How to Be a Film Actor
Being a film actor is a dream for so many people who never pursue it because they think they don’t know anyone in the business or they don’t live in Hollywood. You don’t have to know anyone in the business to take the first step, and you don’t have to live in Hollywood to prepare for pursuing your dream to act in films.
The first step to acting in films is getting very clear on your ‘type.’ Many people who want to act say, “I can do anything; comedy, drama, leading man/lady.” This is way to general. Big name celebrities can pitch themselves for a variety of roles, but someone who is just starting out, should get very specific about what roles they can be most easily cast in. The best way to determine your type, is to watch films and find the people who look like you. What types of roles are they playing? Are they the best friend? The bad guy? The seductress? The nerd? The jock? The spoiled rich kid?
Some people choose to take an acting class. This may or may not be a good idea for you. Once you know your type, you’re just playing yourself in the circumstances of the film character you’re cast in. So, whether you choose to take a class, or just go for it with your raw talent is up to you.
Get headshots (8X10 photos). These pictures are not ‘glamour shots’ they are pictures of you, usually from the neck up or a three quarter shot, that reveals your ‘type.’ So if you have an exotic look, don’t take headshots where you are trying to look like the girl next door. Take headshots that would want to make the person casting their film say, “Wow, she looks exotic, she would be great for this ‘exotic stranger’ role.
Research film making groups in your area or the closest to where you live. Filmmakers are so accessible now thanks to Social Media. Also research Film Festivals, because they are worth going to. There you will meet people at all levels of film making who are making films or want to make films.
If you know no one in the industry, you want to reach out to industry mentors. These are people who are already working successfully in the entertainment industry and are happy to give you business advice on how to work as a film actor. The great thing about mentors is that they care about your dream and can introduce you to more people, so by the time you’re ready to move to a major film production state, you will already know people.
The most important thing you can do is build your network. If you live in a small town or far from a major production city, it’s key, to build your contacts through social media, mentorship, and film making groups, before you make your move to pursue your dream. This way, you can continue to make money at your job, have the support of friends and family who care about you, and take the time to research and plan a strategy for making it as a film actor.
Watch the ‘bonuses’ on film DVDs where actors are interviewed. Also watch programs where you can learn from what other actors did to break in.