Shop Talk Actors : Looking to begin my journey into acting

Looking to begin my journey into acting


Basically looking for any and all help on how to start my way into acting. I am looking into possibly going to college, but I have heard that can be a waste of time and money. I have acted before and been an extra a few times, but really want to start doing this seriously. Sadly I am from South NJ and not a lot of opportunities around here but New York is only a train away. I guess just looking for advice on any other things I should do. Acting Classes, Headshots, film myself, anything like that? Thanks.

Re: Looking to begin my journey into acting

Good post, you instigated me into looking up an acting teacher I want to study with. That is what I would do if I were you, look up some acting/dance study in your area.

Re: Looking to begin my journey into acting

Welcome to the most heartbreaking, esteem killing, frustrating, hardest, career you can undertake. You have a billion too one shot at making even an average acting career. Having said that, if acting is what you want to do GO FOR IT. From your post I can tell you you are already on the right track, keep getting those "Extra" jobs and any chance to act on a stage or in front of the camera is needed experience. I live in the L.A. area and I know some people in the business (not me). As for acting classes thats up too you, they can help your craft but I don't know of any casting director or agent that will hire you on an "how much education he or she has" basis. Lets face it this is a looks first, personality second, acting ability third type of business anyone who tells you different is blowing smoke, just ask my-out of work overweight actor cousin who has the acting abilities of Deniro LOL. You will need a headshot photo taken by someone that specializes in that (Money). Don't bother filming yourself (it will never be seen). First and foremost though is the fact that if you are serious you will need an agent no one in L.A. gets hired without one. You can try and sell yourself but thats like taking on two jobs. Beware of anyone that wants money from you upfront these people are always a scam. A real agent will take you on because they know they can "sell" you. NEVER give them money too find you work. I hope this helps you and I wish you the best of luck in your acting career. Oh and one more thing find some working actors near you and seek help and advice from them this will be invaluable too you. Hope too see you on the screen

Re: Looking to begin my journey into acting

Thank you very much for the info. I realized this is basically a looks first type of business cause I say all the time if these people weren't attractive they would be working a dead end job like me. I appreciate the insight though very much. I didn't think to look for actors around me because I live in a small area but I am a short difference from Philadelphia so maybe something there. I know I will have to move to a better area to pursue this but I'll do my best. Thanks again for the info I appreciate it.

Re: Looking to begin my journey into acting

Is Bruce Willis looks only?

Is Whoopi Goldberg looks only? Robert DeNiro? Jim Belushi? We can keep this up all day.

To a certain extent you remember the pretty faces, but the solid actors drive the story. If you are a solid actor you will be offered more roles than you could physically do, and you will find people suddenly feel that, although your looks are the same in your mirror at home, they see the pretty face and gripe that if they were as pretty as you then THEY could get parts too.

Go with being a solid actor.


Re: Looking to begin my journey into acting

Go to your community college, take a acting class. Look to your local university and audition for some student films. If you're still around, take acting classes and improv. While at the same time get a decent headshot. If you still want to just act do community theatre at least once. If you just want just act, quit you'll be disappointed. If you need to act continue on the path and interview some agents. Hire and sign the best one that will work for you. If you still around, you must have met some others actors and signed up on some free casting hosts. Actors Access etc. Networking. Acting is hard work and little to no pay most of the time. The list of why and need to act continues...on and on.

Re: Looking to begin my journey into acting

Definitely take some classes. You need the structure to learn different techniques you may not even be familiar with at this stage in your career, and it's a good way to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Every instructor will have a different approach, but just go with it. I wouldn't so much worry about getting into a full graduate programme at this point. Just take some individual classes.

Also, community theatre is a great place to start auditioning and gaining experience. You may or may not need headshots for some auditions. It will depend on the play and who's directing. Student films are also a great place and don't require any fancy pre-requisites. You may be able to sign up for notifications of upcoming auditions at local colleges/universities -- this is a good way to keep informed of what's going on.

Why don't you take a pill, bake a cake, go read the encyclopaedia.