California Acting Schools

A Hollywood Acting School and Film School

The Hollywood Film & Acting Academy

This Hollywood acting school helps students become more confident and better actors.

Actors can take the crash 1-week course, a one month course or an intense 6-month acting course.

Acting classes include Meisner, Stanislavski, improv, scene study and screen acting.

This Hollywood film acting school helps students get film acting experience and training through their film program.

Kids acting classes are also available.

Career preparation:

All students film a scene for their acting reel.

Actors enrolled in the 6-month program at the Hollywood Film and Acting Academy also get to make a short film, learn how to edit their acting demo reel, get actor headshots and meet agents and managers.

All students learn the business of acting and how to create an acting career plan.

Tuition Fee:

1 Week – $699.99
1 Month – $1,799.99
6 Months – $14,999.99

Children acting classes are $250 a month.

Financial Aid: None, but payment plans are available and some students can live on campus for free.

What Students Need to Apply: Fill out application form and perform a skit.

Acceptance Rate: 73% of applicants.

New York Acting Schools

New York Teen Acting School

ACTeen – Acting for Teens

This New York teen acting school has a long list of successful alumni that have performed on TV, film and Broadway, including Gillian Zinser (90210), Katelyn Tarver (Big Time Rush) and Jon Seda (Emmy winner The PacificTremeHomicideSelena).

ACTeen offers NY teen acting classes focused on screen acting for teens. Among teen acting schools, this was the first screen acting academy countrywide to train teens ages 13-15 and 16-20.

Students learn the intimacy of working in front of the camera through film and TV courses, as well as 12 electives including improv, scene study, monologues, movement, voice, speech, Shakespeare, musical theatre, commercials, voice overs, auditioning, directing and screenwriting.

ACTeen students benefit from a rigorous training and small class sizes (8-12 students max ) that provide individualized instruction and career guidance for focused young actors. Teens get up to work in every class.

Career Preparation:

This New York teen acting school is staffed entirely by working professionals, guest actors and casting directors.

Students receive professional guidance, college monologue prep, audition ‘sides’ coaching, and participate in Film Casting Director Seminars.

ACTeen also organizes competitive industry showcases for select alumni (faculty recommendation required). Many successful alumni (see list below) got their first representation through this New York teen acting school’s industry showcases.

Tuition Fee: Courses are $350 for 8 sessions. Various discounts for multiple courses or full-time (i.e. Summer) programs.

Financial Aid: Limited. Available thru the Will Sears Foundation (request audition information).

What you’ll need to apply: Fall, Winter, Spring Terms by interview. Call several weeks before start of the term. Four Summer Programs require Summer Application and audition interview, though video chat auditions may substitute for on site appointments.


This New York teen acting school was the winner of Backstage Magazines Readers Choice Award for “Favorite Acting Coach/Courses for Teens” in 2011 and 2010.

Hundreds of ACTeen graduates have achieved successful careers in film, television, and the theater including: Jamie Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano in HBO’s The Sopranos, Belle on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast), Jordana Spiro (PJ FranklinMy Boys), Danny Masterson (That ’70s Show), Kimberly Williams (According to JimFather of the Bride), Daniella Alonso (Friday Night LightsOne Tree Hill), Laura Breckenridge (Gossip Girl), Jordana Brewster (Dallas 2012Fast Five), China Shavers (ERBoston PublicSabrinaThe Teenage Witch), Sam Levine (Freaks and Geeks), Ariel Reid in the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical Spamalot, Emmy nominee Crystal Hunt (Guiding Light, Stacy Morasco, One Life to Live), and Emmy winner Dana Barron.

Various Articles about ACTeen or Rita Litton have appeared in Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, The New York Times, New York Magazine, New York Post, The Princeton Review, Chicago Tribune, Backstage, Dramatics magazine, Variety, on television, and in news broadcasts. ACTeen’s copyrighted curriculum is favorably mentioned in various books on acting, including praise in How to Be a Working Actor by Mari Lyn Henry (former Head of East Coast Casting for ABC-TV).

Los Angeles Kids Acting Classes

Los Angeles Acting Classes at Talent to Go

Talent to Go provides actors of all ages with the opportunity to hone and improve their audition skills by performing well directed scenes for top casting offices while receiving valuable feedback. Commercial On Camera Classes for all ages are also available, as well as improvisation classes and on-camera intensives.


