How to Become an Actor With No Experience – 5 Steps for Landing the Ultimate Influencer Role in 2024

This guide reveals 5 practical steps for newcomers to land coveted Influencer Actor roles. Turn enthusiasm into your big break and become an actor.

Matt By Matt
22 Min Read

We’ve all been there – watching a riveting movie performance and thinking, “I could do that.”

The blazing lights, the roaring crowds, the adrenaline rush of pure creative expression… what’s not to love about the acting life, right?

Except here’s the cold hard truth they don’t teach you in drama school: for every A-lister grinning from the cover of Vogue, there are thousands upon thousands of ridiculously talented actors struggling.

Waiting tables, drowning in soul-crushing audition rejections, and slowly watching their dreams dwindle away into lifetimes of hovering “this close” to making it big.

The path to sustainable success in the entertainment industry can sometimes be brutal and unrewarding.

85% of actors are unemployed at any given time.

GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

A near-vertical uphill climb where even the supremely gifted get overlooked to go unnoticed on a daily basis. Where constant rejection and crippling self-doubt aren’t just hazards of the job – they’re pretty much the whole damn job until you beat the odds.

So before you take the life-changing leap into this intense, unforgiving career, you need to be sure.

Like, deep down in your soul, burning passionate confidence sure that you have the unique combo of talents, grit, and crazy fireproof dream-chasing abilities to actually make it.

Because if not, you’re just lining yourself up for a world of hurt and regret that stretches far beyond simply not “making it” as an actor…

Top 10 highest paid actors in 2023 and 2024. How to become and actor!
Top 10 Highest Paid Actors in 2023-2024

How to Become an Actor – Key Takeaways

  • Developing a strong foundation in acting skills is crucial for delivering compelling performances.

  • Successful auditioning requires both artistic preparation and practical readiness.

  • Professional representation and strategically located residence enhance career development opportunities.

A Tough, but Rewarding Acting Career Ahead

Embarking on the journey to become an actor is an admirable but complex pursuit that integrates talent, training, and tenacity, especially for aspiring actors at the start of their journey in the acting industry.

To begin with, you’ll need to practice and refine a variety of acting skills. Each skill is crucial to delivering compelling performances.

 

For example, you’ll need to understand character development and master the use of voice and body language.

Education in the form of acting classes or workshops can be an invaluable asset on your journey to becoming a professional actor.

These programmes will help develop your creativity and teach you the craft of acting. Participating in school plays and community theatre is also highly beneficial for gaining practical acting experience in front of an audience.

Additionally, equipping yourself for auditions requires meticulous preparation. This means ensuring you bring necessary items like a headshot and a well-rehearsed monologue.

One third of professional British actors earn less than £5,000 a year from their performances.

GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Navigating the vast landscape of the acting world can be daunting without guidance. Finding auditions and casting calls is a skill in itself, often necessitating a proactive approach and an extensive network.

Your audition experience will vary, but expect to perform under pressure and receive direction from casting professionals.

Representation by an acting agent can be a game-changer, offering access to exclusive opportunities and industry insights.

When it comes to location, living in cultural hubs and cities where film, TV and theatre industries are thriving – such as London – can increase your chances of success, placing you at the heart of the industry.

Fame may come as a byproduct of hard work and dedication, while the financial rewards of acting range broadly, influenced by factors like role, experience, and project scale.

1. Fundamentals of Acting for Aspiring Actors

Delving into the fundamental skills and industry understanding is crucial in the journey to becoming a proficient actor.

Enrolling in an acting class is a foundational step for every aspiring actor, emphasising the importance of ongoing training for a successful acting career.

This section sheds light on the competencies you need to develop and how to navigate the acting industry.

Understanding the Acting Industry: It’s essential to grasp the business side of acting. This includes knowing how to market yourself, understanding the role of agents and casting directors, and the significance of headshots and acting resumes and CVs.

Additionally, pursuing an acting degree can provide a deeper understanding of acting techniques and benefit your career by offering a solid foundation in the craft.

Acting Classes – Developing Acting Skills

Your pursuit of acting requires a diverse set of acting skills, which are a cornerstone in captivating both the stage and screen audience.

 

Initially, focus on enhancing your voice and movement — vital tools for expression.

Consider enrolling in acting classes, drama classes or workshops as they are practical resources for honing techniques such as Stanislavski or Method Acting.

These different techniques offer you a myriad of ways to embody characters authentically.

  • Voice: Training in voice helps with clarity, projection, and emotional expression.

  • Movement: Adds physicality to your performance, including basic dance or combat skills.

  • Memorisation: Crucial for learning scripts and delivering lines fluently.

  • Communication and storytelling: These allow you to connect with your audience and convey the narrative convincingly.

Working with acting coaches can significantly enhance your acting skills by providing personalized instruction and feedback tailored to your unique strengths and weaknesses.

Acting coaches help actors bring characters to life, develop specific skills, and offer flexibility in scheduling and learning.

