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Acting Articles


Acting Audition Tips & Advice

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. An acting audition is a job. You have to get that in your head. Doing well at an acting audition is the only way you will get the actual job and get paid. While you never know what you might be doing at an acting audition (especially a commercial audition) there are some things you should never do. These are things that may just get you blacklisted from a casting director so they’ll never call you in again. Try explaining that one to your agent. Acting Audition Tip #1 - Don't Chew gum Don’t ever walk into an audition chewing gum. It’s unattractive and comes across terribly on camera. Plus it likely doesn’t fit the role you’re auditioning for unless it’s a valley girl. Even so, show them who you are without the gum, that can always be added later. Acting Audition Tip #2 - Don't Talk too much Don’t talk too much. It will annoy the casting director and assistant and then may cause you to miss something they tell which is important, like some directions on how to do your audition or scene. Acting Audition Tip #3 - Don't Forget your headshot Make sure you always have your headshot with you. It doesn’t matter that they’ve seen your photo before. They want another one, give it to them. Or maybe they didn’t even see your photo. Your agent may have called you in. They need to see you and keep a picture of you. Acting Audition Tip #4 - Don't Have an unstapled resume Staple your resumes before you get there. It’s tacky to use their s... read more



How To Become Famous by Optimizing Your Movie

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. Acting is a business: that is what most people forget. Many young performers think that all it takes is talent to get famous, and that work and planning come last. However, acting in films is no less of a career choice than being a gymnast or a pro football player. It takes training, practice, and strategy. The good thing about treating your acting career like a business is that it gives you the power to become a success, to get famous, and to do what you love, sometimes for a heck of a lot of money. The first thing that a working actor needs to do before casting can begin is to get organized. Keep track of everything you do and everyone you meet. Who knows what relationship might one day lead to an audition or a great casting session. Even extras work has its place. Then make a chart, listing every person that you know in the entertainment business, even if they work in the coffee shop on the Sony Pictures Lot. You may be surprised how many “industry people” you actually know. Then get some numbers and start making calls. See who is doing what with whom and if any body knows anything about anyone. Soon you will be going to parties and casting sessions, and luncheons. Never say no to anyone who can help you. How to be famous and becoming a movie star is part talent, part skill, part luck, and part drive. You must make sure that you have the drive. If you have never heard of a “mentor”, it is about time you do. Mentors are invaluable allies in your battle to get famous. Most mentors are famous experts in your field who you contact a... read more



Become Famous: Tips to Get Famous

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. Want to know how to become famous? Here is a guide to help you! Once you arrive in Hollywood looking to get famous as a screen star, you will face one main question: how do I break in? Well, first off, there are a number of good ways to become famous, and you need to get yourself up in front of casting directors, producers, and an audience quickly. The fastest ways to do that are - classes, extra jobs, self-promotion, low budget films, and getting representation. Make sure that you have a headshot (8x10 photo of your face), and some sort of resume, and then charge into stardom like a bull. How to become famous: Step #1 CLASSES Depending on your particular talents, you may take dance, singing, or scene study; but for sure you need an audition class, an on-camera & casting class and it is always good to take an improv class just to loosen you up. A place like actor’s boot camp is good, and The Improv Olympic will put you on stage immediately (a good way to become famous). How to become famous: Step #2 EXTRA JOBS Being extras can be fun and profitable. Some of the biggest stars began their careers doing extras work and bit parts. Contact Central Casting (centralacsting.org), for extra jobs, they’re the biggest extra’s casting agency in LA. Once you get some extra jobs, you will be well on your way to get famous. Remember, as soon as the guard at the studio gate finds your name on t... read more



Networking in the Talent Industry

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 com... read more



How to Be a Soap Star: Casting Information for the Soaps

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Join now to apply to open casting calls. Here are some great tips to get you started. If you're an actor who wants to star on your favorite soap, let them know! It's perfectly okay to send your headshot and resume directly to soap opera casting directors - just make sure you do it by regular mail instead of in person! Important Notes: -Don't just throw your headshot and resume into an envelope and slap on a stamp. Get the casting director's attention by writing a cover explaining why you are sending your headshot and resume. Keep it short and to the point. Explain that you would like to be considered for auditions and give the casting director an idea of why they should call you in for an audition. Be sure to include your age range, height, weight, and contact information on your resume. -If you don't already live in the city where your target soap opera is filmed, consider that you will have to relocate if you get a part. Soap operas are filmed in New York and Los Angeles, while you can fly-in for an audition, if you are cast, you'll have to move to do the part. -If you have a video, or "reel," of some of your acting performances, state that in your letter, but don't mail your reel unless they call or e-mail to ask for it. Even better, post your acting reel on your website and include the address of the link in your letter where the casting director can view it anytime. -If the casting director thinks you are a good fit for the show, they may call you for a live ... read more



