Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheater & Acting · 8 years ago

How do I become a movie actor?

I am 17 and I have realized that what I truly want to be is a movie actor. It's not because of the money and fame (though those are some good bonuses) it is because I love to play characters and I like getting into the role of someone else. I excel at accents and different voices etc. How do I get into acting can you guys give specifics?

8 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There's no one way to become an actor. You might want to start looking into acting schools/programs. You'll want a good quality one (which means you'll probably have to audition to get in.) An acting school is not required to become a professional actor - but it can be helpful. Schools/programs help you learn the craft of acting, but can also help prepare you for the industry. To work professionally, you're going to need to understand the casting process, talent agents, acting unions (SAG-AFTRA), where to find auditions, online casting, your acting "type", how to market yourself to talent agents and casting directors - things like that. Acting schools/programs also help you to start to build contacts needed for networking - which is essential in the acting industry to find out about opportunities. If you don't go to school - you'll have to get that training and start to make contacts in other ways. So you'll want to take some quality acting classes at least.

    Audition locally for what you can - community theater and the like. Acting experience is important.

    Read articles and do research about what it's like to have acting as a career. Sometimes people like the idea of being an actor - but the reality of trying to have an acting career isn't for them. Honestly, playing characters and getting into a role in only part of having a successful acting career. Book like "Acting as a Business" by Brian O'Neil is helpful and there are some interesting articles at

    Do some self-evaluation.

    * Are you comfortable with yourself and your body and who YOU are? You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses to understand what type of roles you'll be best for and be happy with that. Always wishing you were someone else won't work in acting. Acting involves taking part of yourself and highlighting that part. It means making yourself vulnerable to an audience - if you're not comfortable with that, acting will be a challenge.

    * Acting is an extremely competitive career - can you handle being rejected far more than you'll be accepted? Will you get discouraged easily when you put everything into an audition and don't get the role? Because that will happen a lot.

    * Are you self-motivating? If you depend on others telling you how good you are - an acting career will be a challenge for you.

    * How comfortable are you with instability? Every acting job you'll get is temporary, so you'll always have to be worried about the next job and when (or if) you'll find one. Most actors don't make enough to support themselves by acting alone and so you should have another way to support yourself.

    * Are you good at business and self-marketing? Are you an organized person? As an actor you're going to be in charge of your own career - you'll have to make sure you have a good talent agent. You'll have to deal with contracts and negotiations and keeping records. You'll have to decide when/if to join the actors union (SAG-AFTRA). You'll have to have a good understanding of how to market yourself to get work. Professional acting is a business and there are a lot of people willing to take advantage of you if you don't understand how things work.

    * Can you work with a lot of different people? Producing a show involves a lot of team work and you'll need to work with a lot of different people and if you can make them look good - it'll make you look good. Who you know can be very helpful in a professional acting career, so make and keep contacts.

    Then once you've gotten the training and experience, done the research, figured out you really want to try a professional acting career and are ready to move to the next level - then you can consider looking for a talent agent. Talent agents are paid percentage of what their clients make. (Don't pay an agent up front). Since agents are paid only if their clients are paid, they are picky about who they take on as clients. And they can afford to be picky because there are a ton more people wanting agents than there are agents. So most agents are not interested in beginners - you'll have to have demonstrated some degree of success to get an attention of an agent.

    And remember, you can always enjoy acting as a hobby if a professional career isn't for you!

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Because nobody has ever asked this question before lol. If you were really keen you would be researching this yourself. Already you are demonstrating you don't have what it takes because you are already exhibiting the "sit back and it comes to me" attitude. If you want it GET OUT THERE. Research avenues, talk to people in the industry, take acting classes, join theatre groups and build a portfolio. You cannot do this without a portfolio. This is how it goes:

    1. Take acting courses, join theatre groups, act in as many school plays and theatre productions as possible.

    2. Keep all Certificates, awards, attendance slips and put it in a portfolio.

    3. After at least 2 years of building a portfolio, apply for the most prestigious acting academies in your country.

    4. Apply for jobs. Work for free to build a portfolio and CV.

    5. Move to Hollywood with a full portfolio and CV and AUDITION with thousands of others. Repeat. Repeat. REPEAT.

    Nobody just walks straight into film without at least 2 years experience and a solid portfolio and CV, unless you are related to a celebrity. So now you know how it's done: Go DO it. But I could bet money you are just looking for "the quick fix." and "fast lane to fame", so I reckon you will give up after a year. If you disagree, prove me wrong. Persistance is the key. Good luck :)

    Source(s): Best friend built a portfolio since the age of 5, and at 16 was accepted into the WA Accademy of Performing Arts. She is now 23, and works full time in retail after a lifetime of trying to break into the industry.
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Study the lives of actors and actresses. Wikipedia is a great way to see what they did to get where they are.

