BREAKING INTO THE INDUSTRY!
THIS MONTHS FREE RESOURCES WILL BE ALL ABOUT STARTING OUT WITHIN THE ACTING INDUSTRY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO IN ORDER TO BUILD THE PERFECT PORTFOLIO. HERE ARE OUR TOP RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO GAIN EXPERIENCE, PRESENT YOURSELF AS AN ACTOR, AND TAKE THOSE FIRST STEPS IN BUILDING YOUR CAREER!
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS!
Having the perfect variety of headshots is the most important thing to have when starting out your acting journey. You will need to clearly show your range, cast-type, and character though a variety of shots. This may be a tricky thing to approach at first but why not experiment at home with your phone through different angles, lighting, and outfits to see what shows you off the best.
Mobile phones have great cameras, a lot of professional shots can be mimicked quite easily with a little help!
Follow this link for tips:
How to Take a Slick, Professional Headshot With Your Phone | WIRED
You do not need to pay hundreds of pounds to show off your talent. Finding scenes and monologues from your favourite films, TV series, or plays and shooting them at home on your phone is a great way to begin building your portfolio.
We recommend a 2-4 minute scenes shot in landscape with a white or plain background. Wear clothing that fits the character you are playing and make sure your lighting is clean.
Top Tip: Shoot a variety of scenes that contrast to best show off your range. We recommend shooting a dramatic scene, upbeat/comedic scene, and a period drama scene.
'Open Camera' is a great app to utilise you phone camera. We recommend looking up simple tutorials on the best camera settings for self-tapes.
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE?
Imagine yourself in five years. What part of the industry do you want to be working in? What characters do you want to be playing? And most importantly, where would you get the most enjoyment?
Answering these questions can be a great way to start building your image as an actor. Based on your answers, you can then begin to market yourself and your portfolio towards becoming the actor you want to be.
Furthermore, there may be additional requirements depending on the area you are looking to get into. For example, a musical theatre actor will also need a singing and dance reel on their portfolio.
ACCENTS AND SKILLS!
Successfully delivering multiple accents is one of the most important things within an actor's arsenal, however, as obvious as it sounds, make sure that you are able to perform each accent to a high standard... you don't want to get caught out! Include these on your portfolio and go ahead and tape a scene showcasing them!
When building your portfolio, it is vital that everything about you is visible at a glance. Within the industry, casting directors are always on the lookout for the weird and wonderful skills that actors possess.
Know how to ride a unicycle? Great, make sure to include this on your skills because you never know what casting directors may be searching for.
NEVER STOP YOUR RESEARCH!
When starting an acting career there will most likely be a lot more time waiting around than actually being on set or stage.
This time should not be wasted!
Use this time effectively to research everything you can about the industry. This could be done by watching actors showreels, learning lines for a new monologue, brushing up on audition techniques, or researching what's currently trending within the industry. These are all things we are actively able to do in our downtime to keep ourselves informed and up-to-date.
Top Tip: Why not revisit one of your portfolio tapes and see how it can be improved? Send some material to friends or fellow actors and get their feedback!
A lot of the main industry portal sites require you to have 4+ professional credits in order to sign up. This can be discouraging at first BUT, there are ways in which you can obtain these credits.
We recommend taking a look at www.mandy.com/uk.
This is a great portal that offers all types of acting work to begin building your portfolio and career. Make sure to only register yourself once you have completed the above steps. This is to ensure you have the best chance of being successful when applying for those roles...
You don't want to put yourself forward for the job of your dreams and realise you don't have a headshot!
Websites such as 'Mandy' are not only a great way to obtain credits, you will also gain experience, professional showreel footage, and an overall better understanding of what its like to work as an actor!
NOW YOU HAVE YOUR PORTFOLIO!
Once you have completed the above steps, you should now have a very well-rounded beginners portfolio which can be used to put yourself out there. This will be what casting directors use to consider you for a particular role and whether you would be suited for a project.
Also... You don't have to wait for people to approach you! With your portfolio you are now able to present yourself as an actor and be proactive. See a role you like the sound of? Simply apply or alternatively, pop the production company a short email expressing your interest!
A big part of the acting industry is all about being proactive and going after what you want!
Further Tips: We recommend that once you have received your 4+ professional credits, register yourself for www.spotlight.co.uk this is the leading portal for actors to find all types of work.
Now for the big step! Once you are registered for spotlight you can begin your search for your very own agent. Representation from an agent without spotlight is possible, however, in order to attract the right agent for you and for your agent to put you forward for the right roles, spotlight is essential in furthering your career.
Emailing agents for consideration is a daunting but rewarding experience. We recommend researching talent agencies that seem like a good fit for you. Be sure to research how many clients they have, do their clients seem to be successful? Do they have any clients that are a similar cast type to you? And most importantly, do they specialise in sectors that appeal to you?
Top Tip: When writing to agencies, make sure to keep your email clean and concise. The main thing to include is your headshot, link to spotlight, and your expressed interest in being a part of their books.
There is nothing wrong with inviting them for a coffee, they're humans too!
NO AGENCY SHOULD ASK FOR UPFRONT PAYMENT BEFORE BEING REPRESENTED. DO TAKE CARE WHEN TALKING WITH AGENTS AND ENSURE THEY ARE ONLY TAKING A COMMISSION FROM YOU ONCE HAVING BOOKED A JOB.