The Ultimate Guide: How to Become an Actor from Scratch

The Ultimate Guide: How to Become an Actor from Scratch

Explore Exciting Casting Calls
Your Next Audition Awaits! Step into the Limelight and Land Your Perfect Role.
Find Auditions
  1. How and Why Self-Assess Yourself?
  2. Where To Properly Train Yourself for Becoming an Actor?
  3. Why Create an Acting Portfolio?
  4. Why Networking Is Essential for Acting Career?
  5. How To Land an Acting Agent?
  6. How To Never Stop Advancing in Your Acting Carrer?

Becoming an actor from scratch can be a challenging yet rewarding journey for those passionate about the craft. It requires dedication, hard work, and a strategic approach to navigate the competitive entertainment industry successfully.

With no further ado, here is the ultimate guide on how to become an actor from scratch.

How and Why Self-Assess Yourself?

Before even making actual moves to embark on the journey to become an actor, it is essential to really assess yourself.

Ask yourself how passionate you are about the craft of acting. Consider whether it is something you truly love and want to dedicate your life to. Understanding your level of dedication and passion can help you navigate the challenges of the industry.

Reflect on whether you are comfortable with the uncertainty that comes with pursuing a career in acting. Acting is a highly competitive and unpredictable field that often involves facing rejection and instability. Honestly consider whether you would be able to handle the emotional and financial ups and downs that are common in the performing arts industry.

Finally, think about your long-term goals and aspirations regarding acting. Reflect on whether acting in the profession you chose aligns with your personal values, lifestyle preferences, and career objectives. Consider how pursuing a career in acting fits into your broader long-term plans in life and whether it is a sustainable choice for your future.

Where To Properly Train Yourself for Becoming an Actor?

Once you have decided that acting is the career you wish to pursue, next follows one of the fundamental first steps in becoming an actor - receiving proper training.

Enroll in reputable acting schools, drama programs, or workshops to develop such skills as your acting techniques, and improve your voice projection, body language, and emotional range. Many such acting schools and programs hold auditions or open houses where you can showcase your talent and learn more about the training they offer. Consider attending these events to get a feel for the environment and teaching style to help you decide whether to proceed with the given institution.

Alternatively, you can always consider starting with online acting classes, with reputable schools and professionals offering virtual training that can be just as effective as in-person instruction.

How about hiring a private acting coach? Private coaching can be beneficial for sharpening specific skills or preparing for auditions by providing personalized training tailored to your needs and goals.

However you may approach the preparation and training, it will help you build a strong foundation and enhance your overall performance abilities if you stay consistent.

Once you get to that point, auditions play a crucial role in training upcoming actors by providing them with valuable opportunities to showcase their talents, receive feedback on their performances, and gain further experience.

Auditions can also help overcome potential stage fright, which is a a common issue that many actors face at some point in their careers, especially in the beginning of it, as well as performance anxiety.

Each audition experience contributes to developing resilience and the ability to handle rejection positively, as well as building up confidence when receiving good news or positive feedback from casting directors and other industry professionals involved in the particular audition.

Acting auditions simulate real-world audition scenarios that actors will encounter throughout their careers. By regularly participating in them, upcoming actors gain practical experience in handling audition nerves, adapting to different roles quickly, and showcasing their unique talents effectively.

Explore Exciting Casting Calls
Your Next Audition Awaits! Step into the Limelight and Land Your Perfect Role.
Find Auditions

Consistency is key in developing your acting abilities to ultimately embark on a fulfilling journey towards becoming a skilled actor.

Why Create an Acting Portfolio?

Your portfolio serves as your calling card when auditioning for roles or seeking representation from talent agents. A professional portfolio that showcases your talents and experience is a must when becoming an actor.

Start the portfolio by listing the basic information like your name, contact information, height, weight, hair color, and eye color. Continue by listing any theater, TV, or film credentials you have, as well as any acting-related training or education you have received.

Next, you’ll need to choose professional headshots for your portfolio. If you don’t have them already, you need to enlist the services of a professional photographer who specializes in headshots for actors. Once you receive them, choose two or three headshots that showcase different expressions and suit the type of acting work you’re pursuing.

Further along your career, you can add a video reel to your portfolio, which would showcase footage highlights of your best work, e.g. movie scenes and TV commercials. Just make sure it’s relevant and impactful - similarly to how you would post a video reel on social media, your portfolio reel also should be around 60-90 seconds long.

Once you have created your acting portfolio, you should view it as a strategic tool for advancing your career in the entertainment industry. Use it by submitting it to casting directors when you will apply for auditions. You can also share it with industry professionals, agents, or managers to promote yourself and seek opportunities in the entertainment industry.

You should create a digital version for your portfolio as well, so that it can be shared through various online platforms, e.g. AllCasting. An online acting portfolio can reach a wider audience to attract potential collaborators or casting opportunities.

Finally, as you gain more experience and training, make sure to reflect these changes in your portfolio to always present yourself accurately and as up-to-date as possible.

Why Networking Is Essential for Acting Career?

The industry you by now have chosen to set your career in truly thrives on collaboration and connections. Networking is crucial for upcoming actors in the entertainment industry as it plays a significant role in gaining new opportunities, building relationships, and both short-term and long-term advancements in careers.

