How To Become An Actor With No Experience

How to become an actor with no experience?  What are the first steps you can take to get going in the right direction to become an actor.

This article is about providing for you some of the fundamentals when it comes to getting your feet wet with acting.

We will cover the following points for what you will need to become an actor:

  • You Will Need Craft
  • You Will Need Knowledge
  • You Will Need a Headshot/Resume/Reel/Website
  • You Will Need Representation
  • You Will Need To Audition
  • You Will Need Contacts
  • You Will Need To Do Projects
  • You Will Need Health (Mind,Body, Spirit)

Without romanticizing what it is to be an actor, there needs to be a question you should ask yourself first.

Why do you want to become an actor?

This article isn’t about getting rich quick schemes or how to become famous.  The ideas shared here may lead to fame and fortune but your integrity as a person and artist must be your foundation.

Being a good actor, a professional actor is where your valid concerns should arise.  Everything else is the result of working hard, being consistent, having goals and caring about what it means to be an actor in the first place.

How To Become An Actor with No Experience

How To Become An Actor

So, why do you want to be an actor?

Maybe you don’t have some world defining answer and that’s fine.  We don’t always know or understand why we take an interest in something.

Maybe it’s because we feel that it will provide nourishment to our soul, maybe it will be something fun and intriguing, maybe it’s the challenge of it all, perhaps it’s the mystery…maybe you just want to get the hell out of the house and meet some new people.

All possibilities ring true if that is what exists inside of you.

The reason why you are asked, ‘Why do you want to be an actor?” is because it’s about setting you up for the mindset you will need to do the following…

You Will Need Craft

Go to acting school.  Take an acting class and study.  Immerse yourself in the work.  Make as many mistakes as fast as you can and grow.

Develop your own way of working that makes sense to your own instrument.  Not everything a teacher will teach you will work for you. Teachers will have different ways of working and arriving at the truth of a scene but it will be up to you to zero in on what specifically works best for your own instrument.

You must trust your intuition with teachers.  Some will work wonders for you and open your eyes to things that help you see further into the work.  Other teachers won’t bring about such discoveries and awareness.

Trust yourself and take what works for you so that you may give more in your approach.

Stating this has its justification for an actor who is just starting out.  An actor can lose valuable years of one’s life if they find themselves locked in to a specific technique, rather than the full expression they carry inside their own heart.

Any sound acting technique from ALL and ANY school of acting must be derived from the full expression of your heart and humanity.  Not the other way around.

There is an abundance of acting exercises and approaches that are used that work extremely well but remember, at the end of the day such concepts will either bring you closer or further to your own sense of truth in your work.

So be clear about that for yourself when searching for a school to learn about acting.  Your gut will know the difference for what you need most.

Keep that always in mind.

You Will Need Knowledge

In addition to acting classes, how else can you gain knowledge about how to become an actor with no experience.

An actor must invent.  An actor must be able to look at the blueprint that is a play or script or monologue or scene and interpret the material into a living organism that you can call honest.

How the heck do you do that?

  • Read.  Observe.  Practice.

Read

Reading is underrated.  If you wish to be an actor you have to venture into reading fiction, plays and scripts.  Period.

When you read you are opening yourself up to a world of characters and situations that are unlimited.

When you read you make inner connections and understandings about the human condition.

When you read you spark your imagination and creativity.

Observe

Whenever you leave your house you should always carry with you a mental observer.  This mental observer is always turned on and is constantly receiving data on human behavior.

You can be in a deli ordering yourself a sandwich but you notice the person in front of you has a certain way of talking.  Isn’t that interesting?  Suddenly, your taking note and using that behavior for a character you may use in your work down the road.

You may never use the material you observed but that’s not the point.  The point is keeping yourself alert to such observations because they will also come up in your work when you work on a role.

You will find yourself observing your character when you read the script and those impressions made on you will manifest themselves within you both consciously or subconsciously.  Your creativity will bloom on its own accord because you have trained your imagination to see.

Practice

A lazy actor isn’t a solid actor.  Don’t wait for acting class to come before you get up on the stage and work.

Work on your own as much as time will allow.

Watch films and go to the theatre and watch actors work on stage.  Find the scripts to the film actors you love and follow along.  Pause the film and consider the choices that actor made for the scene.

Now, decide for yourself what choices you would make for the scene as the character.  There is no crime in working on the film role yourself and bringing about your own interpretation.  Why not?

See where it leads you and what you can learn.

By reading, observing and practicing your acting, you will only increase your knowledge and open up more doors to understanding your acting process.

You Will Need A Headshot/Resume/Reel/Website

Every single actor will need a good headshot and a good resume.  This is your calling card for send outs for auditions.  How else will a casting director or agent know who you are if they cannot see you or see what work you have done on your resume?

Actor Headshot

Your acting headshot is the most important thing you will need to book a job.  Choosing a professional headshot photographer is one of the most essential decisions you can make and should not be taken half-heartedly.

Spend the time researching the best headshot photographers in your area.  Take the time to examine their websites and carefully look over the quality of the images of actors that have been taken.

You can read up on reviews from other actors and call the photography studio up to ask questions.  Many photographers offer free consultation where you go meet with them in person and discuss how the session works, how many wardrobe changes can be made for what price, make-up questions (assistant or will you do your own make-up?), leaving a deposit ect.

Keep in mind that compatibility goes a long way when working with your headshot photographer.  You want to feel like you are in the hands of someone who truly knows what they are doing when it comes to headshot photography.

You will want to make sure that you feel comfortable within your photographer’s presence and that they really have your back and it isn’t just about the money.

Resume

You may be wondering…how can I have a resume if I haven’t done any work as an actor yet?  Good question!  Join drama groups.  Get involved in theatre companies and acting classes that also offer performances at the end of the class sessions.

