We would be lying if we said it was easy to get into acting. Getting started in the industry can be really challenging, and your journey there may not always be smooth. However, it is important to understand what you can do to increase your chances of making it. In this post, Charlie Brooks shares her top tips on how to get into acting.
To get into acting, the first and most important thing is to truly love it! Having a real passion for the performance world is vital if you are going to persevere and make it in the industry. If you have regularly been involved in your local theatre or school drama productions and have previous audition experience, this is a great start.
Completing an acting course or pursuing a qualification in drama and production is also a big step in the right direction in reaching your career goals. However, it is important to remember that love for acting alone doesn’t land you the job – it is important to put time and effort into your professional development. Start by reading this guide on how to get into acting!
Practice self-taping regularly
Self-taping is a vital part of the industry that you want to nail. This is especially important to practice if you are actively auditioning. Check out our self-tape guide for more insider top tips, where we go through the best framing, lighting and sound set-ups to use.
A self-tape is usually a self-recorded audition piece that you deliver straight to the camera. They are usually requested by agents or casting directors in order for you to remotely audition for adverts, television programmes, films or theatre productions. Practising self-tapes and watching them back will help you to understand what aspects of your performance to work on.
Take advice from professionals
The best advice comes from those who have experienced the industry first-hand. These professionals can provide insights into and share knowledge of the performance world that you might not have known about previously.
Our coaches at iampro understand how tough it can be to get into acting, especially when you are starting out in your performance journey with no or little experience. Here’s Charlie Brooks sharing her take on how to make it as an actor or actress.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Try to surround yourself with people who share similar goals to you in regard to acting and performance. Having these shared dreams is not only encouraging but it may motivate you to put more time and energy into your practice.
As a product of your environment, having supportive friends and being part of a friendly, close-knit performance community can be a huge factor in your success. To find like-minded people, visit local theatres and look for online drama groups to join, like iampro.
Find a network of people who are on a comparable acting journey to you. As you get to know one another, make sure that your circle includes those who will champion and help you shine, not those who may be jealous or envious of your success.
Being part of a community of aspiring actors and actresses comes with a variety of benefits. Not only does it provide you with an opportunity to share stories and experiences, but you can run scripts and collaborate with each other. If you are comfortable with it, why not try getting creative and make short films or other forms of drama content as a collective?
Put yourself out there
Utilise your social media to follow casting directors, and agents and present yourself professionally to the industry. Make sure that you keep up with who is making what and when new shows or productions are starting or going live. Know your directors of theatre shows and follow them on socials too.
You can even message these directors or creative producers to let them know how much you enjoyed watching their recent show or production and how it made you feel. The more you make yourself present in their world the better.
Sharing your thoughts will not only help your critical thinking skills when it comes to getting to know the industry, but it will also boost your confidence. Having an opinion is really important if you want to get into acting; don’t just sit on the sidelines, but get involved and share your thoughts – they are there to be heard!
Look out for acting and training opportunities and continue to grow as an actor. Whether that is at your local theatre or attending an online evening event, having training is an important part of developing your acting skills. This will allow you to meet people who are also interested in the performance industry, whether they are doing it for fun, as a hobby, or as a profession.
Don’t be shy to get involved! If there is an acting event taking place in community centres or your local theatre, why not ask a friend or family member to sign up and go along with you? You may meet some really inspiring people and learn something new.
Take classes to get into acting
Even professionals still take acting classes! Drama lessons can help to build your self-confidence and self-worth as an actor or actress. Online acting classes are perfect for busy people and a really convenient way of honing your performance skills. Attend a live event or masterclass after work or sign up for a part-time course alongside your drama studies.
When choosing an acting class, look out for professional coaches who are experts in the industry and have plenty of experience under their belts. At iampro, all of our drama coaches specialise in different aspects of performing art so there is something for everyone.
Having the help of a mentor
The guidance of a coach or mentor can be invaluable as you navigate the whirlwind that is the acting industry. A mentor can be anyone who is doing what you want to do, whether they are very successful and have years of experience in the industry or are also relatively new in starting out. They will help you stay focused on your goals and provide you with expert tips for becoming a better actor or actress
You will be surprised at the help that is on offer. Don’t hold back on sending emails, messages, or letters to potential mentors. Ask people, you have nothing to lose! A mentor will help share their experience with you and hold you accountable for things, whether that is making a self-tape, creating a showreel or writing to agents. A mentor can help you to make significant progress in your career.
Get experience on set
Join extra agencies and look for open castings to get experience on set. This will help you to understand how to act professionally and conduct yourself on and off camera. It will also give you an idea of how actors and actresses work with a director and producer.
Look out for runner jobs as well as extra work. Being on set is incredibly rewarding and running will allow you to help the day run smoothly. Be nice and friendly to everyone and make sure that you get involved. Remember, first impressions count!
Go to the theatre
One of the best ways to get into acting is by watching live performances. Go to the theatre and get inspired by the wonderful actors and actresses you see on stage. Why not invite your fellow acting buddies or your friends and family and make a proper day of it?
It is always important to observe other people’s performances in films and TV programmes, but this is especially important in theatre. Get out there and see as much as possible.
Figure out what spoke to you in the performance. You may have especially loved the costume and set design, for example, or the themes and the story that ran through the production. Figure out what it is that you like. This will help you navigate and pursue the things that you want in your career!
Watch other performances
Just as we mentioned above, there are endless benefits to watching other people’s performances. If you were inspired by a performer, watch back their performance and try to see what makes their character so effective. Work to emulate some of their quirks or techniques and give it a go doing what they do in your own style. Our founder Charlie Brooks has shared that she loves watching Sarah Lancashire’s outstanding naturalist performance in Happy Valley.
Best of all, you can observe people’s behaviour whenever and wherever you go. In everyday life, you can find inspiration for your acting in moments and characters that you encounter. Keep an acting journal and write down anything that you see that you find interesting and might be able to inject into your own performance.
Learn to deal with rejection
The acting industry can be really tough. Unfortunately, rejection is a huge part of the arts and performance world. If you want to get into acting, you will have to get used to receiving criticism and things not working out. Take any feedback you can get and make sure that you learn from it. Each audition rejection or performance setback will only make you a stronger performer.
Put yourself out there
Be unafraid to be brave. Getting into acting can be hard, but if that’s what you really want to do and you’re prepared to put in the work, then there is truly no better career choice. Remember that your acting journey may not be linear and that no two career routes are the same, so don’t be disheartened if you put yourself out there once but don’t hear anything back immediately. Just keep on persevering!
Pay attention to everything that is going on around you. There are often opportunities to get into acting all over the place but we only see them if we are awake and open to them. Making sure that you are fully present and have an open mind will unlock endless possibilities.
To get started on your acting journey, sign up for an iampro membership today.