Question: What’s the best way to get discovered?

ANSWER:

The best way to get discovered is to POSITION yourself to get discovered.
Train. Train. Train.
See if you have the talent.
Develop your networking and business skills. (One of the biggest mistakes you could possibly make is underestimating their importance. It could have you end up with most aspiring actors that never, ever make it!)
Be determined, patient, persevering, inquisitive, PASSIONATE.
Make sure you create a circle of friends who can help you, encourage you, give you tips, mentor you, help you along, whom you can model after.
Don’t believe the hype, that all you need is a good look and your natural, God-given talent and that taking acting classes isn’t so important. Get someone to tell you those things who is qualified, like your acting teacher for example.

First thing?

Take some classes and start training.
If you worry too much about getting discovered, it’ll probably never happen.

Remember, it’s not about who you know.
It’s not about who knows you.
It’s all about who WANTS to know you.

Make sure you do something that is so different and so unique that you make people WANT TO KNOW YOU.
Otherwise, you’ll be just one of the crowd.

Have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It has lots of links to pages that have to do with different aspects of starting an acting career. http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/teen_acting.html .
It might also help you to figure out how to make this happen with what you called your “crazy life.”

Good luck!

Tony

Question: Stage fright!!!!!!!!!!!? Okay, so I made a speech compition, like the top 2. Now, I have to speak…

…in front of all the grade 7 and 8 students, and all the teachers too!!!!! I am in grade 8, I am shy, but somehow, I was not so shy in my first speech presentation. What should I do?? ALSO, I AM NOT POPULAR, AND EVERYONE HATES ME.

ANSWER:

First of all, read over your message to us and see if you can find the things in it that are only pulling you down further.

Did you find them? They’re there.

First your title:

“Stage fright!!!!!!!!!!!?”: Now does that sound desperate or what?!!!

1. “I have to speak in front of all the grad 7 and 8 students and all the teachers too!!!!!!” : Sounds like you are really scared.Plus you used the words “have to”. Do you have to? Who is making you do it?

2. “I am shy…”: This is talk that isn’t helping you at all if you have to speak in front of a lot of people.

3. “What should I do??: 2 question marks for me is starting to sound desperate.

4. “I AM NOT POPULAR…”: A negative phrase in all caps is a double whammie.

5. “EVERYONE HATES ME.”: Another double (negative) whammie.

All that is talk that isn’t helping you at all, so stop telling yourself those things and thinking about them! It’s not helping you at all. Think positive things!

Now let’s look at the positive things, the things that you said and that some part of you at least must believe or feel that can help you.

A. “I made a speech competition, like the top 2.”: That’s great news! Be happy, pleased and proud!

B. “I have to speak in front of all the grad 7 and 8 students and all the teachers too!”: Notice how I took out all the exclamation pointw. To me, the way I wrote it means excitement!

C. “I was not so shy in my first speech presentation.”: You see, you even said it yourself that it is possible. Try and remember how you felt and what made you feel so comfortable. Re-create that feeling of confidence. If you did it once, you can do it again!

D. Instead of “What should I do??”, how about “Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help me relax?”.: It’s more cool, calm and collected, which is what you will be if you prepare well.

Stay away from the negative things and stick with positive things. If you want still another explaination, have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It has to do with how to get over stage fright: http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/how_to_get_over_stage_fright.html

One last thing. Be prepared. Practice. Practice. Practice. The more you practice, the more you will feel comfortable when you are in front of the group. That feeling that no one know this speech better than you, will give you a lot of confidence.

Good luck!

You will be great!

Question: I need an actor’s agent anywhere in the uk. I have been in hundreds of theatre productions but i need an agent?

My experience tells me that if you are here asking us this question, then even if you get the names of different agents, you will still have a difficult time getting one to sign you.

I don’t mean to be harsh, but rather to give you an important message that you won’t forget and that will hopefully help you.

You see, it’s all about your approach and even that is no guarantee that you will be successful.

How long have you been looking for an agent?
Why haven’t you found one so far?
Aside from the productions you have been in, have you been training as an actor?
Do you know what agents look for in an actor?
Do you have all your materials together and are you prepared for an agent interview?
What’s your type?
What roles do you think you would be best suited for?
What kind of acting career would you like to have?
What kind of people do you hang around? My guess is that they are not all the right kind of people who are already doing what you want to do or you wouldn’t be asking this question.

On my site for new and aspiring actors, I have an actor quiz. One of the questions is, “How long have you been acting?” Another question is, “Do you have an agent?” More often than you might think, there are people who fill out the entire quiz and who have been into acting for more than 5 years and who still don’t have an agent. The question I have is, “Why not?” After a few weeks or a few months, the answer, “I don’t know how to get one.” is acceptable, but not after five years! Not after 6 months even!
If a person doesn’t have the approach that if they don’t know something they have to figure it out, then they will never be much of a success, not only in acting, but in anything else they choose to do in life.

