Alright, so you want to become an actor. My guess is that your friends think you’re crazy and your parents are telling you to look for a real job. Unfortunately it is one of those occupations that people catch a lot of flack when they are first starting out. Acting is a high-risk high-reward occupation. It’s not impossible though!
The large majority of people who seek a professional acting career do not ever reach their goal. In order to star in a movie or walk the red carpet, there are several checkpoints along the way.
- For starters, you need to get some professional headshots. This can be a costly endeavor. You can expect to spend at least $250. It is worth it if you’re serious about acting. The industry will not accept a backyard photo shoot done by Uncle Al and edited by Aunt Ernie. I’m sure your relatives are awesome photographers, but trust me on this one: Industry professionals can tell the difference.
- Next, you need to develop your resume. If you are just getting started, there won’t be much to put on there and that’s OK! What you need to do is attend a couple of acting workshops in order to show promise, training experience and drive. You can do a simple Google search of “Acting Workshops in Atlanta” to find some opportunities.
- Now it is time to find an agent. If you are looking to sign in Atlanta, The People Store is the way to go. Agents are people who will represent you and forward your information along to industry professionals who are seeking talent. A reasonable and legitimate agent will always take 10%. Never sign with an agent who demands up front fees or takes more than 10% of earnings made on the job. There are so many scams and people can end up losing a lot of money. These types of agents are almost never affiliated with the leading industry professionals who do feature films.
- Once you have spoken a word in a feature film or a television show, it is time to apply to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Getting SAGed is not the mark of fame, but it is a huge step that every person must take on his or her journey to “making it big.” Once you are a member of SAG, your benefits are better and your pay rate is substantially higher. There is still a lot of competition though. In fact, the unemployment rate of SAG members is up to about 85% right now.
- If you have made it through the process of becoming a member of SAG, you can really start taking your career seriously. I wouldn’t quit that restaurant job quite yet, but you can definitely start thinking about which Acting Hub of the country you would like to live near. Everyone knows Hollywood is full of people who want to “make it big.” What many people don’t know is that UGA is less than than 100 miles away from the latest and greatest place to be an aspiring actor! Acting in Atlanta is up 500%. The low rates for film movies in Georgia have been attracting several producers to the area for the past five years.
- Don’t forget to find a part time job or a dependable temp agency to keep you on your feet between auditions. Next, it is time to go out and make those connections! Many roles are landed before auditions even take place through networking. That’s right, networking is just as important in the acting world as it is in any other professional environment. You need to surround yourself with trustable people who can put in a good word for you.
- Once you’ve reached this point, you are on your own! Your name will be registered on the IMDB website for producers to see and you can expect several more roles to come your way. Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do it. Acting is a possible career. It just requires lots of patience and some hard work. No one just randomly “makes it big” these days. There is a specific order to the process. If you follow these simple steps you will be on your way to the red carpet!