Acting Tips for a Teen with No Experience


(Indiana, USA)

QUESTION:

I am a fifteen-year-old teen that has been interested in acting for years. I have a few problems with becoming an actor, though:

—I live in the middle of nowhere, not even close to New York or California. The closest large cities are Chicago and Indianapolis, but both are hours away. I live in a town with a population of about 700!

—My parents don't realize how much I want to act. They don't know that I want to act professionally and not just at small, amateur theaters.

—I have hardly any experience. I've been in only a few plays with only small roles.

So how do I start out? How do I tell my parents how much I really want to act? And how do I find any business where I live to start out? The odds seem stacked against me, but I will do just about anything to begin acting professionally. Help!!!

ANSWER:

If you've already been in a few plays, then there is an opportunity to do some acting where you are. Your first goal should be to move on to the bigger roles. You know, in terms of talent and experience, there's not always much difference between some amateur theaters and professional ones. Actually, a lot of experienced Equity Members (members of the professional theater actor union) here in LA work for free or very little in Equity Showcase productions or other small theaters.

I'm saying this because the important thing when you want to act is to ACT, regardless of the size of the theater. And guess what? If you really work on your acting and get those bigger roles, your family may just be moved enough by your performance to understand how important this is to you.

As I mentioned in other posts, there are a lot of young actors who rush to Los Angeles or New York with no experience, only to find out they can't get an audition or an agent because they just don't have the training or experience it takes to succeed. So in a way, being far from it all is a good opportunity to just work hard on your craft, get in those stage hours (no matter what the stage) and show how committed you are.

Once you're old enough to decide where you want to live, you can decide to go to acting college or a short term acting school in a larger city where you can quickly learn the business of acting and start professionally.

I think you will also find my answer to this post helpful, as well as this other post on making your own film.

Hope this helps! Good luck.

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