TTG members perform well rehearsed scenes with a partner

TTG promises: No cold reading–No monologues

TTG is efficient and maximizes everyone’s time. Only one hour!

TTG is more private than a class, actors can talk with the casting educator for honest & personal feedback, which is invaluable.

Career Preparation: We work on the business of acting as well as audition technique.

TTG provides a simulation of a real office setting in order to demystify the audition process and allow actors to do their best work.

TTG provides the actors with a written evaluation containing all feedback and notes given by the casting directors.

TTG members learn to employ the latest marketing techniques.

TTG addresses the business of acting, office etiquette, advice on representation, and more … adapted for each individual’s needs!

TTG gives actors the opportunity to review the effectiveness of their headshots, resumes, and other marketing tools.

TTG consultants work closely with actors guiding them along the way.

TTG teaches how to develop important business relationships.

TTG helps actors stay on top of the trends in the business and share information.

Tuition Fee: Varies.

Financial Aid: Intern opportunities

What Students Need to Apply: Auditions are required for Casting Director workshops only.

Acceptance Rate: Depends on experience.

Reviews and Testimonials:

“Voted Best Showcase in L.A.”

“In my experience as a manager specializing in child-talent, I have found that most kids have a better shot at getting an Agent by showcasing rather than the traditional, one-on-one, Agent interview approach. Talent to Go Agent Fest has provided opportunities for many of my clients over the years to secure Agency representation with a 100% success ratio. How can this be you ask? Simple. Pat and Judy really care! They make sure every scene selected per child captures the very essence of what makes them unique and special and allows them to shine. As a direct result of these Agent opportunities, my clients have booked national commercials, television and film roles!”
Linda Henrie, manager

“So many good things and opportunities have happened to us since we took your class and joined Talent-To-Go! Judy and Pat… You are awesome…This is the best money we have ever spent on our acting careers…REALLY!””
Deb & Mike, actors

“I just wanted to let you know that I had an audition for the show Nip Tuck today at the Ulrich/Dawson/Kritzer casting office. I wanted to thank you ladies and Talent to Go for the confidence and lack of fear I had going in…Because of all the showcases I have done, it literally took the fear off of auditioning, which enabled me to do a great job!”
August Mehari, actor

“Talent to Go gave me lots of practice in an audition situation and taught me simple steps to better deal with that venue. I had instant confidence and got 3 callbacks at the next three auditions.”
Scott Nery, actor

“I am so impressed with Talent to Go. There is nothing like it. The sessions are private and sophisticated – like a general with the casting director! Pat & Judy are incredibly supportive and organized. I am proud to be a part of such an exclusive group. They only pick the top actors, so you can be confidant you are being shown in the best light.”
Sue Goodman, Broadway actress

By submitting this form, you are submitting information to Talent to Go as well as Please note that Talent to Go is independent from Acting School Stop. The inclusion of this acting school in our listing does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorsement.

Los Angeles Kids Acting Classes

Los Angeles Acting Classes at 3-2-1-Talent Showcase Acting Studios

3-2-1-Talent Showcase Acting Studios in Los Angeles is an affordable acting for tv/film school which specializes in launching acting careers for children, teens and young adults. Our training develops confident, winning personalities that help youth to succeed in all areas of life. We offer training for the beginner to the advanced working actor. Our premier acting program includes: Scene Study, Improvisation, TV Commercials, Cold Reading, Auditioning, Modeling, Talent Showcases and Acting Career Seminars.

Performance Opportunities: Ms. Mae Ross works closely with each student to prepare them to perform at in talent showcases in front of top Hollywood agents who represent talent to be cast in Movies, Commercials, Music Videos, Fashion Shows, Magazines, Internet, TV Shows and more.

Career Preparation: Owner Ms. Mae coaches each “showcaser” to perform at their maximumPotential and answers all their showbiz questions. Each family attends an acting career seminar to learn the “Business of the Business” and receives a valuable acting career booklet. This booklet gives step by step instructions on how to enter your child into the exciting world of TV, Film and Modeling.

Degree: Certificate of Completion.

Tuition Fee: Children’s TV/Film Acting & Modeling Ages 5-11

$395 per 12 class course

1.5 hours per session

Teen/Young Adult ages 11+

TV1: Commercial Acting

TV2: Film/TV Acting (Scene Study)

$395 per 12 class course

2 hours per session.

