Back to Back Issues Page
Acting School Monthly Newsletter -- Become an Actor One Step at a Time
January 29, 2013

Become an Actor One Step at a Time

Here's the news from Acting School Stop, your one stop on the road to an acting career.

In this issue... If your New Year's resolution is to start an acting career, check out our new step by step guidebook, Become an Actor. Over 200 pages on how to become an actor have been organized in an easy to follow guidebook for new actors filled with tips and bonus articles. If you're already acting but feel your career needs a boost, read this month's article on how to find and get rid of the roadblocks standing in your way.

1) Article of the Month - Removing the Roadblocks on Your Way to Success

In our guidebook for beginning actors, Become an Actor, we've broken down the steps to an acting career into an easy to follow action plan. But what if you've done all the steps and feel you're going nowhere? Oftentimes, it's one thing that is holding us back. We can spend a lot of time and energy on classes, mailings and auditions, but if we don't remove the one roadblock in our way, we're going nowhere.

So what is it that stands in your way? If you've been acting for a year or more, you can find the answer to that question by taking a good look at your career and going down this checklist of likely things to get in a performer's way.

1) Training

If you've been on a number of castings and never get callbacks, maybe it's time to ask yourself whether you are ready to compete in the professional world as an actor, or if your time would be better spent in a good acting class. Training is not always the reason for not getting callbacks. A misleading headshot could also be the cause, but actors usually know when they do well at an audition. If you can't tell, take a few casting director workshops where you will get feedback and specifically ask if the casting director thinks you are ready to audition. If you are an accomplished/trained actor, maybe the only thing keeping you from a successful career is a good audition technique class. The best actors don't always get the roles, but those who excel at auditioning and cold readings usually get work.

2) Type

If you want to be a screen actor, knowing your type and marketing yourself as such can be a key ingredient to success. Are you marketing yourself as a type you're not? Maybe you are a character actor going after lead roles? Or maybe you are a lead actress but your headshot and your look don't really sell that type? Once you've figured out what your type is, you still need to work on it. For example, if you're a leading lady, your appearance, hair and makeup, and wardrobe should suggest that type.

3) Headshot

Your headshot is your most important marketing tool as an actor. Casting directors sift through thousands of submissions a day. Your picture must be special enough to have them stop and think about calling you in to audition. Headshots are expensive, so take your time preparing before the shoot and choosing the right photographer, but if you don't get it right the first time around, don't hesitate to get new headshots. If your headshots don't work, you don't work. That being said, keep in mind that there is usually a delay between the time you start submitting new headshots to castings and the time you start seeing results. It takes a good 3-6 months for your face to get around, so give your pictures the time to work before you decide you need new ones.

4) Time

Even if you don't work all the time, acting is a full-time job. It can be hard to be successful if your day job is taking all your time and energy. Many actors wait tables, temp, or do extra work while pursuing a career, but those are not the only options. If you have a special skill, you could teach it, or you could work in other areas of the entertainment industry. If you have a good voice, look into getting a voice-over demo. There's no easy solution, but if you spend more time on your day job than acting, it's time to find a better way to pay the bills.

5) Attitude

What kind of networking efforts have you done for your career lately? If you're just submitting to castings online and doing a mailing to agents once in a while, that's not enough. Make the decision to do one thing every day to create new opportunities for yourself: it could be making professional connections online (through a Facebook fan page or Twitter, for example), attending an indie screening (and dropping off your business card with the director) or signing up for a new casting director workshop. Whatever it is, the more energy you put out, the easier networking will become and the more things will come to you. The important thing is to keep putting out positive energy, to keep going after what you want.

Remember... For most people, making it in acting takes time, so be patient. Actors are rarely considered for guest star roles until they have several co-stars under their belt. So go after these smaller roles first, and before you know it, they will add up to bigger things!

2) What's new on

The Book to Become an Actor

Our new E-Book, Become an Actor, is hot off the (digital) press. Over 200 pages on how to become an actor have been organized in an easy to follow guidebook for new actors filled with tips and bonus articles. If you want to start an acting career, get your copy now.

3) Best from the Blog

Standard American Accent
What is the best book to learn a standard American accent?

How to join an acting school with no experience?
Do acting schools want good actors or just people with the potential to be good actors?

Should my headshot show my personality or the characters I want to play?

4) A word of Inspiration

"You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you enjoyed this newsletter and found its information valuable, feel free to forward it to a friend. If a friend forwarded this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by by clicking here.

Comments? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this newsletter with your feedback and thoughts.

Take our Survey

What do you want to hear about? Let us know in 10 seconds by answering 3 quick questions about the newsletter here (or copy and paste the link below in your browser window...

And thanks!

Good luck with your acting career!

Alex Swenson

Acting School

Back to Back Issues Page