Change your approach. Change your way of thinking and I’m willing to bet that you will start to see positive results in your acting career as well.

Have a look at this page on my site. It talks about different aspects of an acting career including how to get an agent. http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/teen_acting.html
Even if you are not a teen, read some of the titles you find interesting anyway.

One last thing. You said you need an agent anywhere in the UK. Are you sure? What if you live in Manchester and your agent is in London and most of the auditions they call you for are in London? Are you really going to want to be trekking down there frequently for auditions? That will cost you time and money. Do you really want to do that?

Good luck!

Tony

Question: Stage Fright! Please Help! I have an acting performance in a couple of days in front of 300 people.

ANSWER:

Not too long ago I conducted a seminar for 300 people. The person who organized it asked me to do the seminar for the entire second day of the three day event. It is true that I do that regularly, but this guy was so worried about the three day event going well, that he really tried (probably not intentionally) to put me under some serious pressure. He told me that there were big expectations for my day, that the speakers and seminar leaders in the past were all very good, that some of the people in the group were very tough critics. He even called me the day before and asked me if I was ready and that the guy before me was doing a great job.

I thought to myself that if I were insecure, I would be worried, but I wasn’t! I thought to myself that this is MY seminar and I know this better than anyone else. No one knows this material as well as I do. I also had done it before and knew what to expect. I TOLD MYSELF THAT I WOULD BE FANTASTIC! And guess what? They loved it. Fortunately I had the whole thing taped and I’m having a promo video made up.

So how does this relate to your situation? Maybe you haven’t done this before, but just like I was, you have to BE PREPARED! Practice over and over and over again and know your lines, know your character, know everything about her, know the lines inside out, backwards and forwards and upside down, know why she is saying them. BE your character and remember when you’re on that stage that it’s not about you!!! It’s about your scene partner. Put your attention on him/her. Really listen to what they say and then respond with your lines in a natural way. Sounds easy, but tell yourself positive things before you go on stage.
Be ready and you will feel better.
For a more, somewhat technical explanation, have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. It talks about how to overcome stage fright.

Good luck! You will be fantastic!!!

Tony

Question: I’m on a budget and need to get good headshots. Where can I get them?

Answer

If you are at the beginning of your career which it seems like you are, you might find that getting pictures taken at this moment, is not the best thing to do. If you don’t have a good photographer and you couple that with no acting experience, your pictures could very well turn out to be not very good, expressionless and blank.

First thing I would recommend is for you to start getting some training as an actress. Get into a good acting school or get a good teacher and stay there!

Secondly, have a look at this page on my site for new and aspiring actors. You will find a lot of information about head shots, how to find a photographer, questions to ask and how to get really good shots.

And lastly, just remember that you get what you pay for. If you want head shots for free, don’t expect a lot.

Good luck!

Tony

Question: I have 3 agents, but I’m not getting much work. What should I do?

I really love my agent and don’t want to leave him.

Answer:

My suggestion is that before you drop your agents, to try and figure out why you are not getting much work?
Learn how to analyze your BUSINESS, because that’s what it is.

Loving your agent is not a reason to stay with her/him.

Have you had a discussion with your agent?
If you have, did you learn EVERYTHING you need to learn about why you are not getting work?
What does your acting teacher tell you about your acting ability and about your readiness to audition? Especially if you are not working a lot, what ELSE are you doing while you are waiting for agents to call you for auditions? There are so many other things that you can do!
What ways are you using to promote yourself and get your work seen?
When’s the last time you were in a showcase?
Did a targeted mailing?
Submitted yourself online?
Tried to get some experience in community theatre, just to keep your skills sharp?
Taken classes?
How would you evaluate your auditioning skills?
Your cold reading skills?
Your monologues? How are they?
How are you with the camera?
How do you keep track of your auditions and what information do you keep track of? How often do you analyze it? What conclusions have you drawn recently from your auditions?
Which ones do you do the best at? What kind of auditions were they?
Which ones did you do the worst at? Why? What was the situation? What kind of audition was it?

Especially now at the beginning of your career, you really need to become analytical so that you can figure things out for yourself.

I have a whole lot more information about how I analyzed my work in the beginning and still do.

Good luck!

Tony

Question: I am so blessed that I have found such an informative site like yours, but I have some questions about where to start.

I do have specific questions such as upon chosing an
acting class gaining experience how do I create a resume. Also I am
considering getting headshots done but should I get headshots before I
get experience? After gaining experience and headshots, and creating a
resume what specifically should I do?

ANSWER:

Your question has confirmed an idea I have had for some time now about
helping people to know exactly where to start and how to make that clearer
for them.

Here you go. I will give you a series of pages to go visit that should help
you get started.

