How Can I Succeed As An Actor?

"I am in my first year as a film student. I love learning about the technical points of the craft and interacting with experienced teachers. I know I still have a long way to go before I can ultimately make a name for myself. As early as now, I’d like to know if you have tips to share on how a neophyte like me can conquer this industry. How can I succeed as an actor?"

asked by Rhoda D. from Jacksonville, Florida

The fact that you are studying film shows that you are taking this craft seriously. That’s one way to jumpstart your road to success. Learn as much as you can from your acting professors and read your books so you get to understand the craft inside out. Watch movies and plays so you get to see professionals at work. Never overestimate your abilities. Continue to keep learning.

Punctuality is an important habit that all actors need to have. If you are not yet punctual, you need to start developing the habit now. Nothing makes you lose a potential job more easily than arriving late for an audition. Schedules for casting sessions are often timed at 7:05 or 9:10 to determine how well potential actors can observe punctuality. If you haven’t gone into casting sessions yet, make it a point to be there at least 15 minutes before the appointed time.

Get good at memorizing lines. Successful actors are able to get projects because they are able to easily memorize their script. When they know what they are going to say, it’s easier to put emotions into the acting because they don’t have to keep on referring back to the script. So whether you’re making school productions or practicing for a minor role at a major stage production, make it a habit to memorize your lines.

Your headshot can make and break your chances of getting a role. Get a good photographer to capture your best assets so that directors and producers are intrigued enough to meet you. Keep your headshot current. While it may be tempting to use an earlier version of yourself for your headshot, doing so will actually backfire as the casting directors expect to see the person in the headshot since this is the face they are looking for that would potentially fit the role.

Take every opportunity to beef up your acting credentials. When you have captured the attention of a casting director with your best headshot, the next thing they will look at is your resume. Thus, you need to develop a resume that will showcase your acting talent and impress the casting directors. To do so, take every chance you get to be part of any production. Attend workshops. If you can afford it, hire reputable acting coaches. Doing these things will hone your talents and help make your resume more credible.

Strive to meet and network with people in the industry. Although you will have to rely on your acting talent to be casted, you’ll be able to get leads on the film studios that are looking for actors if you actually meet the right people and network with them. When you do get the opportunity to actually do so, never forget names and other details of your conversation. It’s easier to approach an industry bigwig when you can call them by their names.

Be prepared for lots of hard work and even more rejections as you journey towards your goal of carving a name for yourself in the acting world. Don’t let unfruitful auditions deter you from your dream. Learn with each failure and stand up again.

Career Spotlight: Actor



If you can see yourself holding the next Best Actor trophy at the Academy Awards then you might have a future as an actor. In this profession, you will have the chance to play different roles on film,[...]

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