How to Act For a Living
Learning how to act for a living is simple. An acting career is a business so, as with any business, there are clear steps to getting started. There is a great deal of advice floating around from unqualified sources or those who have not got the Hollywood experience or credits to back it up.
The Hollywood Survival Guide was written by working actress, Kym Jackson, and proofed by hundreds of Hollywood industry executives, producers, and directors. The information contained within is accurate, current, concise, and will show you exactly how to become a professional working actor in LA.
Here is a breakdown of each step on the path to how to act for a living, and where the information can be found within The Hollywood Survival Guide handbook.
1. Learn the Craft
To learn the craft of acting, you need to attend an acting school. If you attend a good one, you will grow quickly. If you attend a bad one, you may waste a lot of time and money with little improvement. To find quality acting schools, you must learn to assess whether a school is good or not. Find more on this in the ‘Acting Schools’ section of The Hollywood Survival Guide.
2. Learn the Business
When hoping to succeed in any industry, it is vital to understand how the industry works as a whole in order to know how to maneuver successfully through the varying decisions and steps you need to make. Studying the industry with a reputable handbook is the fastest way to ensure you are educated and informed enough to have a chance in the film and TV world.
3. Create Your Marketing Materials
There are specific industry standards for your headshot, resume, demo reel, and website. If your materials don’t meet the industry standards, it will hold you back and impair you from finding work. It is imperative to learn how to format each of your marketing tools in the way Hollywood executives are used to receiving them. A full breakdown of how to do this is available in the Actors Marketing Tools section of the book.
4. Target and Gain Representation
Finding representation is easy. Finding quality representation is extremely difficult. It’s important to know the ways in which you can assess whether an agent or manager is good at their job, before you even approach them. To learn how to do this, go to the Representation section of The Hollywood Survival Guide.
5. Go To Auditions
Your agent and manager will send you to see casting directors who will audition you for roles. You can get auditions without knowing any casting directors, however when you network and build your own relationships with CDs, the number of auditions you are invited to will increase. See the ‘Casting Directors’ section of The Hollywood Survival Guide for more info.
6. Get Work
In order to book jobs, your auditions must be great. This is a combination of the talent you bring to the performance, and the personal interaction you have with the casting staff in the room. There are many unwritten rules and protocol that a casting office expects a professional actor to follow. To find out more about this, check the ‘Audition Protocol’ section of The Hollywood Survival Guide.
7. Do Publicity & Marketing
It is important to attend networking and press events, have articles in magazines and interviews on TV or the internet, and to properly utilize your social media accounts. Information on how to successfully do all this is available in the Press section of the Hollywood Survival Guide.