    Even then, understand that for every individual who becomes an actor there are hundreds of thousands who didn't make it. So many want it, and there are only so many jobs in the business. Luck is part, knowing the right people is part, preparation is part, and somehow having that "special something" (whatever it actually is) that grabs the attention of the casting director.

    Btw, if fame and money made people happy, how come they have the highest divorce rates of all? How come so many of them get arrested, are hung up on drugs to dull their psychological pain, and some even accidentally kill themselves with drugs?

    It's an unhappy, very difficult life for most of them.

  • 8 years ago

    The market for fame is saturated. You can all go home. Sorry for getting your hopes up like that. The truth is, you have a better chance of being hit by a satellite than by fame. And just so we're all on the same page, fame is exactly the point of all this. Any ambition to act for the sake of artistic satisfaction was run down and sucked into the wheel wells under the sports car of fame long ago, because fame makes more money and it's just cooler.

    Now most of you probably don't believe me, and that's fine. You've heard that the odds of success are slim, but you're different from all those other people, you have been singled out by providence for this. Parents, teachers and community theater directors have told you your entire life that you are gifted -- that you are born to make emotions with your face under camera and stage lights, a face that was too optimistic or too young to devastate with brutal honesty. Well, I can't see your faces, and I have some bad news.

    When your dream is to be an actor, you don't have the luxury of simultaneously perusing a fallback dream. That's why you'll never see a struggling actor holding down a full-time job as a marine biologist. Acting is a jealous and needy career that doesn't like the thought of you keeping your options open. You'll need a job that allows you to leave at a moment's notice for auditions, usually for two or three hours at a time. Or, assuming you are fortunate enough to be cast in anything, you need a job that allows you to miss work for a week at the very least. The logical solution is to work at night at a restaurant or bar. The trouble, however, is that most of these jobs were never intended to be careers. They have high turnover rates and offer little in terms of personal satisfaction.

    And that will all seem fine at first -- great, even -- for building that romantic sense of humility you intend to wear once you're famous. Taking orders from customers and folding napkin fans in wine glasses is just part of the struggle that you will remember fondly while masturbating poolside to your own biography.

    That is, until your friends outside of the entertainment industry start developing actual skill sets that lead to raises, promotions and the general advancement of their careers. Everyone who entered the work force along with you will gradually move into better jobs because they've built up experience and because that's how nearly every other profession is designed to function. Meanwhile, there's no guarantee that you will book a role, ever. All the experience you'll be racking up will just be preparing you for a life in the service industry. Sure, you will still be honing your skills as an actor through classes and auditions, but until your acting resume includes more than school plays and student films, it won't help you get a job, because ...

    Any struggling actors who have never had a significant role before are not members of the Screen Actors Guild. SAG was designed as a union to ensure that actors were paid fair wages for their work. Nearly every movie and television show has to operate within the guidelines of SAG, which means that they can only hire SAG actors or else they have to pay a hefty fine to cast someone outside the union. Naturally, studios will cast SAG members over nonmembers every time. So how do you become a member? Well, that's where things get completely absurd.

    The rules of SAG state, "Performers are eligible to join Screen Actors Guild after working on a SAG film in a principal role." So just to clarify, no one will cast you unless you are already in the union, and you can't get into the union until you are cast. A director has to like you so much that he or she is willing to trust you with a primary role despite the fact that you have no previous experience in film and be willing to pay a fine just to have you in that role. Now remember before when I mentioned that there are hundreds of other people who look exactly like you auditioning? At least 50 of them will already have their SAG cards.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Nancy
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    That is how most actors start out. Hugh Laurie (the star of House) was an extra on friends, and many actors from the Star Trek series started out as extras. I know that those are examples of television actors, but most of them have been in movies as well.

  • 8 years ago

    Get agent.

    Take classes. Meisner, etc.


    Land roles.

    Repeat steps 2 3 and 4 as many times as possible.

    You'll likely need to take commercial work and small roles to get started.

    Join the union.

    Read a lot of plays and screen plays.


    Fire the agent if you're not getting out for auditions regularily.

  • 8 years ago

    Take acting classes. Create a YouTube channel.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Go to the movie theater ask to speak to a manger tell him you want to be a movie actor then boom you got the job

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.