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How do I get an Acting Job?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Images By: Oneinchpunch, Seandeburca, Warren Goldswain, Innovated Captures, Kablonk Micro, Eaglebrookschool, Rook76
  • Last Modified Date: 09 January 2018
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With some theater, film or television industry experience and a lot of perseverance, it certainly is possible to get an acting job. Since most acting jobs are short-term ones, looking for acting work is an ongoing process. You should always keep auditioning for that next role — a nice problem for actors to have is to have to pick between several acting job offers that occur at once. Unless actors are already well-known, the work doesn't come to them; rather, they must constantly keep promoting themselves to get acting work. The crucial promotional tools for an actor, other than a good agent, are a resume and a head shot.

A head shot is a professional black and white photograph that shows the actor's head and shoulders in a flattering way. It should be of excellent quality and be professionally taken. You're likely to need 40 to 60 of these head shots at any given time to make sure you and your agent always have one ready to give to a casting director or producer. Your name should appear clearly at the bottom of each photograph along with your agent's name and full contact information.

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Your resume should be attached to the back of the head shot photograph. It should contain your acting training and skills. It's important to keep updating your resume as you gain new experience from each acting job. Although it's a long road to get steady acting jobs, talented actors who can take rejection and keep working on their skills may eventually work in acting full time. Reaching that level may require many years of earning money waiting tables or holding down various jobs to earn a living.

For example, two-time American Academy Award winning actor Dustin Hoffman worked at many odd jobs before getting steady acting jobs and becoming a well-known actor. He earned his living expenses at tasks such as typing city directories, coat checking and even stringing flowers to make the Hawaiian neckpieces called leis. Although the term overnight success is often used to describe actors that become well known after being noticed in a film by critics and moviegoers, most of these actors have been pursuing their acting dream years before that moment. Aspiring actors must keep perfecting their craft and be relentlessly attending numerous casting calls in hopes of getting cast in a role that will make them famous or at least favorably memorable in the part.

Aspiring actors should get as much early acting experience as possible, including working in school plays, even if this means tiny parts or working only back stage. Any good volunteer acting job should be considered as many actors must prove themselves in non-paying roles in small productions before working as a paid actor. Studying acting as well as following the trade papers to find out about current casting opportunities is important. As an actor trying to get an acting job, you should never be shy about handing out your head shot and resume and asking for an audition. Becoming confident and experienced during auditions is a great way to get more acting jobs and this takes patience, practice and perseverance.

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