How To Become An Actor With No Experience


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One of the most common questions asked is, how can you become an actor with no experience? Many aspiring actors just about to pursue a career in show business get confused about how to get acting jobs when you have nothing on your acting resume.

First, the good news: obviously you CAN become an actor with no experience. Everybody has to start somewhere. The key is taking action and getting that experience, and there are a few things that you can do at this point which I’ll talk about below.

Once you’ve decided that you want to pursue a career in acting, you’ll need a good plan of action on how to become an actor with no experience. Your principal goal will be to expand your acting resume with skills, experience, and training.

There are many things inexperienced budding thespians can focus on advancing their careers, and they’re all interrelated. Some of those involve looking for jobs, and others are complimentary to your acting career that will eventually result in your finding and booking more auditions.

What Should You Do, To Become An Actor With No Experience?

1. Read and study

First, you need to familiarize yourself with the industry. Know the ins and outs of this business, how it works, and which people it involves. Reading books about the acting business, marketing, talent agents, and so forth will give you confidence and understanding of where you want to be, and how you’re going to get there.

Depending on the location you’re starting your acting career at, your approach to book acting jobs may differ slightly. Once you know the intricacies of this business, it is much easier to develop your own specific plan of action instead of relying on general advice from websites like this one and many others.

Not only that, reading a lot will benefit any actor’s craft. Read books on acting techniques to understand the theory behind truthful acting. Don’t forget to read the most essential plays. However, don’t rely solely on books, because you cannot learn to act from that alone. You must take acting classes or even apply to a drama school, anyway.

When you’re trying to find the most efficient ways on how to become an actor with no experience, self-education is priceless. And besides learning about the craft and business, reading a lot will increase your creativity.

2. Don’t move right away

By now, you probably know that certain cities in the world have a much bigger theatre or film and television industry. If you’re starting your acting career in one of those cities, then good for you–you’ll have plenty of opportunities from the get-go.

However, if you’re not in any of the bigger cities such as London, Los Angeles, or New York City, then don’t fret about it. As an aspiring actor who’s just starting out, your town will probably have plenty of small-time productions GREAT to get that experience because those jobs are easier to book.

Big cities are not only very competitive, but they’re also very expensive. So, when you’re looking for ways on how to become an actor with no experience when you live in a smaller town, focus on saving money, learning about the business, and exploring local opportunities.

Don’t move to a big city as soon as you decided you want to be an actor. You need to check whether this is an impulsive decision, or you enjoy the craft and will do this for a long period. Try to bite off as much of that less-competitive market in your small town and start building your acting resume.

3. Audition and train locally

Continuing my point from the above, your goal must be to drift, rather than rush into anything. Remember the famous phrase–acting is a marathon, not a sprint. This cannot be more true. Anybody who rushes into this profession will burn out quickly. It’s not a smart way to approach this business.

An acting career is like a marathon. It’s not a sprint.

Unless you live in towns like Manningtree, the UK where the population is 700 people, or Whittier, Alaska with 217 people, it’s likely that your city will have some opportunities for you to act. If you want to know how to become an actor with no experience, then this is how you can do it fast–a less competitive market.

So, what opportunities can you explore? Anything, really; whatever gives you a chance to act. You need to act as much as you can, anywhere you get the opportunity to. It could be community theatre, drama clubs, amateur acting workshops, student films, and so on.

If you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to live in a bigger city, there’s going to be a lot more stuff happening, but it’ll be more competitive. Actively seek jobs, audition, and do whatever you can to get up on your feet and act. As soon as you can afford some local acting class or workshop, try that.

The goal is to build that resume in any way possible. Put anything you can on it. Jump on any project you can. Be proactive!

4. Work on your special skills

Being a wonderful actor should always be your chief priority. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn any “accessory” skills that will help you book more acting jobs. Many actors completely ignore this part and therefore take themselves out of running for easy gigs that they could’ve gotten if they had one particular skill.

It’s always helpful to do something that a director can use in production. If you already can play musical instruments and do more unique stuff, such as riding a unicycle–perfect! Hone those skills, put them on the resume and see how this can help you with gaining that acting experience.

But don’t stop there. Learn new things and master enough of the technique to an adequate level where you can at least fake it to look like a professional, rather than “know how it’s done.”

What should you be learning? Anything, really. Juggling, accents, languages, musical instruments, sports, martial arts, magic, and whatnot. Try some unusual things and put those on your resume, particularly if you already do them.

Special skills aren’t the focal point of your resume (which is why they’re usually at the very bottom), but who knows, one day one of those skills may win you a significant role in a big production.

5. Start working on your marketing

When you have no acting experience and you follow the above advice, it’s likely you won’t have too much of your time taken up with filming projects day in and day out. Therefore, you’ll probably have a little extra time on your hands which you can use wisely to boost your acting career.

My suggestion would be to work on your marketing and branding yourself. It will not do much for you now, but if you start early, once you have that acting experience, you’ll be ahead of many other actors who are just catching up with their actor marketing goals.

So, what can you do to build a brand around yourself? There are several things, and all are very easy to do and learn, particularly because it’s all based online. Here’s what you should focus on:

  • Build your own personal acting website (or you can pay someone to do it for you, but it’s not worth it).
  • Create social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else is out there.
  • Become active on your website and with your social media. Share things and communicate with others.
  • Make connections online with other actors, directors, producers, screenwriters, and industry people.

On top of doing all of this online, you can also start networking a little. Even if you live in a small town with very little film or theater action, there’s probably other aspiring actors, directors, producers out there doing the same thing. Find them, connect with them, and maybe work on something together.

If you try hard, you can also find professionals in the field who are already working. Getting to know these people is harder, particularly when you’re still trying to figure out how to become an actor with no experience, but if you can get their attention, try to use those contacts, or save them for later.

6. Get used to rejection

Rejection is a part of this business. A big part, actually. Many budding artists do not expect this turn of events once they decide they want to be actors, singers, dancers, or other types of performers in this very competitive market. Unfortunately, that’s the reality of show business–everybody gets rejected.

Unlike in other walks of life, accept that Rejection (with a capital “R”) is normal. It’s not personal and there’s no reason you should ever take it to heart. It doesn’t mean that you’re a poor actor or that you’ve done something wrong.

Imagine that you’re casting a project. You only have one part, and 100 actors come to audition for that part. 50 of them were good. Can you hire all 50? No, you cannot. Pick one, and it’s a tough decision to make as a casting director. Nobody wants you to fail, but due to this business, you’ll get betting rejected a lot.

7. Finally, be patient and consistent

Honestly, the above six points are enough for you to get yourself onto the path of how to become an actor with no experience, and change that state as soon as possible. If you follow my advice above, you’ll be ahead of the game within a year. Most actors stop pursuing this career by then.

If you seriously dedicate yourself to finding any experience, marketing yourself, building your site and network, and getting comfortable with rejection, this will probably take you a year or two. Yes, it’s a long time, but remember that becoming an actor isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Enjoy the process and look far into the future.

The important part is to always keep in your head that you finally have or soon will have a firm grasp of how the show business works, what the acting industry is all about, and that you’re serious that you love doing this. You’ll feel you’re building a foundation, developing acting-related habits, and getting reading for a major step.

So be patient. It’s very important because you will not–and I repeat, you will NOT–see any results in the beginning. Learning how to become an actor with no experience isn’t impossible, but it takes effort. It’s also going to be a lot of investment in terms of time, hard work, and even money with no reward for a while.

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