Acting Advice!

by Jess
(Canada)

QUESTION:

I love acting, it's the one thing I love to do. It's always been something I love and recently I've decided that I can't see myself doing anything else in the future. I want to make acting a career. Right now I am 16. I hope that isn't too old to start studying acting seriously, I haven't been in any plays before, I have just done drama class at school and that is when I discovered my passion for it. I am going to try out for the school play next year, and this summer I am going to start an acting class. I just would like some advice on how to get where I want to be. I want to act for film and TV and move to L.A. when I graduate high school. How would I prepare myself for that type of acting? How do I improve my skills? And how do you truly get in to a character, and be in the moment? I just need some advice from a real actress to help me get started! Thank you so much in advance!

ANSWER:

Going to a top acting school is the best way to prepare for a career in acting after high school. If you can afford it, apply to the top acting schools during your last year of high school. Fill up your acting resume in the meantime with school plays and community plays. If you live in a city where some filming takes place, you should also start auditioning if you can. You'll get a feel for how the business works and what you need to work on.

If you want to do film and TV, you'll need an acting reel. Audition for student films and short films and join a screen acting class. A big part of getting your first screen roles is auditions, so take an audition class and practice cold readings with scenes from contemporary TV shows and teen films. Find a class where you can see yourself on tape so you know how you come across. Almost all auditions for film and TV are taped. The decision makers are usually not in the room at the first audition, so your recording is all they will see. Some small things like making sure you look up and pick up the line off the page to deliver it can make all the difference. Another thing is that a lot of young actors have too many facial expressions and gesture too much at the beginning. All these are things you'll quickly learn by taking a good film and TV class. You can also find more film acting tips here.

Before you worry about screen acting, though, you'll need some basic acting skills. Again, a good acting school or class is the best way to go, but to get you started, you'll find out some information on things like being in the moment and working on character in our our free online acting lessons page.

Hope this helps. There's also a page on moving to LA for acting. And don't forget follow the steps outlined on the become an actor page. Knowing your type and studying TV shows and films is even more important if you decide not to go to school so you can at least have good headshots and a plan on how to market yourself as an actor in Hollywood.

Good luck!

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