Classes are ON-GOING and are good for a year from your purchase date. There is a one time $45 registration fee.

Financial Aid: No. However, we do offer payment plans.

What Students Need to Apply: Attend our FREE Introductory class. No picture or resume needed. Fill out our registration form signed by a parent if under 18.

Acceptance Rate: 100%


“Mae Ross sparkles and inspires… and you leave her presence knowing you can achieve special things!”

Carolyn Sher – Director Youth Department, CESD Talent Agency

“I have been scouting at Mae’s school for years. Not only is it a fun experience for me…it is always a successful event. Mae is an expert teacher who imparts audition skills and in- depth camera technique to the performers, with a positive outcome. Mae goes the extra mile and makes sure that her students develop the confidence to conquer the ups and downs of the entertainment industry. She truly cares about each and every one of her pupils. I have found students from 3-2-1- Studios, who were newcomers to the biz, who are now successful working actors starring as TV series regulars, working in Commercial and in Movies. Simply put 3-2-1- Talent Showcase Acting school programs really work!”

Jody Alexander – Director Youth Department, KSR Talent Agency

Additional Information:

After the school’s September ’09 talent showcase, 22 out of 30 showcasers secured agency representation!

Acting Tips

Help Starting my Acting Career


Hi, my name Anastazia and i want to be an actress. I’m 18 years old and I’m graduating high school in June. I have never acted in my life. My school holds a play every year and I only got a small, non-verbal role. I live in a small town in up-state New York and have no schools that are close to where I live.

Can you help me find a school that is for people like me who have no acting experience?


Acting Schools are usually for people with no experience, so you have plenty to choose from, especially now you’ve graduated and are willing to move out of your small town. If you don’t want to go too far, start with our listings of New York Acting Schools that cover acting schools in New York City, Long Island, Queens, etc.

Most listings include a short description, as well as information on the performance opportunities you’ll have (an important thing to start getting experience, along with career preparation), the type of degree you can obtain (if any), the tuition fee and financial aid (if any) and what you’ll need to apply (this is where you’ll find out if the school accepts all applicants, experienced or not).

Sometimes a picture and resume, along with an audition are required, but don’t let that stop you if you like the acting school in question. You can get a snapshot to begin with and write a short resume following these tips. A lot of acting schools who ask for monologues are not expecting to see a perfect performance, but just want to evaluate your potential.

To expand your search beyond New York, visit our acting schools page. It starts with an informational article to help you pick a school, followed by acting schools listings by state and city throughout the US.

Good luck.

Return to Acting Tips.

Los Angeles Acting Schools

Comedy Acting Classes in LA BANG Comedy Institute and Theater

Looking for comedy acting classes? This Los Angeles acting school offers a full comedy acting training, including stand up comedy classes and sitcom classes.

BANG COMEDY INSTITUTE and THEATER is a comprehensive comedy program including classes in improv, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy classes, sitcom classes, writing, web series development, screenwriting, solo performance, musical improv and more! It is this Los Angeles acting school’s mission to foster the next generation of comedy makers.

Performance Opportunities:

We are committed to showcasing our students’ work. There is ample opportunity to perform and be seen by casting directors and other industry professionals.

Career Preparation:

Every student has the opportunity to meet individually with the Artistic Director to discuss creative and career goals.

We suggest a program that is customized to fit actors’ needs. Once the program is complete we do our best to connect you with internships and other opportunities.

Alumni are also welcome to continue performing on our stage and make their own programming dreams a reality.

Tuition Fee:

Comedy acting classes range from $200 – $275 for 6 weeks improv depending on level. Tuition for other classes vary.

There is also a 6-month master class ($200/month).

Private coaching is also available for performing teams, priced per session and as quoted.

Financial Aid: Payment plans available.

What Students Need to Apply:

Contact the school for information on OPEN AUDITIONS or to schedule an audition.

We play improv games in small groups and students also have the option to present a 1 minute monologue or a writing sample.

Acceptance Rate:

We accept those with obvious comedy chops, whether or not their comedy acting skills have yet been crafted or honed.


