Looking for work as an actor is a full-time job in itself. Whether searching at home or away, you’ll need to devote several hours a week to acting classes and auditioning. You can find jobs acting, but only with persistence.
How to Find a Job Acting at Home and Away
Take an acting class. You'll be surprised by how many different types of people want to act. An acting course will teach you to relate to these myriad personalities--and acting is all about relationships. Those you build off-stage or off-camera are even more important. This goes double for your teachers. Display your curiosity by asking meaningful questions. The teacher can tell if you’re only asking questions to call attention to yourself. Don't get defensive when given feedback. You may think your scene was Oscar-worthy, but trust your teacher’s opinion. Learn to graciously accept criticism about your acting.
Start with nonpaying gigs. Join your community theater group. Get in touch with local business who advertise on TV. Tell them you’re an actor willing to do work for free. These aren’t glamorous jobs, but you’ll meet people in the industry.
If you’re looking for work in New York or L.A, head shots are required. A head shot may make you stand out in a smaller town, too. Ask your teachers and your fellow actors for recommendations. Make sure you get the negatives.
Subscribe to "Backstage" or Backstage.com. "Backstage" is a weekly newspaper listing casting calls for film, TV and mostly stage in New York. If you’re interested in film or TV, do lots of extra work. Send your resume and head shot to the casting directors on any TV show looking for extras. "Backstage" publishes a listing of talent agents, who are the only way to a big paycheck as an actor. Start sending your information to agents now. They may have no interest in you now, but tastes change fast in the acting world. Your time might arrive shortly.
Audition at least twice a week if you’re living in New York or L.A. Presenting yourself in front of people who are judging you needs to become second-nature. Most stage auditions require two contrasting monologues. Ask your acting teachers for help selecting one. You may be asked to read sides, snippets of dialogue from the script. Make uninhibited choices, even if you’re not familiar with the script. Don’t waste time pondering your character's "motivation." Auditions are a great place to practice bravery.
If this is what you want as a career, keep taking classes. Finding acting work has a lot to do with connections, but never get lazy with your craft because you've been too busy rubbing the proverbial elbows.