Ericalane: If your idea of breaking into the acting business is to hang out at a shopping mall, look cool, and hope some big-time Hollywood producer, director, or agent will “notice” your excellent looks, your magnetic personality, and decide you are exactly the naturally-talented person they have been hoping to sign for their next multi-million dollar movie deal – then read no further. Head over to the mall and put your plan into action. Doggedly pursue your plan, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Eventually you will come to realize that producers, directors and agents don’t go to shopping malls to find talent. Basically what I’m saying is, YOU NEED ANOTHER PLAN!
That is not the correct way to pursue your acting career. Don’t spend too much time standing around waiting to be noticed, DO YOUR HOME WORK, and follow my advice on how to get started:
Many people write me on a daily basis on how to get started with their acting career. There are many, many ways to get started. The first thing I advise all aspiring actors to do is to cover the basics. An actor new to Los Angeles should immediately get pictures, join a Auditioning acting class, build a resume, and sign up with a background casting company if they are not already in the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG).
After you’ve taken care of the basics, the best way of making things happen is to contact a casting director in your own town (or the closest town to you.) Most casting directors work closely with producers and talent agents. Start off by sending a small post card with your head shot on the front and a small note on the back as to why they should consider calling you in.
Next, you’ll want to start looking for representation. One of the great ways you can do this is to Google search “Talent Managers Association”. The Talent Managers Association (TMA) web site provides a strong list of outstanding managers that represent all kinds of talent. If you haven’t noticed by now, actors, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Start sending those managers your head shots and resumes right away. (Side note: make sure you’ve edited your resume’s for spelling and grammar before you send them out to anyone!)
If you do not have a professional resume you may want to Google search examples of acting resumes or simply check out my actors page on sample resumes www.myspace.com/ericalane.
There are many sites online that show you how to create very professional looking resumes. An actor’s resume MUST be a complete one-page document that perfectly highlights an actor’s achievements on stage, TV, film, commercials, or any other relevant experiences.
In addition to the resume, it is very important to have the right look for your head shot.. Actors and Actresses… NO BLACK & WHITE PICTURES PLEASE. Below is a sample of what a head shot should look like:
Once your resume and head shots are perfect, you should be prepared to sign up with Actors Access and LA Casting. These are essential tools that can help you start adding work to your resume immediately.
I know the thought of moving to Hollywood can seem a little overwhelming, but if you’re serious about making it big then it’s just one of the sacrifices you’ll have to make. Invest your time reading books on acting and taking as many acting classes and work shops as possible. Take the time out to learn the language of acting. There are over a thousand words that are consistently used on set so begin to familiarize yourself with the lingo.
I hope that this has been helpful. Until Next Time…
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