Acting isn't all about portraying with excellence the character and being truthfully in a scene. If you can't get a break, it's not uncommon and much at all. Acting is only possible if somebody's prepared to sit and watch you perform. Nothing can happen unless you are noticed among thousands.
The statistics are terrifying, with something like 92% of the actors are out of work at any one time. What the figure doesn't reveal is that some 8% get work continuously while the same 92% never get into a situation of working regularly. Unfortunately, this 8% success rate comprises of actors with-
- Sheer luck like winning a lottery
- Close relative of top producers, directors or financiers in the industry
- Actors who can invest to get a job
- Actors willing to sell themselves (with any price) to get a break
However, the fact is all the above can never guarantee a regular acting assignment and earning the tag of "Market Actor" (know industry actor)
The trick, therefore, is to be in the top 8% minus ABCD as above.
How this could be achieved under current cut-throat competition in the industry?
Acting is a Business: Learn to Market Yourself
For anyone aspiring to be a professional actor, knowing your craft is only half the battle. You also need to know how to go out into the real world and find paid acting work. Understanding the business side of the acting industry is absolutely crucial if you want to make a living as an actor. If you can get to grips with these elements of the acting life, you will be well on your way to making a career for yourself as a professional actor.
- Set your acting and life goal-Long and short term and the plan of action
Promoting Your Name
No matter how good an actor you are, if nobody knows about you then you aren’t going to get any work. Making sure the right people are aware of you and what you can do is absolutely fundamental. So how do you do that?
The first step is to put together a proper promotional package to send to casting directors, production houses, and artist coordinators. This should include your actor’s CV, a set of the professional-quality portfolio (head shots) and, ideally, a professional-quality acting showreel plus or video introduction
A package containing all three of these elements will effectively demonstrate to industry gatekeepers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. It also allows them to judge the kind of roles you might be suitable for. That way they can start offering you appropriate auditions or recommend you to other industry professionals who may be able to offer you work.
In the modern digital age, it’s increasingly easy (and important) for actors to market themselves online. There are several ways you can this but the most popular and effective are creating a website with the same information found in your promotional package and making good use of social media.
The old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” isn’t entirely true, but it’s not completely false either. The truth is, success in the acting industry is about what you know AND who you know. Getting to know the right people means when opportunities arise, they can give you the chance to take advantage of them. You still need the skills to make the most of those opportunities, but the industry insiders definitely help.
To make the most of your time in networking, you need to know where to go and who to speak to. Do your research and find out which casting directors, agents, and other industry figures are involved with the kind of projects you would like to work on.
One you get in a room with someone you want to connect with, be brave, smile and go say hello. A large part of succeeding is simply having the courage and self-confidence to put yourself out there. Once you have introduced yourself, find common ground and make sure to ask plenty of questions about their work while also making sure you communicate your own career ambitions without directly asking them to help straight away.
Getting Good Artist Coordinators ( some may call themselves 'casting directors')
Every aspiring serious professional actor has to have few good career promoting guys. It’s their job to get you meetings and auditions with casting directors, directors, producers and anyone else who can offer you work. They can also chase up people for you after an audition and talk you up to increase your chances of landing a role. They’ll negotiate on your behalf when you are offered a role and a good agent will get you more money with better terms than you would be likely to achieve representing yourself. An experienced coordinator will know a lot more people in the business than you could ever hope to, so will hugely increase the opportunities available to you.
How do you find them? Again, you need to do your research. Find out online, on social media, co aspiring actors, industry people like crew members, from schools and acting coach
Of course, getting auditions doesn’t mean you’ve made it. You need to actually win the audition in order to progress to the bit where you’ll start getting paid. Obviously, a huge part of that comes down to how good you are as an actor, but there is also a whole load of audition etiquette that you need to know. Get this right and you’ll be judged purely on your acting. Get in a wrong and you’ll be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Some key points for audition are
- Be on time. Never be late
- Be a good listener first and then respond
- Prepare your lines
- A high level of confidence
- Knowing how to behave
- Be prepared for a rejection
Manage Your Finances
Budget and simply live within your means. Save for the rainy days
Continuing Developing Your Professional Acting
Although we are talking about the business of acting rather than the craft of acting, the two are obviously interconnected. The more you learn as an actor, the better you will be and the more opportunities you are likely to get. This can mean taking acting classes in schools or with your acting coach, workshops, but may also involve developing additional skills such as dancing, martial arts, horse riding etc. This will also look good to agents and casting directors as it demonstrates that you are a hard worker who takes their career seriously and is open to learning and developing.
Learning Acting Business quickly
Learning how to negotiate the business side of the acting industry can take years, while many actors never get the hang of it at all. The sooner you get to grips with the business of acting, the sooner you can start supporting yourself as a professional actor. Therefore, the best is to learn from your teacher at a school (most don't teach this in detail) or from your acting coach