How can I become an actor?
How do I become an actor? How do I enter the industry? How can I get started? These are some frequently asked questions by many people who want to embark on a career in acting.
One of the first things I get people who are considering entering the profession to do, is to ask themselves: what type of actor/actress do you want to be?
What type of actor do you want to be?
There are in fact a number of ways you can go about it, and they all depend on what type of actress you envision yourself to be. Do you want to be a character actor? Do you want to work on stage or the screen?
As you ask yourself these question consider also this question: why do you want to be an actress?
These may seem like obvious questions but I am constantly surprised that newcomers to the industry have not taken the time to really investigate the what and the why.
Being able to answer these questions may well indeed point you in the right direction.
Training to become an actor
If you envision yourself a ‘character actor’, an actor who is will able to embody another character from the inside out, and outside in, then you will need to do some character actor training. Typically you will need to do a 2-year course at an institution that is able to train you as a character actor. Techniques such as the Meisner Technique, method acting, the Stella Adler approach will be the best place to start.
If you are interested in doing soap opera acting or sit-com style acting, then there are specific courses you can take that will train you to be a sit-com actor.
Another alternative for training are drama schools. In my experience working as a drama coach in two countries, drama schools can vary greatly in terms of the curriculum they deliver. So spend the time to research these in order to choose the most appropriate for you. Drama schools are great in training actors in performance and particularly stage performance. So if stage acting is what you want to do, then the drama schools might the be the best option for you.
After you complete your training, you will need to secure representation. Depending on the institution you train with, you will be given the opportunity to showcase your work in front of industry professionals – agents, directors and casting agents – which will be immensely valuable for you as you embark on your career.
Other ways to become an actor
If you don’t want to train to become an actor, then understand that you will be competing with people who are more skilled than you. Trained actors have spent a great deal of time developing and working on their craft. Moreover, missing out on training means you will not have the valuable industry contacts and opportunities that a reputable institution can give you such as career development and industry connections.
However if this is the route you choose to go, then you must either have personal connections that will help you get started and working in the industry, or the means to make your own projects.
The industry is a highly competitive one. So remember, whichever way you choose to go, you must prepare for a long struggle to get your work seen and respected by the industry.