Hi, i was wondering if anyone can tell me how to get started as a hollywood actor?
Im 25 years old so im probably starting off late but i had alot happen in my life and i live with mental illness otherwise i would have started sooner but things like should i go to school or just take a workshop or how to get an agent and what they look for in clients what type of headshots do i need should i do community plays for experience those are the type questions i have. please thoughtful and thorough answers thank you
- Katrina E.Lv 75 years agoFavorite Answer
Living with a mental illness can make attempting an acting career more challenging. It is a very competitve, stressful and unstable career full of rejection. You will fail far more then you will succeed - it's the nature of the business. Generally, that's not good for people challenged with an illness of any kind. Not that you can't do it - but need to be able to take care of yourself and your health as well. Acting is not an escape from your problems - you still need to know how to handle you issues and challenges.
So you might want to start with some beginning acting classes and try auditioning for things like community theater. That can help you figure out if you really like the work of acting and if you're any good at it. Then research what is really involved in attempting an acting career to see if that really is something you want to attempt.
To become a Hollywood actor:
1. Get realistic. Give up the fantasy that actors are "discovered". It's a business, not a lottery. Your chances of success depend on your talent, training, experience, marketability and understanding of the business end of the industry. Companies are not looking for people off the street who want to be in a movie. They invest a lot of time, effort and money in their projects and they trust that investment to trained and experienced professional actors. Mainstream movies and TV shows don't have open auditions that anyone can go to - roles are cast through agents and are generally cast union actors. And there are a lot of scams out there. Understand that there's no one way to be an actor. No one is going to tell you what to do every step of the way. It'll be up to you to take responsibility for your career.
2. Get quality training from well respected instructors. Not only does it improve your skills but it's one way to start to network and make connections in the industry. Where you study and who you study with matters. It can help open doors - but is no guarantee. So research your options. Not all theater schools or classe are the same. Classes from a has-been 90s actor are different then classes from a respected instructor who has been in the industry. In the US you don't have to have a degree - but it's helpful. Attending a place like ACT means more a lot more then classes at some community college. And like any advanced schooling, you need a program that is suited to you as an individual. Good actors continue to get training throughout their careers.
3. Get experience. Audition for what you can - school plays, community theater and the like. You can try contacting local film schools and ask how the find actors for student films and check those sources. Websites like backstage, actors access, casting networks list low-to-pay jobs in things like student or independent films. They also list extra work (which is NOT acting experience). Competition is stiff for this experience - there are a lot of people who want to be actors.
You need to make sure you're passionate about the work of acting - not just the idea of being an actor. And you have to see if you're any good. Training and experience is how you do that. That really is where you start.
4. Learn the business end of things. You need to understand things like the casting process (casting directors, agents, breakdowns, etc); legal requirements (contracts, unions, taxes, etc); effective marketing strategies (head shots, resumes, show reel, website, social media, etc); networking. Attempting an acting career is like running a company and you are the product to be marketed and sold. Read industry websites like http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/ . Brian O'Neil has a helpful book about the business. Talk to actual working actors about the realities of starting and maintaining an acting career.
5. Plan. Not only do many actors not make it big - most professional actors don't support themselves by acting a lone. Every acting job is temporary, so you always have to worry about when (and if) you'll get another job. That means you need to plan how you're going to support yourself and how you're going to approach your career. Like I said, there's no one way to be an actor.
- Anonymous5 years ago
Getting into drama school or going to classes will help. It's hard to become a 'hollywood' actor so i'd focus on just being an actor for now and just see where it goes, don't expect you'll ultimately end up there but you can still have a fruitful career non the less. As for what others have said about mental heath issues making it harder, sure thats true but you're certainly not alone in the industry. Many actors have anxiety and depression. In fact depression is sometimes refereed to as the actors disease. That being said you do have to have control of it before venturing into this as the pressure of trying to get somewhere can quickly mount up
- AdamLv 45 years ago
Katrina's answer is the only one of the above answers that is correct. Here are some things the other answers got wrong:
You do not have to go to a university program like some suggest, classes are important for their training, and while you can get this at a university, you can also get them with regular week to week classing in Los Angeles or elsewhere.
With classes and no experience, you have no chance of getting an agent, so you can try to engage an agent all you want, it isn't gonna happen. And also it's not up to the agent to make you successful, they are part of your team, but most of the work still falls on the actor. .
And finally, "sometimes producers will go for a raw, natural talent over a polished, trained one," No, no they don't. Ever. With kids sometimes they have to go this way, but it's never what they want to do.
- Anonymous5 years ago
Either try to go to acting school or have some lessons with someone. Remember that sometimes producers will go for a raw, natural talent over a polished, trained one. Make lots of contacts that may be useful: network as much as you can, go to film festivals and stuff like that and mingle. Don't aim for Hollywood initially, you want to get some experience doing smaller scale stuff first. Also, don't knock back any acting opportunities, unless it's in porn LOL. Good luck!
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- 5 years ago
You need to go to an drama school or university with a good acting program. And even after that, it'll probably take around 10 or more years to start getting decent roles.
- broeklienLv 75 years ago
I hear you should take all small jobs you can get and hope you meet actors on the set that can introduce you.
Also you can experiment with your own camera for you tube short films snd post the best ones. Little short films about interactions between people or funny sketches. Anything that shows off your skills
- JAMES KLv 75 years ago
You start at Theatrical School. When you Graduate, try to engage an Agent. Then it is up to this person, so choose wisely.