STEPS ON HOW TO START AN ACTING CAREER
1. Learn the craft.
The best actors understand that acting is a craft. Regardless of credentials, many of these seasoned performers continue to work with coaches and mentors to hone their craft. They know there is always room to grow.
The first thing we recommend is to come into the ring as prepared as possible. Doctors go to school for a decade to learn their craft, and so must you. Studying the craft of acting is the best way to establish a foundation. Acting schools teach techniques and provide resources in a structured curriculum that helps beginners learn the acting ropes. Most accomplished actors have at least some formal training from an acting school.
If you aren’t able to enroll full-time in an acting school, consider attending acting workshops and classes that are offered locally. You will have the chance to learn about acting and the entertainment industry while networking with other artists.
Additionally, actors can study on their own time by reading acting books and plays to increase their knowledge. Also, watching movies with an analytical eye is a great way to learn about film acting.
2. Study the industry.
Study the industry. Learn how it works. Learn what agents and casting directors do and what they expect from actors and actresses. Learn why they are in the business they are in. Learn who casts the different projects there are.
For example if you are in Mumbai, you will want to know who casts for certain Movies, Serials, Web-series as well as other smaller projects. Learn about the different ways that actors can ensure their work gets seen.
3. Training: get good at acting.
If you want to get into acting you have to train. That doesn’t necessarily mean the conventional 3 year acting school approach, but it does mean training in a serious way. You need to refine your craft and build up experience if you want to be a professional actor.
If you’re serious about a career in acting, traditional drama/ theatre school is still the best approach. It offers you comprehensive training, qualification, years of stage experience, contacts, and very importantly for having a career in acting – an industry showcase. You get the skills and it significantly increases your chances of landing good work.
4. Get a Professional Portfolio.
If you have no acting experience or if you want a career on the stage, in films or on television, you will need an acting portfolio. A good portfolio should be done by an experienced, professional photographer. Before you set foot in a photographer's studio, it's important to know what you want from the photo session. Your acting portfolio is your chance to catch the attention of casting directors and be invited to auditions.
A portfolio with an introduction video and Audition video will surely make an impression on casting directors, the gatekeepers of the industry. Follow them on social media to establish strong relationships and good leads.
5. Go where the work is
Mumbai is where most of the casting directors work, live, and cast many of the shows and movies shot in India. You stand the best chance of being cast in a role if you're in Mumbai.
6. Check your finance.
Make sure you have a financial base! Many aspiring actors don't make it, because they don't think about this step at all before they throw themselves into the mix. An acting career can be a full-time or part-time thing.
If you want it to be full-time, you MUST have the time to dedicate to it, because chances are in the first couple of months at least, you might not be making enough money to support yourself, so you will need either a base of money to fall back on or you will need to have streams of residual or passive income coming in so that you don't have to worry about how you will pay the rent.
7. Learn how to audition
To start getting work, you’ll need to know how to audition, and a good way to do this is to sign up for casting workshops. These classes get you in front of legitimate casting directors and are a valuable tool for learning how to get comfortable in the audition room. (Plus, auditions can come straight from these sessions on occasion.) For eg : Mukesh Chhabra's Acting workshop.
That said, they can be expensive, so do your research and make sure you spend your money wisely. Again, ask people in your classes for good workshops and casting directors to meet. These workshops can be incredibly helpful for building your network and stretching your audition skills to the limit.
Google for Production houses, Casting Directors, Ad agencies, Photographers and go and visit their respective offices. Share your Portfolio pictures along with your introduction and audition tapes with them. Casting agencies may also take your auditions on the spot. Collect their contact numbers and get yourself added to their audition groups. These groups will keep you updated with the daily auditions. Do follow them on Social media for regular audition updates.
9. Audition Audition Audition
If training is practice, then auditioning is the actor’s game. After you have a solid base of skills and a monologue or two memorised, it is time to begin seeking out acting roles. Auditioning for roles is a skill in itself, and the best way to develop your auditioning skills is by auditioning. As you progress up the audition ladder, auditions will become more demanding and experience in the audition room will serve you well.
And go to every legitimate audition you get, no matter what. Many actors skip auditions because they’re afraid, deep down, that they’re not good enough at their art, but we encourage you to prove yourself wrong. Every auditioning experience—even one gone terribly wrong—is something you will learn from and can use to become a better actor. Show up scared and prepared, if you have to, but just show up. You will be miles ahead of a lot of actors who chicken out.
10. Practice Daily to Stay Sharp.
Unemployment is a part of life as a working actor, but dry spells between jobs are no excuse to let acting skills go dull. Youtube videos make excellent practice grounds for actors. Also, involvement in stage productions or on film sets, even if you aren’t acting, is a chance to improve by learning from others.
Actors can practice their craft independently with voice exercises, script analysis, and monologue practice. Any activity related to performance, such as singing and practicing impressions, are other fun ways to practice your skills.
11. Creating your own content.
The toughest way and the most rewarding is producing your own content. Whether it’s a stage play, a short film, a web series or just a YouTube video, it’s a great opportunity for anybody wanting to know how to start an acting career without any experience or money.
Working on your own productions is arguably the best way to break into the industry today. No, not auditioning for big projects that you are unlikely to get; creating your own content is where it’s at. Not only do you get to hone your acting skills, but you’ll also gain experience in writing, directing and producing.
12. Market Yourself.
Actors are small business owners and need to market their services to continue working. Social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and Twitter provide exposure to a wide audience. Creating your own actor web site is a great way to advertise your skills and also acts as a reference for casting directors. Finally, video sites like YouTube and Vimeo are excellent self-marketing opportunities to display your acting reels and past projects.
13. Stay away from scams.
Before jumping into anything, make sure it is legit. If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is a scam. There are a lot of people out there who try to make money by taking advantage of aspiring actors. You want to be sure that all of the jobs you audition for are legitimate and are not just trying to take your money.
Stay away from websites that charge money for registration. There are many professional looking websites that promise to get you an audition and help you to become an actor. These are most likely scams that will do nothing but take your money.
Do not pay talent companies for pictures. If a talent agency tries to charge you money for pictures, it may be a scam. Talent agencies try to take advantage of actors with no experience by getting them to believe that they have to pay for pictures. There is no reason for you to ever do this. If you find yourself in this situation, you are better off walking away.
14. Have Patience.
True overnight success stories in Bollywood are rare. It may seem like an actor is entirely unknown one day and then basking in the limelight the next. But the reality is that years of hard work and preparation earned them the accolades. Be patient. You never know when your break is going to come.
15. Stay Positive and Focused.
One thing that can be a pervasive problem while pursuing your dreams is keeping your mind on your ultimate goals while you’re struggling to make a living. The need for comfort and security can derail even a great artist—and wanting a nice car and clothing can really keep people from exploring their potential. So, if this is something that truly matters to your career, you’ll need to really prioritise, saving your extra money for classes and headshots instead of restaurants and vacations.
But you’ll also need to take care of yourself. When you feel a hard day coming on, combat this with a mandatory dance break or a happy sing-a-long. Surround yourself with supportive people who are on the same path or who understand your struggle. Take a walk and feel the sun on your face to get your head in the right place. Take a bath or read a book or do whatever you need to feel important and happy in this moment.
And above all, remember how lucky you are to be pursuing this dream. So many people out there don’t have the chance or don’t believe in themselves enough to even try. Just to be attempting your dream is a blessing.
We, The Bombay Studio wish you all the best for your Acting Career. If you like our steps, Give us a Heart!