However, be mindful of the high costs that can be associated with their services. An acting coach may also recommend taking advantage of regional markets to gain more auditions and build your acting CV/resume quickly.

Experience on the stage or in front of a camera builds your acting experience. Take part in local stage productions, commercials, or TV shows to practice and apply your craft.

… as low as 2% of actors are able to make a living out of acting

Quantifying and predicting success in show business

Understanding the Acting Industry

Understanding the inner workings of the entertainment industry is equally as important as your artistic development.

It’s a highly competitive industry, with many aiming for a spot in Hollywood or the UK acting scene.

You’ll need to know where to find auditions and how to approach a casting director. Be prepared for rejection and develop stamina and resilience to persevere.

  • Research: Stay informed about industry trends, notable directors, and ongoing productions.

  • Strategy: Have a career strategy and use available resources to guide your trajectory.

  • Education: Formal training through an acting school or university education can be advantageous.

  • Networking: Connections with industry professionals are invaluable.

Remember, your path will require constant learning, flexibility, and a willingness to adapt your skills to both the stage and screen demands.

2. Becoming a Professional Actor – Preparing for the Audition Process

Before you step into the audition room, equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge is crucial for your success.

Understand the essentials of what to bring and how to find auditions to position yourself effectively in the competitive acting landscape.

Acting Audition Essentials

As an aspiring actor, your audition toolkit should include professional headshots that capture your range as a performer and a well-crafted CV or resume detailing your acting experience and training.

Your monologue, script, or song must be rehearsed until it confidently showcases your vocal and acting skills. Additionally, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of script analysis to interpret and deliver your lines authentically.

Furthermore, familiarise yourself with self-tape auditions. They are becoming increasingly prevalent.

For these, ensure you have a good quality camera setup, clear lighting, and a neutral background.

Your wardrobe for any audition should be chosen carefully to suggest the character without resembling a costume.

  • Always carry extra copies of your headshot and CV/resume.

  • Study the provided script or sides thoroughly.

  • Your monologue or song selection should align with the role.

  • Practice cold reading for unexpected audition twists.

  • Invest time in rehearsals to refine your performance.

If you are known to experience performance anxiety (aka stage fright), check in with yourself, get proper sleep and spend time with activities that will support your positive mental health

Finding Acting Auditions

Discovering casting calls requires consistent effort and strategic networking.

Scour social media, subscribe to industry publications like Backstage and The Stage, and download the latest audition-finding apps to stay updated on opportunities.

Building relationships with casting directors through workshops or industry events can also lead to personal audition invites.

Create a personalised audition calendar using:

  • Trusted subscription services that list auditions and casting calls.

  • Networking with industry professionals for the inside track.

  • Social media platforms and apps that specialise in casting information.

3. Winning Over Casting Directors and Getting Professional Representation

Obtaining professional representation can be a pivotal step. An acting agent will provide industry access, whereas the perfection of your self-promotion skills ensures you catch the right eye and attention.

Researching and connecting with talent agencies is a crucial step in securing professional representation in the acting industry. Building experience and research agencies that align with your career goals is important. Submitting the necessary materials for consideration can significantly increase your chances of finding a suitable agent.

Securing an Acting Agent

Finding the right acting agent could be the most important relationship you will build for the next few years. A vital partnership that could make or break the early years of your career.

To engage an agent’s interest, prepare a professional portfolio that includes a well-crafted CV/resume, high-quality headshots, and a showreel demonstrating your range of acting skills.

Networking is essential; attend industry events and engage with the community to increase your visibility. Use platforms like Backstage for credible listings and advice on securing reputable representation.

Remember, persistence and communication skills are key—follow up on leads and show your potential as a valuable client.

Effective Self-Promotion

Self-promotion is indispensable in this digital age.

Get very serious about your social media presence. You’ll need to build a strong online presence by regularly updating your social media platforms with content relevant to the entertainment industry. Your digital footprint should echo your talents and professional aspirations.

Create engaging posts showcasing your public speaking skills and snippets from performance reels. Produce and align your marketing materials to reflect your personal brand consistently.

Networking, both online and in person, cannot be emphasised enough. It widens your pool of opportunities and keeps you on the radar of casting directors and casting agents alike.

4. Designing Your Career Path to Become a Successful Actor

Embarking on an acting career is multifaceted, involving strategic relocation, mastering auditions, and understanding the financial implications of the profession.

Your decisions in these areas form the bedrock of a successful career in acting.

Relocating for Acting Opportunities

You may consider moving to a city with a bustling entertainment industry to maximise your prospects.

Hollywood and New York City are traditionally the epicentres of film and theatre in the United States, while in the UK, London offers a wealth of opportunities through its renowned West End and vibrant film scene.

  • Hollywood/Los Angeles: Ideal for films, TV shows, and commercial work.

  • New York City: Offers both Broadway theatre and a variety of on-screen roles.

  • London: Home to iconic theatres and a thriving film industry.