Contacting Casting Directors Directly

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Join now to apply to open casting calls. Here are some great tips to get you started. Don’t have an agent, but still want to get into major auditions? It’s possible to get into those auditions without an agent if you market yourself directly to casting directors. The best way to market to a casting director is by regular mail. If you can get the attention of the person who opens the mail, a casting director just may call you to come in for an audition. When marketing yourself to casting directors via mail, keep the following in mind. • Appropriateness – Most casting directors specialize in certain kinds of casting. If you are an aspiring film actor, do not market yourself to casting directors that only cast commercials. If you are looking for theatre roles, don’t market to television casting directors. Make sure your submission is appropriate for the casting director. • Mailing Envelope – Your first impression is your mailing envelope. Usually, an assistant will open the casting director’s mail, then sift through what the casting director will see and what he won’t. A casting office may receive multiple envelopes from actors every day. Send a clean, new mailing envelope of the correct size for the contents. • Mailing Label – Do not handwrite the address on your mailing envelope. Even if you have good handwriting, a handwritten mailing address/return address is not professional. Print the mailing address and return address on a mailing label u... read more



Talent Agent or Talent Manager - Whats the difference?

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. Acting can be a confusing profession to those just starting out. There are so many unwritten rules, not to mention the scams that ruin the dreams of many talented actors. However, going into an acting career armed with knowledge will help minimize the confusion and maximize the success. Many beginning actors mistakenly think that “talent agent” and “talent manager” are two names for the same job. Actually, they are very different, but in a similar way. The best way to explain the differences is to tackle the job responsibilities separately, giving actors a good idea of those differences. A talent agent works for a talent agency where they use their contacts to arrange auditions for the actors represented by the agency. An actor should never pay a talent agent up front for auditions or representation. A legitimate talent agent should receive a ten to fifteen percent commission only from the work they find the actor. A talent agent should never receive any percentage above fifteen percent. Actors need a talent agent to survive. A talent agent is able to provide an actor with auditions they would not otherwise know about. Without the appropriate industry auditions, an actor’s career will go nowhere. When securing a talent agent, actors should seek talent agencies franchised with The Screen Actors Guild (SAG). This means the agency and its agents have signed a contract agreeing to follow the rules regulated by the actors union. A talent manager’s focus is more on managing an actor’s career th... read more



The Best Places for Actors to Find Casting Calls Online

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Join now to apply to open casting calls. Here are some great tips to get you started. Don’t sit around waiting for an agent to call! There are plenty of film, television, and commercial auditions listed online. If you get out there, do the legwork yourself, and land some acting roles, those agencies you’ve been waiting to hear from just may come calling. You will find two types of casting call websites: ones that list the big union auditions, mostly in Los Angeles and New York, and others that feature smaller non-union local market auditions. Some actors start a career with smaller local acting jobs to build up a resume before moving on to the larger Hollywood ones. Others prefer to jump into the big time from the start. Whichever career strategy you prefer, you’ll find the perfect casting call website for you below. These websites cannot guarantee the legitimacy of an audition posted, so do your homework before applying or attending an audition in person. • Actors Access – (www.actorsaccess.com) – With a free Actors Access account, you can review audition notices and post photographs and your resume on a customized profile searchable by casting directors. You can review auditions and submit yourself online. Submissions are free if you join Showfax (www.showfax.com), currently $68.00 per year. There is a $2.00 processing fee per audition if submitting without a Showfax subscription. • LA Casting – (read more



How Hard is it to Break into Hollywood?

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. If you’ve looked into the subject, it should be no secret that making it big in Hollywood can be tricky, stressful, and demanding. However, breaking into Hollywood doesn’t always have to be that difficult… it can also be exciting, fun, and rewarding. So, how hard is it to break into Hollywood? Well, it all depends on you. Sure, talent plays a part, but the more you “do,” the more success you will see. Procrastination has led to many Hollywood failures. Skipping auditions because you are tired after waiting tables for ten hours and you really need to get the laundry done will get you nowhere fast. The key to a successful acting career is action. If you put off advancing your career until tomorrow, suddenly it’s next week, then next month, and then years have gone by and you are no closer to achieving your acting dreams than when you started. Don’t procrastinate… you’ll regret it later. You may “enjoy” acting, but an absolute “passion” for acting is a definite must to break into Hollywood. If you don’t have an unbreakable passion for acting and the entertainment industry, you might want to act for fun as a hobby instead of as a career. If you are overflowing with passion, go for it with the following in mind. Don’t just head to Hollywood without a clear plan (and without a wad of cash). You may have heard about some lucky actors jumping off a bus with two dollars and a sandwich who make it big overnight. That’s not the norm in Hollywood and if you arrive thinking luck is all you need, you’l... read more



