Casting call. Actors wanted.
By Elizabeth Jarrard
One way to break into acting is to have a parent in the industry guiding you through the process and introducing you to their contacts. This was quite convenient and easy process for actors who had famous parents like Drew Barrymore, Gweneth Paltrow, and Josh Brolin to break into the acting industry and make it big. This is not to say that these actors aren’t amazing talents, and they haven’t had to prove themselves in the industry, but they had major advantages.
For the rest of us, breaking into acting, obtaining exposure and earning eventual notoriety can seem such a daunting task that it seems only the truly delusional would even attempt it. And yet, some very talented actors like Jim Carrey, came from very modest backgrounds but whose self-belief (maybe even magical thinking), dedication, and hard work brought them into fame.
There are some methods we researched to help actors break into the industry to help them achieve some level of success, and while they aren’t guaranteed, as the old adage suggests, “Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation” -the Roman Philosopher, Seneca.
Let’s face it, we can always use a little bit of luck. Here we give you tips to prepare for that eventful day when opportunity knocks.
Study. This seems quite obvious and hopefully, you have already ventured down the path of study. There are acting techniques that can be developed and studied from a theoretical perspective. Taking acting classes at a university or college or community program can help you gain feedback and instruction from someone who’s been there. Jim Carrey, as a more seasoned actor, took on his most emotionally taxing but fulfilling roles as a method actor. This process involved him becoming or embodying his “character” not just while he was being filmed, but off-set as well. His famous role he plays as comedian Andy Kaufman is a great example of Carrey’s “method acting.” This process involved developing a deep and abiding empathy for the role of the former comedian Carrey had always admired. Even Kaufman’s family felt as if Carrey had embodied their deceased family member and were amazed when they met him off-set and felt as if they were speaking to Andy. Oscar award winning actress Natalie Portman runs a Masterclass where she discusses this very method of exhibiting empathy for the role of the character the actor is trying to portray.
Gain experience locally. Trying to run off to New York, London, or Hollywood before you’ve studied or gained experience as an actor is more than likely going to end in frustration, to say the least. Why not try to be a big fish in a little pond first before you become a deep fried fish stick in an enormous tank of sharks? In other words, to begin, utilize a smaller market to learn about the industry and navigate networking locally. Meet regularly with a local actor’s guild. Get in front of an audience at local comedy venues at their open mic evenings to enhance your ability to stand in front of a room of critics, to try your hand at improvisation. This is not for the faint of heart, but neither is acting on stage or in front of a production and film crew. Audition for smaller shows and move your way up as you perfect your methods. If all else fails, offer up your services as a volunteer in order to rub shoulders with other actors and directors. Consider joining a local talent agency but do your research thoroughly and read through any contract with a trusted friend or family member before signing anything.
Learn special skills. There are some roles that require not just acting, but the physical performance of some kind or another. This often includes learning to sing a basic do re mi scale, or learning basic dance steps. Actress Anne Hathaway knows how to ride horseback for instance. However, funnily enough, the role she played in Oscar award winning film Brokeback Mountain called for an actress who could ride horseback. At the time she accepted the role however, Anne didn’t yet know how to ride horseback, she lied at the audition and said she did and when she was given the role, she hurriedly took to horse riding lessons. We aren’t suggesting you lie of course, but this is an example of how badly Anne wanted to be an actress and what lengths she was willing to go to take on difficult roles.
Most of us enjoy film and live dramatic performances but the rest of us can take for granted the difficult process it is to become a talented actor. Enhancements in digital technology mean most actors need to promote their portfolios and their content in innovative ways.
Pindify is a new digital media platform for entertainers and content providers who want a digital platform to share their premium content. Content published on Pindify can be shared to other platforms via Pindify as teasers or promos. Premium content on Pindify needs to be subscribed to by fans and followers, which means your best content can be shared in a way that earns you revenue while you’re working on making it big in the world of acting.
Break a leg. We’re rooting for you.
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