Financial Aspects of Acting

The earnings of actors can vary greatly.

Factors like experience, the budget of the production, and the actor’s negotiation skills influence these earnings. Whether you’re just starting or have some experience, it’s important to manage your finances and expectations realistically.

Perseverance and sometimes a dose of luck play a part in achieving financial stability in this field.

Typical earning brackets:

  • Newcomers: Might work for smaller fees or even on a no-pay basis to gain experience.

  • Established actors: Can earn substantial amounts, especially in high-budget movies or popular TV series.

  • Top-tier actors: Some actors earn millions per film at the pinnacle, but this is less common.

5. From Unknown Talent to Fame and Fortune

Before recognition and fame can be achieved, emerging actors must nurture their talent through dedicated training and networking within the industry.

Participating in community theatre is an invaluable step for aspiring actors to gain practical experience and build their acting CVs/resumes.

It serves as a foundational platform where they can develop their acting skills, engage with the acting community, and showcase their talent in a variety of roles.

They must also continuously adapt to stay relevant to the audience’s ever-changing tastes.

Additionally, involvement in student films and independent projects is crucial for building a strong acting portfolio. These opportunities allow actors to gain on-camera experience and work on diverse projects, further enhancing their versatility and appeal to casting directors.

Many successful actors attribute their success to a combination of formal training, practical experience in settings like community theatre, and continuous improvement of their craft.

Achieving Recognition and Fame

You need to stand out, and be memorable to gain recognition in the competitive entertainment industry.

Showcasing your acting skills through various auditions and independent films can help you gain visibility.

Consider supporting roles or background work as stepping stones. Each role, no matter the size, is a potential network opportunity.

Find your local acting school an engage in acting classes and workshops for continuous learning. Make sure you’re seen by taking to the stage, attending industry events, and effectively leveraging social media platforms.

Your audience plays a crucial role in your journey. Participate in public speaking events or improv classes to build a rapport with your audience.

This will also enhance your speech and physicality on stage or screen. A talent for voice acting can open doors to diverse roles, increasing your versatility.

Resilience and perseverance are essential.

The path to fame often includes rejection, so maintain your perseverance even during challenging times like the pandemic.

Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

In the performing arts, stagnation equates to obsolescence. Therefore, you should focus on continuous improvement.

Regularly assess and refine your skills, such as voice control, expressiveness, and stamina.

Diversify your capabilities with training in different genres and acting techniques to widen your range of roles. Embracing the industry’s latest trends, like virtual auditions or digital performances, demonstrates your adaptability.

The support you gather around you—from acting agents to mentors—and the professional network you build will offer valuable guidance and open doors to new opportunities.

Your journey from an emerging talent to a household name hinges on your inherent talent and your ability to adapt, connect, and keep the creativity and skills that put you in the spotlight thriving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Embarking on an acting career involves honing your craft, navigating auditions, and understanding the industry. This section answers key questions to guide you on your journey.

What acting skills do I need to become an actor?

Versatility and adaptability are key to success in the acting industry. Many actors have found success without formal training, relying instead on diverse skills acquired through experience. The acting industry is vast, with many actors exploring various paths to success, including theatre, film, and television roles. Understanding the diversity of the acting industry and the different types of acting opportunities available can help aspiring actors carve out their unique paths.

How to prepare for auditions for acting?

Preparing for an acting audition involves more than just memorizing lines. It’s about understanding the character, the story, and how you fit into the broader narrative. Learning from other actors and standing out amongst your peers is crucial. Observing and working with other actors in theatre can provide invaluable insights and help you develop unique skills that set you apart. Building a network of connections within the industry and showcasing your distinct talents are essential steps in making a lasting impression during auditions.

What acting skills are required to land professional acting roles?

To pursue a career in acting, you need to develop a range of skills, including emotional expressiveness, versatility, the ability to follow directions, and strong interpretive skills to deliver performances that resonate with audiences.

How do I find real acting auditions?

Legitimate acting auditions and casting opportunities can be found through industry networks, reputable casting websites, social media platforms, and acting groups. Building strong connections with industry professionals can also lead to personal recommendations.

What to expect when you audition for acting?

During an audition, expect to perform a prepared piece such as a monologue, read sides provided at the audition, answer questions from casting directors, and possibly engage in a cold reading or improvisation exercise.

How do you get represented by an acting agent or talent agency?

To secure representation, research and target agents that align with your career goals, create an engaging cover letter and professional portfolio, and showcase your skills through performances and networking events.

Where is the best place to live for an acting career?

Ideal locations to foster an acting career are areas with a vibrant entertainment industry presence. Cities like London, Los Angeles, and New York are known for theatre, film, and television production.

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By Matt
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I'm the Creative Director at Bona Parle. I'm also a freelance portrait and headshot photographer, award-winning filmmaker, film Colourist and a multi-award winning LGBTQ+ human rights campaigner. For part of my week I lead a successful UK-based charity that brings families closer to together.