BANG COMEDY INSTITUTE has fostered the careers of many talented and successful performers:

  • Fred Willard
  • Sarah Silverman
  • Tom Kenny
  • Rainn Wilson
  • Jeremy Piven
  • Alex Borstein
  • Willie Garson
  • Dan Castellaneta
  • Andy Dick
  • Stephnie Weir
  • Kathy Griffin
  • Margaret Cho
  • Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Richard Kind
  • Mo Collins
  • Kathy Kinney
  • Taylor Negron
  • Dean Haglund
  • Rachel Dratch
  • Scott Thompson
  • Greg Proops
  • Ryan Stiles
  • Jeff Garlin
  • Janeane Garofalo
  • David Koechner
  • Davy Rothbart
  • Scott Adsit
  • Michael McDonald
  • Eric Idle
  • Paul Willson

By submitting this form, you are submitting information to this Los Angeles acting school as well as Please note that this Los Angeles acting school is independent from Acting School Stop. The inclusion of these comedy acting classes in our listing does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorsement.

Looking for more comedy acting classes? Visit our Acting Schools page to view all our listings of acting schools.

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Acting Techniques

Stanislavski Online Acting Classes

Here you’ll learn about the Stanislavski system for actors through acting videos and sample Stanislavsky acting exercises you can try at home. This online acting class on Stanislavsky will help you decide if this is one of the acting techniques right for you.

Constantin Stanislavski (sometimes spelled “Konstantin Stanislavsky”) was a Russian actor and director from the beginning of the 20th century. His “system” was born out of a quest for realism in acting. His acting method both inspired and preceded the major acting techniques developed in America in the twentieth century. He is often referred to as the “father of Method acting”.

1) What is the Stanislavski system?

Stanislavski developed a lot of acting techniques that are commonly used by modern actors today. Here are a few highlights of the Stanislavsky system you’ll want to be familiar with as an actor:

The Magic If

What if what is happening to your character was happening to you? How would you feel? What would you do? From that simple question, an actor’s imagination is stimulated into believing the imaginary circumstances his character is in.

You can also use the magic if to make up details about the props you use on stage.

The Use of Objectives and Active Verbs

Stanislavsky actors try to find the super-objective of the play (i.e. the theme or driving force of the play). Then, they break down the script into objectives (what the character wants to accomplish), obstacles (what’s in his or her way) and actions (what are the different things the character can do to try to reach his objective). The Through-Line links all the units together into the super-objective. Using these acting methods helps you concentrate on the action rather then the emotion by making each objective an active verb.

For example, your objective could be…
To Defend
To Destroy
To Understand
To Seize
To Convince
To Seduce
To Discover

The Need to Release Tension and Concentrate

Stanislavski believed that an actor cannot concentrate on the part if his body is tense. To demonstrate his point, he would have actors try to deliver lines or recall actions while lifting a heavy object. An actor should work on relaxation regularly so that he can limit muscular tension to what is needed to perform an action on stage.

In order to be relaxed and focused on stage, performers need to increase their capacity to concentrate. One way they learn to do that is by concentrating on a very small area at first and then widening the circle of concentration until it includes the entire stage. By practicing this exercise, one can deal with stage fright and avoid being distracted by the audience.

Emotional Memory

Stanislavsky students learned to access their own memories to call upon emotions needed to play certain scenes and acting roles, but unlike Method Actors, Stanislavsky actors also work “from the outside in”, accessing emotions through physical actions.

Character-building techniques

Stanislavsky students learned how to find their characters’ inner motives, but also how to explore the role from the outside through movement, voice, tempo, costume and make-up. For example, a student of Constantin Stanislavski would explore his character’s rhythm through repetition (by rehearsing his lines over and over until he discovered the right tempo).

2) What can you expect?

  • Work on relaxation and concentration
    Most Stanislavski classes will start with a brief relaxation session, followed by some concentration exercises. A beginning actor may do general concentration exercises while a more advanced actor may be asked to do sensory exercises or emotional memory exercisesthat help him re-create the given circumstances of the play he’s working on (for example, if his character has just been outside in the snow before the scene starts, the actor may do a sensory exercise to re-create the feeling of the snow).
  • A lot of homework
    When you study the Stanislavsky technique well, you’ll spend a lot of time using the magic ifto create full bios for your characters and to make up scenes that took place outside of the play. You’ll also spend a lot of time writing subtext for your scenes (i.e. breaking the scenes down into units and turning each unit into an action verb).
  • Some improvisation
    For example, you may be asked to improvise a scene that is not in the play but took place between your character and another.
  • Physical and vocal training
    Stanislavsky believed that acting starts with the actor’s body. Through a series of exercises and an introduction to the art of costumes and make-up, you will find your character’s physicality. A good Stanislavsky teacher will also teach you rhythm and tempo and recommend you take a speech class, a singing class and a dance class to support your acting training.

