How to Get Into Acting

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Film and theatre productions are constantly on the lookout to find the next big actor. The field of acting is quite competitive, with thousands hoping to break into the profession. Acting requires a number of skills such as good memory, improvisation and a range of speech patterns. Some roles may require song and dance or musical ability on an instrument. Casting directors have a long list of skills they require of an actor.

Educate yourself about the fundamentals of acting. Check out books from the library on the theatrical genre that focus on the history and art of acting. Read about your favorite actors and actresses. Read plays and movie scripts to become acquainted with dialogue.

Take acting classes. Join an acting school where the lessons are hands-on and you will be given the chance to hone your craft in front of an audience. This helps aspiring actors overcome shyness, develop better articulation, maintain eye contact and overcome other acting challenges in order to stand out.

Join a talent agency. Talent agencies have the networks to book auditions for aspiring actors, set them up with acting lessons and act as a professional representative for the actor. Research to find the best talent agency for your style of acting.

Talent agencies are very knowledgeable about the business aspects of acting such as preparing an acting resume, doing headshot photos and audition etiquette. Talent agencies also educate aspiring actors on signing with entertainment unions such as Actors' Equity, which is the labor union that represents American actors.

Develop friendships with other actors. Learn about their experiences and gain access to their networks. Spend time reading over lines and getting critiques from your acting friends. Go to plays and movies together to get different perspectives on the craft.

Become a movie extra. This is an important step in gaining experience and moving closer to your goal. Aspiring play and movie directors as well as producers also need actors for their short works, and major films need extras on the set.

Check the newspaper, media networking and online sources to find listings for extras needed on projects or call your state film commission.

Educate yourself before signing any contracts and determine whether the job is for pay or free. Bring your headshot photo and resume with you to any auditions. This along with your talent improves your chances of getting noticed by film executives.