourself to a celebrity, consider what vocal qualities made you want to draw this comparison in the first place. These descriptors are your vocal archetype. For example, rather than saying you sound like Cate Blanchett, round the description out to say that you have a warm voice, deep voice, or .
Dont know how to describe your voice? Another reason to connect with a voice over coach!
3. Ask Clients for Use of Final Projects that You Contributed to
Remember, the answer is always no unless you ask.
4. Choose Networking Over Cold Calling
S To Take To Become An Actor/actress
The steps toward becoming an actor or actress arent quite so clearly defined as becoming a nurse or a dentist. Theres no minimum education requirement. However, those who pursue formal training may have more options available after completing their education. In some cases, aspiring actors might take classes at a theater company’s acting conservatory or take acting lessons.
Others pursue acting as a college major or study filmmaking or theater. In any case, here is an example of how you might systematically approach gaining the skills needed to become a working actor.
Step 1: Take Acting Classes
Step 2: Earn a Bachelors Degree
Step 3: Audition and Develop Skills
Step 4: Consider a Masters Program
Step 5: Find an Agent
Work Environment For Actors: Varies
- Length of jobs: Most acting jobs are short, usually ranging from one day up to a few months at most. To make ends meet, most actors take a second job and need to always be on the lookout for their next paid acting gig. However, some actors working at a theater or as a series regular in a television show might have steady work for several years in a row.
- Work Hours: There are rarely standard work hours for actors. Most are extensive and irregular, and include early mornings, late nights, weekends, and even holidays.
- Travel: Actors working with a theater might needs to travel around the country as a show tours, and actors working in film might be required to travel based on the different locations the movie takes place in.
- Work Conditions: It’s common for actors to shoot in unpleasant conditions, such as outdoors in bad weather, in uncomfortable costumes and makeup, under hot movie lights, and for extended periods of time
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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Bachelor’s Degrees In Acting & Theater
Bachelor’s degrees in acting, drama, theater and fine arts are liberal arts programs designed for those who want to enter the performing arts. Performing arts schools tend to offer fewer general education courses than colleges or universities, but both options take about four years to complete. Students will be required to work with various productions, whether on-screen or backstage. Here are some of the more common classes taken at this level:
Physical coordination, proper singing postures, changes in speech and intonation, voice projection, the Alexander method and other techniques are taught in this course.
- Improvising based on a very small set of requirements
- Proper interview techniques with casting agents
Get Used To Rejection
Rejection is a part of this business. A big part, actually. Many budding artists do not expect this turn of events once they decide they want to be actors, singers, dancers, or other type of performers in this very competitive market. Unfortunately, thats the reality of show business everybody gets rejected.
Unlike in other walks of life, you have to accept that Rejection is completely normal. Its not personal and theres no reason you should ever take it to heart. It doesnt necessarily mean that youre a bad actor or that youve done something wrong.
Imagine that youre casting a project. You only have one part, and 100 actors come to audition for that part. 50 of them were good. Can you hire all 50? No, you cannot. You have to pick one, and its a tough decision to make as a casting director. Nobody wants you to fail, but due to the nature of this business, youll get betting rejected a lot.
For every successful actor or actress, there are countless numbers who dont make it. The name of the game is rejection. You go to an audition and youre told youre too tall or youre too Irish or your nose is not quite right. Youre rejected for your education, youre rejected for this or that and its really tough.Liam Neeson
Actors search for rejection. If they dont get it they reject themselves. Charlie Chaplin
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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.
Your Guide To Working In Entertainment
Do you have big Hollywood dreams? This article is part of a series on starting and building entertainment industry careers. Read on.
People start their acting careers later in life for all sorts of reasons, she said. They may get distracted by life challenges. They may be afraid of putting themselves out there. They may be dissuaded to pursue acting by friends.
It seems like such as pie-in-the-sky thing to want to be an actor, Sturges said.
But there are always older characters in commercials, films and television shows and a need for older people to play them.
If you want to switch careers and pursue acting, youll need to invest in the time to practice your craft and identify your brand. Youll also need the tenacity to stick with constant auditioning and the rejection that comes with it. The Times spoke with Sturges and two of her students, White and actor Ross Bridgman, to get their advice on how to start.
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