3) Sample Stanislavski Acting Exercises

  • Imagination Exercise: Pick someone you don’t know and observe them. What do they look like? How do they walk? What are their maneurisms? Start to write their bio, using your imagination to create a backstory for this “character”, along with information on what they want, where they come from and where they’re going. All this should come from your imagination but be inspired by what you noticed about the person, just like you would be inspired by what you read in a play.
  • Sensory Exercise: Let’s take the example of the snowy weather we mentioned earlier. The video below will guide you through a short sensory exercise to re-create through your 5 senses the feeling of what it’s like to be outside in the snow. You can watch the video once and then close your eyes and go through the exercise.

This is just a short condensed example to get you started. As a beginner, you would spend half an hour to an hour on a sensory exercise like this one.

4) Is the Stanislavski “system” for you?

Studying the teachings and methods of Constantin Stanislavsky is invaluable to a beginning actor because it will give you a lot of the basics you need:

  • How to deal with stagefright and not be paralyzed onstage.
  • How to avoid bad acting habits like faking emotion or overacting by learning how to be realistic onstage and on screen.
  • How to create a character.
  • How to understand and study other techniques (most modern acting methods are grounded in the Stanislavsky system).

The acting method of Konstantin Stanislavsky will help any actor get started, whether you want to do stage work or movie acting.

If you need help picking an acting school, you may find my new e-book, Become an Actor, helpful. I encourage you to click here to see how this step by step guide can help you.

5) Famous Stanislavski actors

Stella Adler, Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando.

The must-have Stanislavski books

Stanislavsky’s entire system is comprised in 3 books that complete each other and will be indispensable to you as you grow as an actor:

An Actor Prepares:
This is the first book to read that covers all the basics like the importance of relaxation and concentration and how to use the magic if.

Building A Character:
As its name suggest, this book has all the details on how to create a character, from physical and vocal work to understanding costumes and make-up.

Creating A Role:
Stanislavsky gives specific examples on how an actor is to approach a role and inhabit it, from the initial research to the physical embodiment of the character.

Each book is written as the diary of an imaginary student of Constantin Stanislavski’s that goes from beginning to accomplished actor. Hopefully, these 3 books will get you started on that journey!

From Constantin Stanislavski to Method acting…
Click here to find out about method acting and see more online acting classes.

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How to Become an Actor

The Actor Agent Interview

Actor agent interviews can be intimidating, even for experienced actors. Often, actors don’t know what to expect from talent agents or talent management companies when they walk in the door for their first meeting.

We’ve compiled below a list of things that will help you prepare for your acting agent interview so you can give yourself the best chances of getting representation. After all, you’ve worked hard to get actor agents to call you in for a meeting and you deserve to make a great first impression.

Here are a few things to help you get ready:

    • When you schedule the interview, ask who you will be meeting with and if you will have to do a monologue or cold reading (prepare 2 contrasting monologues just in case).
    • Make sure you bring at least 3 pictures and resumes but don’t bring tons of pictures and resumes either. Even if you decide to sign with the agent right there, dropping off extra pictures and resumes later will be another opportunity to connect and keep yourself fresh in the talent agent’s mind.
    • If you have one, bring a reel. An agent is unlikely to ask for a monologue or cold reading if you have a reel. Make sure you also bring a copy of any positive reviews you got in newspapers and magazines.
    • Prepare your monologues, keeping in mind you will be performing in a busy talent agent’s office, with phones ringing and constant interruptions. If you can, try to simulate these circumstances while you rehearse.
    • Do your research. Find out the background of the actor agent you will be meeting.
    • Search for bios or interviews they gave in trade papers.
    • Look for common interests or hobbies that could be a great conversation starter.
    • Also research the agency’s client list ahead of time. This will enable you to ask informed questions at the interview.

Got a call from an agent you don’t think is right for you?
Don’t cancel the interview! You never know what can come out
of a talent agent meeting, plus this will be a good
opportunity to rehearse your interviewing skills.

