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

You know you need an agent to be a professional actor, but how do you go about getting one? Contacting an agent for representation is actually very simple, and should be you first step to being an actor. All you need are a few photographs, a resume, an envelope, some stamps, and a list of prospective agents.

Acting Tips: Tip 1
The first thing you need to do is get a few good photographs of yourself. You do not necessarily need an expensive portfolio of photographs to send to your prospective agency. Send a good, clear, simple photograph that looks exactly like you. Keep the background, wardrobe, hairstyle, and make-up simple. Do not wear jewelry or hats in your photograph. Simple and plain is best. Make sure your personality shines through in the picture.

Acting Tips: Tip 2
Once you have a good photograph, you need to prepare a resume. When drafting a resume to send to an agent, simple also works best. Do not send a page full of hard to read paragraphs of text. Your resume should include your contact information, personal statistics (height, weight, hair color, eye color, age range, clothing size, shoe size), special skills (singing, impressions, accents, etc.), and a bullet breakdown on past acting experience including production name, production company, and part played.

Acting Tips: Tip 3
When you have your photographs and resume, it is time to look for an agency. No matter where you live, contact a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) franchised agent first. Go to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) website at http://www.sag.org. Under the “Agent Relations” page click on the “Find a SAG Franchised Agent” link. This will give you a list of the union franchised agents in your area.

Acting Tips: Tip 4
The best way to contact a talent agent is via regular mail. Most agencies do not respond to e-mails for aspiring actors. Never send an agency an e-mail with attachments. Call your prospective talent agency. Tell the person who answers the phone you are seeking agent representation and would like to know to whose attention you should send your picture and resume. Typically, they will direct you to send your package to a specific person or just to the new talent/actor division.

Acting Tips: Tip 5
Prepare a letter stating that you are and actor seeking agent representation and request an audition with the agency. Enclose your photographs, resume with contact information, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the letter. Mail the package, then sit and wait. You may hear something immediately. It may take two months to get a response if at all. Most agencies are good about getting back to people quickly, especially if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is enclosed.

Acting Tips: Tip 6
Do not call and pester an agency about your submission. They will never represent you if you become a regular caller. Just wait it out by working on your acting skills and preparing for an audition.

Acting Tips: Tip 7
If an agency is interested in representing you, they will call or send you a letter in the self-addressed, stamped envelope you provided asking you to come in for an audition. If an agency is not interested in representing you, do not give up. There are many reasons an agency may pass - they already have too many actors of your “type,” their client roster is full, they do not handle actors with your “look,” etc. Keep trying and continue to pursue acting work on your own. It may take a while or it may happen fast, either way, perseverance will eventually bring about success.

Now that you have all this advice, get started by becoming a member and searching Los Angeles Casting Calls or New York Casting Calls