So you want to be an Actor

Do you want to be an Actor, Performer and Entertainer?

Some children know from a very early age that they want to be an actor or a dancer, a singer, or an entertainer; others take a bit longer to recognise their chosen path.

Many of you will have been to dancing school and have taken ballet classes from a young age, which is where most of us get our first taste of performing.

In an industry that is hideously over crowded and often under paid it is essential to have the very first ingredient of an actor/performer.

I am referring to the big P …passion, without passion you simply won’t have the drive to succeed.

Even with passion you might not succeed as I think acting is 90% luck. Being in the right place at the right time, making the right contacts and being tireless in pursuing your chosen career are, I think vital.

Positive thinking, an unwavering belief and sheer determination are all necessary ingredients for the ‘would be actor’.

So where do you start?

You have the passion, but no idea what you should be doing to achieve your dream Acting job.

First get some experience.

Try your local theatre, join a drama club at school, and ring your local amateur dramatic company.

Take lessons at your local drama school, you can take acting, singing and dancing lessons and there are literally hundreds listed on this website.

Read books on acting techniques seek out plays and take advantage of the wonderful deals that our theatres offer children and students.

Kid’s week in August is a great example of just that, for two weeks every full paying adult can take 1 child to participating theatres absolutely free.

Create your own performance opportunities by entering drama festivals and don’t forget to Google!

There is so much valuable information on the net.

You could source an agent and try to get some professional experience too.

Work hard at school and try to attain your GCSE’s and your A levels.

The commitment you will need for your studies will stand you in good stead at drama school.

So what about Drama School, which drama school should you choose and what if you can’t afford the fees?

Option one is to go to drama school; it is probably best to start your research with CDS.

The Conference of drama schools represents the top 22 UK drama schools.

These schools are for students aged 18 plus and offer vocational courses in acting, musical theatre, stage management and technical theatre skills.

To obtain a brochure please contact the CDS website.

You can expect to work very hard for three years as the training is vigorous and culminates in a showcase for industry professionals.

If, your one of the lucky ones you will leave your course not only with a degree but also an agent, though this is no guarantee of future work.

Many Universities also offer courses in drama and this can be a good alternative if you choose not to go to drama school or you do not get into your chosen school!

(Entry auditions are tough and they are getting tougher)

However you may not get a showcase at the end or, if you do, it might not be attended by the same level of industry professionals, making employment in your chosen profession even more difficult.

So what happens if choose to leave full time education and pursue your career on your own?

Well firstly you will have probably…hopefully, been attending a local drama school and have accumulated lots and lots of performance time.

So the best option would be to look for a few short acting courses that will give you an opportunity to see your competition, after all you may well be the best actor at your drama school but in reality you need to see who else is out there and what is ‘professional standard’.

Trying to get an agent would be a good next step, ‘stand up drama’ gives actors a chance to showcase in London and are attended by industry professionals, look out for other showcases as it is a great way to be seen.(Google!)

Failing this, write to everyone and anyone, agents, casting directors, producing theatre and producers. Remember to write a letter and send your CV and head shot. (Steer clear of gimmicks, they just irritate.)

If you need headshots do find a reputable photographer, there is no point getting your mum or dad to take a photo or sending one that you took for your facebook.

Have a look on castingcallpro for photographers or get the latest addition of ‘Contacts’ from spotlight. Spotlight also lists theatres, theatre producers and agents so it is well worth investing a few pounds in this.

Choosing a career in the Arts is a magical if not bumpy journey but remember anything is possible if you really put your mind to it.