    • Prepare by doing mock actor agent interviews with friends or in acting class.
      Be ready to answer any question about your resume. Read on for a list of questions
      you could be asked and things you may want to ask yourself.
    • Decide what you’re going to wear. Help the actor agent’s imagination
      along by picking clothes close to your type and how you think you should market
      yourself as an actor, but don’t overdo it. What is more important is to be comfortable,
      so avoid wearing a suit or anything that will make you feel awkward.

OK, the day of your interview has come. You leave early and plan to arrive at the actor agent’s office 10 minutes before your appointment.

Are you nervous?

Meeting with an agent can be nerve-racking, but REMEMBER this is a business meeting and you can use your training as an actor to make the most of it.

Why not approach this like you would an acting role?

Use your time in the waiting room to do a relaxation exercise, then focus on your objective. You got a call so the talent agency is potentially interested in representing you and wants you to do well. Like any other kind of relationship, the agent will be more interested if you have a positive attitude and bring something to the table, so try to be proactive in your thinking. Instead of thinking “I need this agent to sign me”, make your objective something like “I want to give this agent a sense of who I am and what I have to offer as an actor” or “I want to see if this agent and I are right for each other.”

During the interview, the agent will most likely look at your resume and ask questions about some of your credits or the acting school you went to. They may also ask you to perform an unusual special skill you have listed.

Knowing what to expect will help you stay relaxed and give a successful interview.

Here are a few other questions you should be ready to answer:


    • What do you think your type is? What roles do you see yourself playing?
    • Who represents you or represented you? This includes former agents and managers you had. That being said, an agent shouldn’t ask you which other agents you are meeting with.
    • Where do you see your career going? This is the time to discuss your short-term and long-term goals. Make sure you mention what you are doing to achieve these goals to show the agent you are proactive about your career.
    • What do you expect from your agent? An agent who asks this question is looking for a specific answer to see if you would work well together. Be straightforward about your expectations but be realistic. A represented actor should continue to actively look for work.Who have you worked with and who do you know? Mention existing relationships you have with casting directors, producers and directors in town. If you’ve been auditioning and working a lot, you may want to bring a list to the interview. If you’re starting your acting career, you can mention industry professionals you took workshops or classes with or those who came to see you in a showcase.
This is NOT a job interview. Acting agencies need actors to make a living.
If you sign with this agent, he will be working for you! So don’t look at this
meeting as you being the only one interviewed.

Here are a few questions YOU may want to ask:

    • How large is the agency’s client list? How many actors does this particular agent represent? Do they also represent writers and directors?
    • Does the agent represent any actor that is close to you in age range and type?
    • If there are several agents, ask how they work together and share clients.
    • Find out how the agent likes to work with actors. Will they give you advice on new headshots and resume? Do they try to get feedback from casting directors? Do they encourage calls from their clients? Do they like you to contact them if you hear about a role that may be right for you?
    • What roles does the agent see you in? Where does he or she see your career going?

How do you feel about the talent agent’s responses? Now you learned how to get an acting agent and nail the agent interview, it’s time to decide who is the right actor agent for you.

Whether you are meeting talent management companies or agents, choosing the right person to work with can make all the difference in your acting career. Click here to continue to the next page where you’ll read about choosing the right actor agent and building a good working relationship with your actor agency.

If you’re wondering how to get an actor agent, visit our acting agents page on how to find agents and get noticed by talent management companies.


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How to Become an Actor

How to Be a Successful Actor

Want to be a successful actor? Setting acting goals and designing a battle plan
to reach those goals can make all the difference in your acting career.

If you feel you’re not getting enough acting jobs or not getting the type of acting work that can move your acting career forward, maybe it’s because you don’t have a plan.

After all, how can you move forward if you don’t know where you’re going?

Big things almost never happen to those who just wing it and go with the flow. Entrepreneurs who start a business have a business plan, a marketing plan and long-term written goals and strategies. A successful filmmaker has a finished script in hand, an entire cast and crew, an editor and distribution plans before they even start shooting the very first scene.

If you want to become an actor beyond acting classes and small roles, you need a strategy too!

Writing out your acting goals and designing a battle plan on how to reach those goals
is one of the most important things you can do for your acting success.
Of course, you know you want to be a successful actor,
but what does “successful” mean? How will you know when you reach your goal if you haven’t defined it?

The first thing you can do for your acting career is define your lifetime acting goal.

