get into a class or find a way to hone your craft
when i started out, i was only dipping my toes in the kiddie pool. i had great opportunities when i signed with my first agency, but i had zero training and i ate shit over and over. maybe you have natural talent or you’re just doing it for fun, but seriously, be in some sort of environment that challenges you as an actor. it’s the only way you will know if this is the right path for you. do your research, audit classes, try improv, get involved with a theater group, try different things! you gotta find a safe space for yourself. need a little direction? i recommend anyone listed on my resume.
save $$$ for great headshots
if you have a friend with a nice camera who can take some photos for you- great! save money! but eventually, it is sooooo worth it to have a pro headshot photographer (plus, hair/makeup on site) to communicate who you are to casting directors. do your research! though i DO highly recommend james depietro because he knows what he’s doing and is affordable in comparison to the top dawgs.
sign up for actorsaccess.com
if you don’t have any representation and you are looking to build a reel, student films (especially ones by grad students), indie films, web series, etc. can be a great way to have awesome material. if you are serious about putting yourself out there, it is worth subscribing to showfax.com ($68/year) so that you can submit yourself to projects an unlimited number of times rather than paying per submission (note: i am NOT receiving any kickback from aa or showfax – i wish!!!)
yes, i recommend them. but definitely have auditioning experience, know what your “type” is, and have a short list of casting offices you’re targeting. do your research. i recommend actnownetwork.com when they return from their intermission.
i have found that it’s worth subscribing to IMDbPro ($149.99/year) to do research and for control over your IMDb page. if you don’t have any IMDb credits yet, hold off on this. there is a discount once you’re in SAG-AFTRA ($104.99/year).
you don’t have to be a networking whore, just be your awesome self, do your work well, and stay present. you never know who you’re going to meet in this industry. in the meantime, make sure you have a solid group of friends who lift you up. this is a tough town and it can be super easy to get discouraged. remember, you are not alone! stay positive and don’t be an asshole 🙂