what does it take to be an actor???

can someone tell me how many years of college u need and where should you go, and describe the SAG and AFTRA. im only 17 years old.

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well 4-6 years is usually sufficient to truly know what you are doing.

    Leonardo DiCaprio got cast at 17 right out of Marshall High, but he's an exception to the rule.

    If you got his looks and his personality you don't need to know anything formal.

    He also has zero stage fright.

    But if you look at the best actors working out there they did local college and often did advanced studies at Julliard or Pasadena Playhouse.

    These people don't have to ask what a resume is, what a head is, what a good monologe is.

    They can stand up and recite 20 monologes with no effort, because they've done Hamlet 100 times already and took 3 different parts in some of those performances.

    They've all done Chekov, Pinter, Williams, Shakespear, Ionescou, Rogers and Hammerstien dozens of times.

    They knows the scripts by heart.

    They can do a cold reading in their sleep.

    If you're lucky you become a working actor like a friend of mine who does two TV shows every 18 months (that's about $4,000 in work every 18 months, plus the residuals he makes from 18 years doing this, plus stage which pays less and commercials).

    AFTRA covers soaps, SAG covers nightime. They are about $2,000 each. You can buy your AFTRA card directly, but you have to Taft Hartley to get a SAG card.

    Do one AFTRA job AFTER you get your card and yu can Taft Hartley in SAG

    AFTRA pays $200-$500 minimum for 4-8 hours

    SAG is $600 minimum for 8 hours.

    Payment for the card has to be one time in full certfied check.

  • 1 decade ago




    The Screen Actor's Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are the two largest unions that represent talent. SAG=movies and AFTRA=TV, but the lines are blurring. Best to become a member of both.

    College courses are all well and good, but your real education will come from going out there and being a Working Actor.

    Old joke: "You're an actor? What restaurant?"

    Source(s): 30 years on the Boards
  • 1 decade ago

    Well, first off before anything else, to be an actor you need to be persistent and confident, and of course talented. But mostly persistent. You can't give up and you have to have a thick skin.

    As for SAG and AFTRA, they are actors' unions. Once you're in, you're protected and you have rights like number of hours you have to work and how much you're paid, but you can't do any non-union jobs after that:

    AFTRA= American Federation of TV and Radio Artists - You can pay to join this one (unlike the other unions that you have to work your way into), and it covers people who do TV, broadcasting, etc. www.aftra.com

    SAG= Screen Actors Guild - This for actors on movies and in television. I can't remember the requirements of joining SAG, but I'm pretty sure one of the less difficult ways of getting in is to have any speaking role in a SAG film. www.sag.com

    AEA= Actors Equity Association (I know you didn't ask about this one but you'll need to know what it is anyway)- This is for theatre actors. One way to join AEA is to spend, I believe it's 50 weeks working at a union theatre (not necessarily acting but doing other jobs here and there), or getting cast in an AEA production. There are other ways to get in that I don't really understand enough to explain. www.actorsequity.org.

    You can also pay a fee to transfer between unions once you've joined one.

    With college stuff, you can go for four years and get a BA or a BFA in theatre, drama, musical theatre, etc. Or you can get a Masters in one of those, and I think that takes 6 years? (Correct me on this if that's wrong)

    There are a lot of great schools for theatre, but most you have to audition for. Here are some that are kind of known for their acting programs (But there are so many other great ones out there so don't just look at this list!):

    -NYU (Tisch School of the Arts)




    -Northwestern (and they don't audition you!)

    -Juilliard (duh)

    -Carnegie Mellon

    -Tufts University in Boston (I think it's a division of a larger school)

    -Emerson College

    -University of South Florida

    -A lot of times a college in your state could have a really good theatre program, even though it may not be nationally known. Sure, you'd have less industry/exposure around you, but it would be a lot cheaper, and you could still find work until you felt ready to move to a city like New York or LA. And it would be a less stressful transition to college if you stayed in state.

    Good luck (or should I say break a leg) in your pursuit!!

  • 5 years ago

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    what does it take to be an actor???

    can someone tell me how many years of college u need and where should you go, and describe the SAG and AFTRA. im only 17 years old.

    Source(s): actor: https://shortly.im/OYx8J
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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I like the comic actor the best. Because comedy is so difficult to perform. And comic actors be a reason to make us laugh.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Dedication and Education to begin and then time to make money to earn money

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