Write it out specifically. Is it to be an internationally recognized film actor? Is it to make a million dollars a year from your acting? Is it to win an Oscar for best actor? Is it to be a respected character actor with the luxury to choose only to work on projects you find interesting? Is it to be a Broadway actor who gets film contracts once in a while?

Once you defined exactly what you want out of your acting career, stick it on the wall in a prominent place where you will be reminded of it every day. If there’s an image that symbolizes your acting goal, put it on the wall too, so it will help you focus and continue to see the “big picture”.

Now that you got a very clear picture of what you want out of your acting career, write down where you want to be 5 years from now. Be realistic but optimistic. Goal-setting should always give you a little bit of a challenge. If you want to have reached your lifetime goal by then, that’s OK, but just realize that you are going to have to work extra hard.

Now make a list of all the things that need to happen for you to reach your 5-year acting goal. There are 5 different areas of focus to consider, each with the potential to be an acting career stepladder or stumbling block.

    1. Training: Do you feel you have the training it takes to reach your 5 year acting goals? Are you getting callbacks (unlike acting jobs, if you’re not getting callbacks, you usually need more training). Do you have good acting technique but no audition skills? Do you need to expand your vocal production skills to do more theater? Do you need a good screen acting class to get better results when you audition for film and TV?
    2. Marketability: Do you know your type? Do you need good headshots to market yourself? Are you aggressively going after acting jobs that reflect your type? Are you working on your look and how you come across to people?
    3. Access to acting jobs: What kind of auditions are you getting? Do you have a good agent who understands your goals, are you building relationships with casting directors and networking with other industry professionals?
    4. Acting Experience: What can you do to build your resume to reach your goals? How can you book the auditions you get, get more auditions, or different auditions that are more right for you? How can you get experience without auditioning?
    5. Work on Self: Are areas of your personal life standing in the way of your acting career? Are you struggling with self-confidence issues that need to be addressed before you can really show your talent on stage? Do you need to change your look to build your brand? Do you need to find a way to make a steady income first so you can concentrate on your acting career?

Now you have a list, pick the 5 most important things you need to do to reach your 5 year goal, then organize them in the order each needs to happen for you to succeed. For example, if you need more training, you would put that before looking for an agent, since looking for representation before you’re ready could waste you a lot of time.

Now you have five one-year goals to reach over the next five year.

Make sure your goals are very specific. For example, if your goal this year is to get more acting experience, then spell out exactly what roles in what projects (for example, “this year I will land 2 guest star roles in television shows”). This is very important for your acting career. The more precise you are about what you want, the more focused energy you will put into it.

Now all you need to do to finish your action plan is to develop 3-months strategies to reach each goal. If you take the example above, here’s what some of your strategies could be:

    • Pick 5 TV shows that are casting in my area and are right for my type, then study them.
    • Sign up for 10 workshops with TV casting directors, preferably from the shows on my list, and follow up with each of them.
    • Join a cold reading class or audition for TV class.
    • Get a reel featuring me in similar roles from the ones I am targeting and send to casting directors.

Put all your acting goals and strategies up on your wall in a place where you see them every day and track your progress.
You may not reach all your acting goals, but now you know how to be a successful actor and you will see results.
It’s a simple law of nature that more things happen the clearer we are about what we want! With all the directions an actor’s career can take you in, it’s good to have a compass and a specific idea on how you’re going to make it.

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How to Become an Actor

Acting for Teenagers

If your dream is to become a teenage actor, read the information below on acting for teenagers. Just like other actors, there’s a simple process teens can follow to pursue their dreams. If you want to attend Disney channel auditions tomorrow and become famous overnight, this won’t help you, but if you’re serious about having an acting career as a teen, the following steps will guide you and help you avoid scams.

1) The Steps to Become a Teenage Actor

Acting for teens is not very different from acting for anybody:

    1. The first step is to get training. Research acting classes for teenagers in your area and pick the one that offers the best training and opportunities. A good teen acting class should be taught by someone who has experience in the business and who has working actors among their students (or former students). If you can, pick a class that offers industry showcases (the opportunity of performing in front of agents and casting directors when you’re ready) and support with the business of acting (advice on headshots, resume, cover letter, representation, etc.) While you take acting classes, audition for school plays and anything else that will help you get experience.
    2. The next step is usually to get a headshot and put an acting resume together (in some cases, you may get an agent first). Before getting your headshot, take a little time to think about your type (what roles you think you’ll be perfect for) and most importantly, your age range. Some teen actors can play much younger, which is a big selling point for casting directors who prefer to hire older actors to play younger parts, as they are more flexible and don’t change as quickly. If you appear younger than your age, use that in your headshot.
    3. The next step is to get representation (an agent or manager who will send you on auditions). Make sure you’re ready before setting up meetings. Unless they have already seen you act, agents will ask for a monologue or read a scene with you.
    4. The last step is to go out on acting auditions and castings. You don’t need an agent to get auditions, although a good agent will help you get more and better quality auditions.

