14 Dec No Experience? Not a problem.
You’ve decided acting is not a hobby. It is something you are ready to give yourself full time and attention. There is just one problem: you have no experience in acting nor any formal training.
Relax. There are so many actors, including myself, who have started out exactly the same way. It can feel like an uphill battle, but that is only because you don’t have a plan…yet.
You know this won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. These 5 things will get you headed in the right direction.
Get Acquainted with your New Industry
If you are entering a completely new industry, learning how it works should be your number one concern. Like the industry you’re leaving out of, you need to know the business and the players. Reading about the acting business will boost your confidence and give you a better understanding of your goals and how to reach them.
You should also be reading books that improve your craft. Communication skills and acting techniques that help you portray characters honestly should be the subjects of some of the books you are reading. Do not get overwhelmed, plan on reading a book a week or what you can handle. You won’t be able to solely rely on books, so don’t let them become a crutch. Acting classes or drama school are non-negotiable.
It’s going to be very tempting to pack your things up and haul ass to the nearest major city after making the huge decision to commit to acting. Ignore the temptation. Opportunities are all around you, even if you may not realize it at the moment.
The area you’re in right now has small productions that you have a much higher chance of booking. Not only are the bigger cities going to be much more competitive for you as an aspiring actor, but they are expensive. As you learn about the business, audition and train locally and save money, you’ll be able to see if it was an impulse decision or not.
Build Any Special Skills
Ignore accessory skills at your own peril. Sure, perfecting your craft should be top of mind, but giving the director something they can use is always going to help you land a role. If you can speak another language or ride horses – fantastic! Now get even better those skills, add them to your resume and let those skills help you grab a role.
Anything you always wanted to learn? Learn it! Besides improving the skills you already have, it is wise to learn new things. This will help you stay mentally active and encouraged. How much mastery do you need? Get to a level where you can convincingly pull off the skill in front of others.
Build your Brand
You’re not well-known yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for it. It’s a good idea to create (or revamp) your LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter accounts.
You can also take the opportunity to tap into your local acting network. You are not the only aspiring actor in your area. Reach out to others who are trying to start their careers – you may be able to start a cool project or exchange skills and help each other out.
Fall in Love with Failure
There is going to be a part you’re not going to get. Actually, there are going to be several. Rejection is a huge part of the industry you’re entering. If there is only one role available and 20 actors, 19 people are getting bad news.
How do you become besties with this fact? Embrace it happily. If you truly love acting, enjoy the auditions and the ability to express yourself. Easier said than done, but taking rejection and criticism personally is the fastest way out the door. Audition for parts you don’t even want, purposely mess up or do your absolute best, but get prepare yourself for this unpleasant part of the industry now.
One Day at a Time
Putting this advice into practice will have you on your path to being an employed actor in the time it takes for most people to walk away. If you wake up every day and commit yourself to the goals you’ve set for yourself, the rest is going to fall into place.
Not enough can be said about what consistency and patience will do for your career. Nothing happens overnight – I doubt your first career did. Stick with it, believe in yourself and work hard. You are starting from scratch, so go easy on yourself and do not give up!