How to Get Into Acting, Even with No Experience
Want to learn how to get into acting? No experience? No problem. I mean, we all had to start somewhere, right?
Before we continue, ask yourself a question:
"Do I want to get into acting, or do I just want to know how to become famous?"
If you're reading this article and hoping to be a movie star by tomorrow morning (or even this time next year), then I can't help you. Becoming an actor takes time, passion, sweat, and most of all, perseverance.
I don't say this to discourage you. If you want to be a movie star, it's not impossible. I say shoot for the moon! But be prepared to work for it, because there's no magic formula.
That being said, let's talk about how to get into acting!
What You Should Do
Read plays and books about acting.
Because just like any other industry, the acting biz has its own terminology, lingo, and mumbo-jumbo. What's an objective? Where is downstage? What's a gobo? If you can speak intelligently about these things, you're one step ahead of the game.
Also, reading plays is a great way to refuel your passion.
Take acting classes.
Scene study, voice and speech, movement, stage combat, etc. It's good to have talent, but you have to focus and forge that talent into skill.
And by the way, taking an acting class doesn't have to cost you money. For example, find an acting studio and ask if you can volunteer in their office while you audit their classes.
Make friends with actors.
Acting is a community sport. It's rarely, almost never done alone. And one thing actors love to do is talk about their process. Find a few and listen in. (But of course, take it with a grain of salt.)
Volunteer backstage. Local community theatres are always looking for volunteers to help with props, sets, costumes, and so on. Then, next time they hold auditions, come in and do a monologue. Why not? You already know everyone in the room!
Become a movie extra.
This is a great way to get your feet wet. (And put some cash in your pocket.)
Watch actors work.
Go watch the movies listed by the AFI (American Film Institute). These actors, living or dead, are the finest example of truthful acting EVER. Examples include Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, and Gone with the Wind.
Also, go see theatre. Lots of theatre.
A solid, well-crafted audition is the best way to get into acting. That's why this website exists. So audition often, audition well.
What You Shouldn't Do
Don't do mailings.
Actors like to print out hundreds of professional headshots and resumés, and then mail them out to every casting director, agent, and manager in town. Why? Because it makes them feel like they've done something for their career.
Don't pester the powers that be.
Directors and producers won't cast you if you blow up their phone and inbox with messages. In fact, that's a great way to get black listed. "Don't cast that guy, he's a stalker!"
Don't lie about your experience.
Another great way to get black listed. "Don't cast that guy, he's a lair!"
Don't alter your appearance.
One of your best assets as an actor is your unique and individual look. Don't change it based on what others might think.
Don't talk too much.
It's better to keep quiet and listen to what's happening around you. One of my favorite quotes from Robert Redford:
"Really good actors don't have to talk too much."
Armed with this new information, you know how to get into acting. So get out there, and let your passion drive you on to great success. Maybe someday you'll be telling others how to get into acting!