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5 things you should know before you become an actor

5 Things You Should Know About Before You Become an Actor

It might sound cliché, but it’s always been said that you have to live to your fullest potential because one day we are going to die. I know that sounds like a death metal lyric, but regardless this message rings true for anyone looking to live the dream. Just ask these actors of all ages and stages who have found ways to create indelible personas on screen while staying in character off-screen. 

Whether you are in theater, waiting tables, or auditioning for community theatre productions, here are 5 things you should know about before you become an actor:

1. Know what type of actor you are

Acting can help you transform into all kinds of roles. You’ll get training on how to express a vast range of emotions on cue. However, once you start auditioning, there’s no escaping from getting typecast. Casting directors will shove you into roles that may not interest you but are only offered to you because you match a certain look. 


To avoid being force-fed some roles, take your time in knowing who you truly are. Ask your closest confidantes about what they think of you. Once you’ve determined that, it’s time to make sure that your headshots and resume reflect the most honest version of you. Don’t shy away from listing your strength as an actor. Sometimes, you can even explicitly mention the kind of roles you are most suited for.  

2. Be ready to struggle during the initial years


Let’s face it, acting can be a bumpy ride. New performers usually get told that acting is easy, I mean, you just have to remember your lines right? Alas, this is far from the truth. You’ll be in for quite a rollercoaster ride as a beginner actor.


Success in a new career requires patience, resilience, and hard work. Only the strong survive in show business. If you have the ability to endure hardships and never quit, you will be ahead of most newly arrived actors.

3. Work. Sleep. Repeat. But don’t burn yourself out. 

In order to succeed as an actor, it’s important that you understand two fundamental truths. The first is that your first few years will be difficult and the second is that you need to do as much as possible in those years. But, don’t burn out!


Show business is YOUR business. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to nurture it. You don’t have to do acting-related stuff for the whole 24 hours. You can always aim to do at least one thing that can be instrumental for your career. 


The industry is tough and sometimes it feels like you’re running out of time. Treat acting as your full-time job, because this is definitely what it takes to get noticed. Take breaks if you need but never give up

4. Networking with industry players


Every actor always owes their success to a group of people. Managers, casting directors, and agents will serve as the key to your entry into the show business. These are the people that you should have on your contacts list. They have connections and they can vet you for certain opportunities.


If you already know the people who you want to represent you, do your best in everything. If they’re strict or you think they nag at you too much, they probably mean well. Your success is also their success. So get rid of the notion that people in Hollywood will always set you up to fail. 


However, if you still haven’t found the right people for your team — it’s time to network. Social media has made it quite easy to look for people who share the same common goals and connect with them. A good image and friendly demeanor on social media can attract winners who can take you to the top. 

5. Do not let the fame get to your head

Make sure that you remain humble, especially when you’re starting out. Some of the most successful A-listers are also always the ones that are rumored to be the nicest. Emulate their example. Always be nice, respectful, and grateful to every person that you meet along the way.


It may take you years to build a reputation in the industry, but if you act like a total diva, all your hard work can disappear in the blink of an eye. Casting directors and producers want to work with someone humble and willing to learn. If they don’t like your vibe, then don’t expect to be invited for a callback. 


This business is not for the faint of heart. If you want to succeed, then you will have to work harder than the next guy, and do what that person won’t. If a producer or casting director tells you no, don’t let it discourage you; remember this is why there are more people producing movies than acting in them. 

You have to believe in yourself and keep going no matter what obstacles stand in your way. If you have a strong desire to make it in this business and the right attitude, then success will come if it’s meant for you.

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