For help with each of these four steps, follow the advice on this page. Most of the time, what goes for adult actors goes for teen actors too. The biggest difference is that your parents need to be on board and you have to find the financial means to build your teen acting career while going to school. Let’s look at these two challenges of acting for teenagers.

2) The Challenge of Acting for Teenagers

The biggest challenge, it seems, based on all the e-mails we get on this website, is getting parents to understand your dreams and agree to help. Often, parents oppose the idea of their teen acting because they are either worried it will a) interfere with your studies b) lead to the life of a starving artist c) cost too much. These are all valid worries, but often parents don’t know all the facts.

For example, in most cases, acting classes for teenagers will improve their language, analytical and memory skills. Companies who hire teen actors are mandated by the law to not disrupt their education, which means you’ll be able to either attend school as usual or if you’re working on a set, benefit from a 1:1 ratio with a private studio teacher paid for by the studio or network. Actually, many teenage actors have been accepted in very good colleges (for example, Natalie Portman, who started her film career at age 13, later went to Harvard).

It is true that acting is a very competitive field and if you just look at the odds, chances are that you won’t make a decent living as an actor. Many parents worry that acting for teenagers may keep their child from pursuing a more steady career, but actually, your teen years are the perfect time to try different things you’re passionate about. Once you reach 18, you’ll have to make a decision about college. If you’ve already experienced the life of an actor, you can make an educated choice then. If you haven’t, your expectations may be unrealistic.

Finally, acting for teenagers has a price tag, at least at first. Your parents may not be able to help, so budget and plan ahead. Depending on where you live, a weekly evening acting class will cost between $100 – $300 a month. That’s the only recurring expense, unless you want to do casting director workshops, which cost about $30 a piece. You will have to save money for headshots and reproductions, though ($ 750 and up in Los Angeles). Commit to save a percentage of all the money you get (allowance, birthdays, babysitting, other teen jobs…) If you can’t get enough, talk to the acting school you are interested in. They may offer scholarships or internship positions in exchange for a free class.


warning signDon’t waste your hard earned money on scams! Many sites out there claim they can get you
Disney Channel auditions or make you famous, but do not provide any real opportunities for young actors.
Stick to Backstage – The Actor’s Resource and the few legitimate casting websites out there and concentrate on finding an agent when you are ready for bigger auditions.


3) Auditions for Teens

The most important thing to remember about acting for teens is that you need to train and be prepared for the day you get your break – that big audition that can really make a difference. In the video below, Judy Taylor talks about the casting process for High School Musical. Notice how she stresses that all the actors cast already had worked a lot before they got these rolesю

She also insists how important acting training is. If you want to make it, it’s important to understand that getting a gig on Nickolodeon or a Disney Channel Audition is a process, something that happens over time as you work on your acting and career, and rarely some lucky break out of nowhere.

The auditioning process for teens is the same as other actors, so read our
audition series to learn where to find
legitimate auditions, how to prepare for castings, along with tips to nail auditions.
You can also view some suggestions of teen monologues here.


detour sign“Tween” Acting
If your child is an aspiring actor between 12 and 16 years old, they may have a hard time finding film and TV acting work. That’s because producers are reluctant to cast kids at an age where they can change so much so quickly. But dedicated kids can make the most of this situation. By taking acting classes and gaining experience in theater during those years, they’ll soon be ready to audition as a teen actor.

Hope you find all this information on acting for teens helpful. If you are determined to “make it in the biz”, it’s important to know that there is fierce competition among teen actors. That being said, you’ll have the advantage of starting early, so if you work hard at it, you have a better chance of getting a real break than an adult actor with no experience. Whether you decide to pursue acting beyond your teen years or not, acting for teenagers can be fun and rewarding. It can also help you in other areas, like public speaking and social skills. Good luck!

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