Acting Agents: Contacting Agencies

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. You know you need an acting agency to be a professional actor, but how do you go about getting one? Contacting an acting agent for representation is actually very simple. All you need are a few photographs, a resume, an envelope, some stamps, and a list of prospective acting agents. Contacting Acting Agency: Step 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. Contacting Acting Agencies: Step 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. Contacting Acting Agencies: Step 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 Sc... read more



The Best Free Resources for Film and Television Actors

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Website (http://www.sag.org) – If you are serious about making it as a film or television actor, you must become eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild. Check the Screen Actors Guild website for eligibility requirements, search for union productions, and more. The website even has information on locating a SAG franchised talent agent and is a great free resource for any aspiring film and television actor or actress. The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (http://www.aftra.com) – Also known as AFTRA, the American Federal of Television and Radio Artists is a union geared toward television and radio, or voice-over, actors. Check the AFTRA website for their eligibility requirements and read their library of information. The AFTRA website also includes information on locating an AFTRA union franchised agency. Variety (http://www.variety.com) – Variety Magazine covers everything Hollywood including what is in production, box office numbers, and actor news. They have a print magazine and free online e-newsletters delivered to you via e-mail. A good actor knows what is going on in the industry and Variety will help. This really is a wonderful resource for aspiring actors and actresses. The Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com) – The Hollywood Reporter covers what is going on in the ... read more



Audition Tips: Preparing for the Audition

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. Arrive Early to the Audition – Feeling rushed or being late will stress you out! Arrive at least fifteen minutes early to your audition so you have time to focus, warm up, and prepare. Know the Character – Usually, an actor receives “sides,” which are a few page of the script, to read at an audition. Sometimes at theatre auditions, directors request the actor prepare a monologue on their own for the audition. Whichever type of audition, take the time to examine the script to get to know the character. Do not just read the script. Work on the character. The character is what is important, not being a good reader. Once again, preparing is key. Dress for the Part – Wear clothing that fits the character. That does not mean you should go to the audition “in costume.” It just means to wear clothing that suggests the character. For example, do not show up with slicked down hair wearing a fancy, three-piece, business suit to an audition for a cowboy role. By dressing for the part, you help the director better “picture” you in the role. Warm Up – Take the time to warm up and focus before your audition. Stretch, go over your lines, and do some vocal and breathing exercises. Do not go into an audition cold. If you warm up, you will be more relaxed and less nervous. Be Prepared for Anything – You never know what will happen at an audition. The director may want to chat, get right down to the audition, or want you to “tell hi... read more



Breaking Into the Talent Industry - Determining “Type?”

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. “Type?” you may be asking. Yes, type. The word typecast brings about fear in many actors. The reality is that typecasting is here to stay, especially for actors in the beginning of their careers. Instead of fighting typecasting, an actor should learn to love it and use it. Knowing and taking advantage of your type is one of the biggest casting secrets in the industry. When a casting director is casting for the part of a professional boxer who grew up on the streets and you walk in lacking muscles and looking like a high-dollar attorney, you do not stand a chance of getting the part. You are wasting your time and the casting director’s time by showing up for that audition. Casting directors appreciate agents and their actors who know their type and audition for roles that fit. Typecasting does not mean you will never be able to break out of your type. If you make it as an actor and become a box office star, you will be able to choose your parts. Until then, knowing your type will help you along your acting career by giving you a clear place in the talent industry. Now you are probably thinking, “How do I determine my type?” One way is to ask casting directors. A better way is to go straight to the movie going public by doing your own market survey. Get yourself a clipboard, a pen, and a few sheets of paper. Write “Male” at the top of two of the pages and number from 1 to 50 down the left hand side. Then, write “Female” at the top of two more pages and repeat the numberi... read more



What Do I Need to Be An Actor? - Important Things an Actor Needs to Know

Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Here are some great tips to get you started. Ask Yourself “Do I Want to Be an Actor or Do I Just Want to Be Famous?” – Acting is hard work. Before pursuing an acting career, make sure you really want to be an actor and are not just looking to be famous. They are two separate things. You must want to be an actor to be good at it. There are easier ways to be famous than by acting. You Need an Agent – Anyone who says you do not need an agent to make it as a professional actor is crazy. Join a Professional Acting Class – Talk to working actors about classes they attend and get recommendations. Ask if the acting class provides agent and casting director showcases, auditions, or performance opportunities. Join a professional acting class, not a workshop at Miss Dolly’s Dance School or a class at the local parks and rec. Also, sign up for specialty acting classes, such as soap opera acting, film, television, and commercial acting. Great Headshots – Great headshots will get you work. They are your calling card. They get agents and casting directors interested in seeing you. Get recommendations for photographers from agents, casting directors, and working actors. Meet with your prospective photographer and study his or her portfolio. Look for incredible headshots that are full of life and personality. Choose a photographer who is comfortable to be around and gives you plenty of time and direction. A Professional Resume –<... read more



Acting Tips: Tips for Aspiring Actors

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 Act... read more