If you don’t have auditions rolling in, and you don’t have access to an acting class, there are still things you can do to improve your skills and nurture your career. I’ve only listed a few.
If you are serious about acting, don’t just wait for roles to come to you. You have to be proactive and there are so many things you can do to take control. It’s really easy to get frustrated, feel helpless, and make a lot of excuses about why your career isn’t going anywhere.
1. PRACTICE AUDITIONING
Make a list of shows that you think you should be on. Find sides online or transcribe the scenes from your TV. You can also find scenes on mocksides.com but I recommend you find actual sides for televisions shows that you think you’re right for. Give yourself a few hours in the evening to work on the material as if you had an audition the next day. The next morning, put yourself on tape. Give yourself ONE TAKE to nail it. Do this at least once a week, more if you can!
If you’re not going out on auditions all the time, you want to make sure that when an audition does come along, you’re in as good of shape as the actors who do audition all the time. Find an acting buddy that you like to work with and commit to reading with each other and helping one another out with self-tapes. Practice practice practice!
2. READ SCRIPTS
You can find so many scripts online – for movies and television series. Read as many scripts as you can. Learn how to understand the material. Get good at reading the tone and getting a feel for the story. Pick a character you would want to play in the script and think about that character’s arc and how they help tell the whole story. Ask yourself what you qualities you have that would help bring that character to life. Approach it like someone handed you the script and offered you the role. How would you begin your work? This exercise will not only help you develop your own process, it will also help you see the areas you need to improve.
3. REVAMP YOUR PACKAGING
Is your headshot and resume a good reflection of your talent and experience? How about your profiles on Actor’s Access and Casting Networks? What about Backstage? If you don’t have one, set up a profile for one or all of these websites and make sure your profile stands out but is also an accurate reflection of your casting. Give your packaging an overhaul and be honest with yourself about what is missing. A casting director once told me that the thing she’s most interested in seeing on a resume is an actor’s training. What does that section look like for you? Get to work!
4. CREATE REEL FOOTAGE
First of all, get clear about your casting. Not just what you like to do or what sounds fun – try to focus on what you think your casting is and be realistic. Actors are afraid to get pigeon-holed, but sometimes we have to embrace our “type” to get our foot in the door. If your look and essence scream “clumsy office manager” or “soccer mom” – you should have footage of you playing those types of roles. Write a one or two page scene and get someone who knows what they’re doing to help you film it. Not a writer? Ask a friend or find a scene on mocksides.com – they give you full permission to film scenes for personal use. No excuses!
Being successful requires being proactive and not waiting for life to come to you. It means you’re on offense, not defense. You’re active, not passive.Benjamin P. Hardy
If you really want to go far this year, it’s up to you to take action. There are a lot of talented actors out there. The successful ones are those who are willing to do the hard work. Take charge of your destiny. Life is short – start running toward your dreams like you’re on fire!