Breaking into acting is something many teens aspire to do, but few accomplish. Joining the school drama club and acting in a few plays is not enough to get your big break. As I’m learning every day, becoming an actor requires a commitment of time and perseverance, and a willingness to make major sacrifices for your future career. Here are things you can do to move toward your acting dream too!
Improve Your Craft
Take classes to improve your craft -- and do not focus solely on acting classes. If your school district or city has a performing arts middle school or high school, enroll there and take classes in acting, music, and dance from teachers who have had experience in the industry.
Don’t be scared to broaden the scope. I encourage you to study theatre, film and TV, and investigate every tradition of acting. Check out classic movies instead as a real alternative to surfing the Internet.
Get Your Parents on Board
Making it as a teen actor does not only require time and sacrifice on your part, it also requires time and sacrifice on the part of your family.
You may have to rely on your parents to transport you to and from classes, auditions, and rehearsals; pay for acting and voice coaches; and travel to help you take advantage of opportunities. Your family needs to be your motivation and support when you face rejection or begin to wonder whether all the effort is worth it.
Thanks, Mom & Dad, for the acting camps, trips to New York and Los Angeles, and everything you do to encourage me to be my best every day. Your support means the world to me.
Ok back to my tips...
Contact a local talent agent who concentrates in representing children and teenagers. Seek an agent who requires no money upfront and can also provide you with names of teens he has worked with or roles he has booked for teen actors.
Make contacts by asking friends and family members whether they know anyone who is connected to the acting world.
Build your resume by performing as often as you can. Look beyond your school's drama club and check out opportunities at theater groups, community theaters and the theater department of local colleges.
Do videos and post them on Facebook and YouTube. You never know when an agent or casting director will see it!
You may have all the talent in the world, but your location can keep you from getting noticed. Many teen actors and their families sacrifice everything to move to cities such as New York or Los Angeles. Personally, I’m spending the summers in L.A.
While a move is not a promise you will get your break, it can provide you with more opportunities to take classes, make contacts and attend auditions. If your parents cannot permanently move to one of these major cities, ask them if you can take a few trips to get your name out there and network with others in the acting community.
You’ve chosen to do something brave and consistently challenging. It can be a road full of disappointment, frustration, and a lot of really hard work. It's vital that you have a support circle during this venture to pursue your passion. Being an artist is both a delicate and powerful endeavor. Believe in yourself and keep moving forward!
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