As an upcoming young performer, attending auditions, acting classes, and various industry-related events regularly is crucial to gain not only practical experience but also exposure to the industry.

You are guaranteed to meet other fellow actors at such events. Networking with a diverse range of peers, you can learn from their experiences, gain insights and valuable advice on navigating the industry effectively, identify potential collaborators or mentors, and expand your overall knowledge base. Who knows - you might even make new friends who share similar career aspirations.

Of course, networking also allows actors to meet and build relationships with key industry professionals such as casting directors, producers, and agents.

To make these connections happen, aim to be approachable, open-minded, and genuinely interested in connecting with others. Consider developing a concise and engaging elevator pitch that highlights your unique strengths and aspirations. Such a pitch aims to leave a lasting impression on those you meet and spark interest in potential collaborations.

Be authentic, engage in conversations, actively listen to others’ perspectives, and maintain a positive attitude, so the seed for successful networking interactions is planted.

This probably won’t come off as a surprise but networking isn’t exclusive to real-life events only. Use digital platforms to create a professional online presence, connect with industry peers, and participate in relevant conversations. Consistent engagement on social media can help significantly expand your network and become more visible within the industry.

Also, follow up your the newly gained connections from real-life meetups through online communication. Send personalized messages or emails to maintain these newfound relationships. Showing genuine interest in their work and staying connected can potentially lead to future acting career opportunities for you.

How To Land an Acting Agent?

While it’s basically all on you to perform well on stage or in front of the camera, getting to that point doesn’t have to be reached all by your lonesome. Securing representation from a talent agent or manager can help you access more audition opportunities and effectively navigate the various complex layers of the industry.

Having representation means having experienced professionals in your corner who can provide guidance and support with your career. Agents and managers can offer advice on contracts, career decisions, branding, and overall career strategy.

While agents focus on securing work and negotiating deals, managers handle the day-to-day aspects of an actor’s career management, including scheduling, financial matters, and overall business strategy. Together, they form a cohesive team dedicated to advancing the career of their client.

An important thing to keep in mind is that talent agents and managers in the U.S. operate on a commission basis. This system aligns the interests of the talent representatives with those of the actors, as they both benefit when the actor successfully lands paid acting opportunities.

Before making a decision, make sure to research different talent agencies, particularly those that are franchised with SAG-AFTRA, which has stringent regulations and standards that franchised talent agencies must adhere to, ensuring that members are represented ethically and professionally.

Franchised talent agencies have the authority to negotiate on behalf of performers for employment terms that go beyond the minimum requirements set by SAG-AFTRA contracts. This includes negotiating for higher pay rates, better working conditions, and additional benefits. Having a franchised agent increases the likelihood of securing favorable terms in employment agreements.

How To Never Stop Advancing in Your Acting Carrer?

You have to accept that acting is a continuous learning process that requires dedication and perseverance. Stay committed to improving your craft by attending workshops, classes, and seminars as previously outlined above even after you reach any type of initial success and recognition.

Continue to seek feedback from mentors or industry professionals since these individuals often have years of experience and expertise in the field, allowing them to offer unique viewpoints that can help younger actors broaden their understanding of their performances.

Also, embrace constructive criticism as a tool for your growth and development. Mentors and industry professionals can pinpoint weaknesses and guide how to address them effectively. This guidance can lead to growth in performance quality and versatility, ultimately making you a more competitive player within the industry.

Understanding areas of strength and weakness through feedback allows actors to work on self-improvement continuously, leading to a more confident and self-assured approach to their craft.

In the case of challenges, rejections, and setbacks, which are a nearly unavoidable part of being an actor of any level of prominence, it is essential to stay persistent, resilient, and maintain a positive attitude. Instead of dwelling on the setback itself, shift your focus towards finding solutions and exploring new opportunities for your acting career that may arise from the setback.

To have a successful acting career in the long run, be open to exploring diverse roles, genres, mediums, and acting techniques to broaden your skill set and versatility as a performer. Embrace opportunities for growth outside your comfort zone to expand your range and showcase your adaptability as a performer.

Also, remember that the entertainment industry is constantly changing and evolving. Make sure to keep yourself updated on current industry trends, casting calls, emerging technologies, and changes in the entertainment landscape. Understanding market demands and audience preferences can help you make informed decisions about your career trajectory.

There are plenty of reputable industry publications and websites that cover news, reviews, and analysis on film, television, music, and more. Actors can subscribe to newsletters or visit their websites regularly to stay updated on industry trends, casting announcements, and emerging technologies. 

Speaking of technologies, various social media platforms are another great way for actors to stay informed about the latest entertainment industry trends and casting opportunities.

However, no other platform has a greater impact on an acting career than platforms like AllCasting, which provide actors with access to a wide range of casting calls for film, television, theater, commercials, and more. By creating profiles on these platforms and regularly checking for new opportunities, actors can stay informed about upcoming projects.

By actively engaging with these resources and staying proactive in seeking out new opportunities and information, upcoming actors can effectively keep themselves updated on current industry trends, casting calls, emerging technologies, and changes in the entertainment landscape.

Unleash Your Talent
Turn Your Passion into a Profession! Discover the Latest Casting Calls and Auditions.
Find Auditions

Latest News