As an actor, it’s important to have an acting coach to assist you with keeping the focus on your career, helping you prep lines for auditions and educate you on acting styles and techniques. As is with any job, you should always be learning and growing within your industry to become as close to an expert as you possibly can. It can have its ups and downs and become frustrating, but if you consistently work and keep your eye on the horizon you can go many different routes within the acting realm. Below, we will outline and discuss some additional resources you should be seeking out in order to help gain ground in acting, and some of them might actually surprise you.
Acting Schools & Classes
First and foremost, if you have an acting coach, chances are you are already involved in some sort of class or school related to acting. But, if all you have is an acting coach then you are missing out on a crucial detail: working with others. When you take an acting class it not only helps with focus on your craft but gives you the ability to practice on your acting with other actors. When you are acting it helps greatly to have at least one other person to bounce ideas off of, explore other acting choices that maybe you didn’t see before, opening you up to other possibilities, and gives you opportunities to react in situations that you don’t get when acting alone.
Find a Great Headshot Photographer
Your resume and picture when you audition are extremely important – this is the very first thing that a casting director will see before you even walk in the door. Gone are the days of those black and white photos, and welcome new technology with digital photos and incredible pixelation. It’s worth the investment to find a great photographer to help you look your absolute best and one who knows the business. Do some research into some actors that are doing well, and see what their headshots look like. Find similarities between a few of them so that you have an idea when going into your photo shoot what poses seem to fit best. The impact that your headshot makes can, believe it or not, actually help in moving your acting career forward.
Work on Your Resume
You want your headshot to stand out as well as your resume. Your resume should always include:
- Your Name
- A working phone number
- Your email address
- Your union status (SAG, EMC, AEA, etc.)
Film auditions might want to know your height, weight, hair and eye color, but don’t include things like an address or personal details that aren’t important. It also helps when listing roles what casting company or producer worked on it – this can be handy for a casting or hiring manager to contact for a reference.
Seek out a Vocal Coach
It is a truly novel idea to work with a local vocal coach. Singing is another part of acting. Most acting gigs you may seek out nowadays can require singing as well as acting as a desire for the position, and since it is essential for you to consistently grow and learn new skills, this is a great one that will aid you, and push you further. Voice coaches not only help with your singing, but they can give you tips and techniques on diction, annotation, and more that pertain directly to acting as well. It provides many more opportunities for you within your acting career if you can add this into your repertoire, the singing ability can be utilized for so many other roles that without it, would not be available to you, including singing in commercials or musicals.
Make an Audition Reel
This can also be called a demo reel, but it is basically a short video that highlights some of your greatest work as an actor. If you have done any professional work this should definitely be included because it demonstrates that you already have been working within the industry as a professional. You can create your own if you have video/editing experience or are willing to take the time to learn. Just be sure to keep each snippet no more than 20-30 seconds, so it’s short and sweet. If you need help you can hire out studios that help with creating audition reals, such as Acting Out Studios. This would be another expensive investment, but if you’re serious about getting real work as an actor, this is a great way to show your chops in a way that a simple audition can’t always do.
Study, Practice, and Audition All You Can
Time to reiterate once again that you should always be training to grow in your field. As a serious and seasoned actor there are certain things within acting history you should know – don’t know Method Acting? You better find out what it is since every other actor in the world (or at least 99% of them) will know what it is, AND be able to discuss it and demonstrate it. So you have to study. This includes studying everything and anything about acting that you can. Consume books, magazines, videos – anything related to the craft that you can pull from. If you don’t enjoy reading, listen to some podcasts that can give you some great acting tips and tricks like Action: The Pursuit of Acting Excellence or Everything Acting.
Another way to excel within the acting realm is through consistent and constant practice. When you are seeking out work you’ll be going on audition after audition, and you need to always be learning the new acting trends, what monologues or songs are going to work best to demonstrate how you fit the part, and the only way to be great in that audition is through practice.
You should always, ALWAYS be networking. Taking classes helps you get to know other actors who you can make connections with and utilize as a resource later because you never know – that actor might get a great role and be able to bring you along in their next film! Don’t look at other actors as competition, rather, look at them as talented people who can help YOU in your career. Meet new people, make bonds and help each other out – get out there and Make your career happen!
Written by: Donna Maurer