There are ways for you to gradually build up your resume of acting work you have done.  it may take you some time but you will do it.

Actor Reel

An actor reel highlights some of your experience working as an actor.

Your reel can be comedic/dramatic or commercial.  When you acquire enough booked work, you will showcase your work to people in the industry from the projects you have done.

There are many casting calls online that will ask for your reel link.  Your actor reel is another terrific way to share who you are as an actor to get producer, directors, agents and casting directors interested in you.

There are professional services out there that offer you reasonable prices to have your acting work edited together for a reel.  Be careful of being charged too much.

The best thing to do is research and compare prices.  Make sure you can see actor reel samples that demonstrate professional quality.

In today’s day and age, you may even have a friend who is good at editing and has their own software.  Show your friend actor reel samples and see if they can put one together for you for a fair price.  So long as your actor reel is professional quality, there is nothing wrong with this method to save some money.

Website

Having an actor’s website seems to have a tendency to get overlooked when in fact it is also becoming something on par with your headshot/resume/reel.

A strong actor website incorporates one of the most powerful aspects of your marketing strategy as an actor.  It is the place where you can showcase your headshot/resume/reel all at one location, with one link.

Look at your actor website as you business address in the digital landscape.

Those two articles above will help you see the value in having your own actor website as well as how you can build your own for much less money.

As much as your acting craft comes into play, you must also strongly take seriously the marketing aspect of your acting path.  Without a headshot/resume you may find yourself wasting your time. Make such marketing tools a priority for yourself.

You Will Need To Audition

You need to get out there and audition for opportunities you find through castings.  It would not be a bad idea to take an interest in finding a good audition class to learn more about the audition process and technique.

There are casting director workshops that do offer knowledge in this area which can be good insight for you.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions to get yourself better acquainted with the audition process and you will also get to meet people in the industry who cast actors for film/tv/theatre.

There are scammers out there.  Be careful.  Always be sure to do your research when it comes to casting/agent workshops.  Look up and find out who is who for the workshop before booking any class and spending your hard earned money.

You Will Need Representation

There are different paths that will lead you to one day landing an agent.  Let’s look over some of those paths.

  • You can be performing in a play and invite agents to come see you in it.
  • You can do random emails with your headshot/resume/reel attached.
  • Actor events where agents are in attendance.
  • Workshops where you can audition and meet an agent.
  • A friend gives you a recommendation.
  • Your Aunt is an agent.
  • You were on TV or a film and get discovered by an agent.
  • A casting director takes a liking to you and gives you an intro to an agent.
  • You get spotted in a coffee shop.
  • Your headshot/resume/email send outs gets you an interview and an agent wants to work with you.

Anything can happen at any time and by any positive path.

The main thing is have a plan, be consistent and persevere.  Without a plan, a goal and consistency you will eventually give up.

When you are focused on reaching your goal and work diligently towards it, you will eventually reach your destination and get yourself an agent.

You Will Need Contacts

Attend networking events.  At first they may seem lame and cheesy but you truly just never know who you will meet that may become a friend and collaborator on a project.

As mentioned prior, look into casting workshops but first do your homework to make sure it’s always legit.

Get involved in film/theatre festivals by volunteering.  This is a great way to network and make friends.

As time goes on you will slowly build up a roster of real friends who are aspiring such as yourself and who are working hard to have careers.

You Will Need To Do Projects

You can create your own short film.  Making your own short film is one of the most powerful and gratifying ways for you to move forward in your acting career.

We’ve written about 6 steps actors  can take to make their own short film, which provides a detailed account of six solid steps from first idea to finished film.  Things like script, budget, team, location, equipment, casting, production, post-production and film festival submissions.

You Will Need Health (mind, body, spirit)

Rejection is difficult for everybody.  It’s hard to feel like you are not being accepted.  An actor needs to deeply make room inside themselves to recognize and accept that this is the process of acting.

Not every audition you go on will pass muster.  You will get turned down for more roles than you gain.  The sooner you respect the process, the better off your mental state of mind will be.

It’s crucial to have a positive state of mind.  Don’t expect to win the part, expect to do your best.  It will always be out of your hands so the only thing you must focus on is your effort and commitment in the audition room and with your journey as an actor overall.

Exercise.  Exercising to any degree is better than no exercise whatsoever.  Go for a long walk twice a week.  Go to the gym.  Do push ups, sit ups.  Eat and drink healthy.

Keeping yourself in good health both mentally and physically will help you get through difficult times.  You will have more inner strength.

Check out this simple chart for living a healthy actor life.  It’s pretty simple but serves as a good reminder to keep healthy.

You can’t have mental and physical health without spiritual health.  Not talking religion but more so in a soulful way.  Keeping yourself relaxed and calm is a good way to be in life.  You can listen to relaxing music or go on a run.  Mediation is great for opening yourself up to the world and finding inner relaxation.

Being healthy keep you grounded and gives you nutrition for being an actor.

Conclusion

How To Become An Actor and Never Stop

If you’ve read through the whole article on How To Become An Actor with No Experience, give yourself a congratulations.

You are now an actor who has an understanding of the fundamentals of what you will need to do to become an actor and start your journey.

As with anything, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Be patient and work hard and good things will come.

Recap:

  • You Will Need Craft
  • You Will Need Knowledge
  • You Will Need a Headshot/Resume/Reel/Website
  • You Will Need Representation
  • You Will Need To Audition
  • You Will Need Contacts
  • You Will Need To Do Projects
  • You Will Need Health (Mind,Body, Spirit)

Feel free to visit any one of these steps to encourage and remind yourself of what you will need on how to become an actor with no experience.