Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started.

Making it in the talent industry can be tough, whether you pursue music, art, acting, comedy, modeling, or dance. Many times, it takes more than talent to be successful. Networking is a great way to help stack the odds of making it in your favor. By networking with industry professionals, getting support, advice, and referrals, you can go from an unknown talent to a sought after star.

Going about networking isn't as complicated as it may sound. Networking just means getting in contact with others (especially decision makers) within the talent industry. Even if you're new to networking or to your chosen field, you can use the following simple methods to get your name out there and meet people who may help your career no matter where you live.

Tell Everyone About Your Aspirations

By nature, people are giving and do want to help other people. If you tell everyone you meet about your career aspirations, you are more likely to get that help. You never know - maybe you'll play your band's CD for a new friend you met at the DMV who will love it and whose uncle just happens to be a VP at Universal Records. Don't keep quiet about your talent or your career dreams. No one will ever help you if you don't speak up - not because they don't want to, but because they won't know to in the first place.

Make Connections Locally

Check out your local newspaper and any local websites for groups in your area that relate to your field of talent. If you are an actor, check out your local theatre companies. Dancers should hit the hottest studios in town regularly. If you are an artist, see if there is a local artist guild near you or attend art shows.

Attend any events that pertain to your talent, including shows, classes, meetings, auditions, parties, and more. Volunteer to work behind the scenes whenever you can. You will meet people and may gain knowledge or insight about your industry you did not already know. By networking locally, you may meet up with someone who can connect you to a helpful person in a larger market.

Surf the Internet

Find websites with message boards and chat rooms in your field of talent. Sign up and start posting messages. You will meet up with other people in your field that will usually be happy to give you advice on marketing yourself and networking with influential people.

Some websites may even hold seminars or events regarding your talent, especially association websites. Most association websites charge a membership fee for you to attend events or access their website, but major players usually belong to associations, so it may be well worth it when it comes to networking.

Be Ready for Interest All the Time

Nothing is worse than being approached by a casting director who thinks you might be perfect for a part in the new Stallone movie and not being prepared. If that casting director just wants to see your resume and have you perform a quick monologue before giving you the part and you don't have your resume or a memorized monologue to perform, you could blow it. Networking is no good if you're not prepared for the success of it. Be prepared with everything you might need to impress that important person. Keep your modeling portfolio with you. Have a comedy set ready to perform on a moment's notice. Carry business cards with your website and contact information with you at all times. Always be ready.