1. Go to this page on a squidoo lens and read:
The Top 10 Reasons Why Most Aspiring Actors Never Make It!
www.squidoo.com/start-an-acting-career/

2. www.actingcareerstartup.com/an_acting_career.html This page has 7 steps
to get started including 23 benefits of taking acting classes.

3. www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting_classes.html – on how to choose an acting school.

4. About a resume: http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/professional-actor-resume.html .
There you’ll find 10 things you need to know that will help you create a resume.

5. How to write a cover letter: http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting_cover_letter.html

6. With regard to headshots, part of your answer you will already have if you read
the squidoo lens article about The Top 10 Reasons… . For the rest of the answer,
I’d like to you go read an interview I did with a Hollywood Acting Coach. See what
he says about headshots. You’ll find it about half way down this page link:
http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting-career.html

7. Here you will find everything you need to know about how to make sure you get the headshots
you want, choosing a photographer, etc. www.actingcareerstartup.com/headshots.html

8. What to do after you have some experience and have headshots?
www.actingcareerstartup.com/get-a-talent-agent.html

Ashley, that should get you well on your way to your dream of becoming an actress.

By the way, when I talk about studying the industry, I mean researching some of the links
you will find on this page:
www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting_industry_information.html

If you sit down and go through this ‘mini course’ that I have outlined for you, I’m sure you
will make progress. You must be diligent though.

Question: How can I become an actress in the U.S.A.?

ANSWER:

1. you English must be very good. Not necessarily without accent, but almost.
If you still have a strong accent, you will have to work on accent reduction while
you are in the states.

2. You will need your parents to be involved as you will need to have someone
to stay with in the States while you are studying.

3. You should do a lot of research first. Find out about what it means to be an
actress…really, especially at the beginning. It’s tough Manuela. Not impossible,
but very tough. http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting_careers.html

4. Figure out what kind of actress you want to be:
www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting-careers.html

5. Study the industry and gather as much information as you can so you understand
the arena in which you will be playing.
www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting_industry_information.html

6. Read. Read. Read! I wouldn’t advise you to start with my book. Start with
two other books first and then read mine. Those two are:
Sanford Meisner on Acting
and
Acting As A Business: Strategies For Success

7. Sign up for the rss feed for my blog on ActingCareerStartUp.com, so that you receive
updates every week when I put up a new page.

8. Here is a complete guide for how to plan your trip to New York to study and/or
work as an actress.
www.actingcareerstartup.com/acting_classes_in_the_usa.html

Good luck!

Question: I dont know what to do to get started in acting.

Ive always wanted to be an actor. Like an actor in movies, and I always wanted to give that a good shot and if I fail at least i would know…but I want to be a doctor if not an actor…but by the time I graduate medical school I’ll be like 30….and I don’t know how I could try acting at such an old age…=( Most big actors start while they are younger…so I just don’t know what to do..whether to give up on acting…cause i need to go to medical school, if I would do acting I would need a fall through…but I almost feel like acting would be a pointless endeavor…basically I’m asking, would be pointless under the circumstances to try to be an actor?

ANSWER:

… if you read your question again to yourself, you just might find the answer in it. It sounds to me like you have already decided what you need to do.

One important question to ask yourself once you decide whether or not to start an acting career is whether you chose acting or whether acting chose you.

In your question it sounds like you are choosing acting, but that wanting to become a doctor has chosen you.

What I mean by something choosing you is that you just feel that it is something you MUST do. You can’t not do it! You simply have to do it! That’s the way it seems that med school is for you. It doesn’t seem like acting has that power over you. In the long run you will be happiest doing something you are passionate about, something you really love.

To help, go through this exercise on my website for new and aspiring actors. It will help you clarify your goals. On this page link you will find a series of goal questions and then a link to other questions. This is just for starters, but my hope is that you will begin to understand why you want what you want. Once you clarify that (and it will probably take some time-in other words, don’t think you will just read that page once and then it will be settled. My advice is to continue to ask yourself those and other questions until you feel 100% sure of what you want.) you will be at peace with yourself and with your decision. Here’s the link:
http://www.actingcareerstartup.com/long-term_acting_goal.html

You can also take those questions and adapt them to your medical career as well.

Good luck in your future.

Tony

Question: I want to start an acting career. I’m feeling a little lazy and bored today.

I spent a lot of time over the last two days looking up famous actors.
I’m not sure what I need to do to get started. Can you help?

ANSWER:

One question you will want to answer sooner rather than later is, “Did I choose acting, or did acting choose me?”

Why were you looking up famous actors? Was it because you would like to see what kind of life they live? Was it because you hoped to see what kind of path they followed to get where they are today? If that’s the case, it might be a little soon to be declaring that you want to start an acting career. If you are already trying to become an actor, then you should already know they answers to those questions.

But you are on the right track for starters. It’s important to find out what it really means to become an actor FIRST.
Getting back to figuring out what your goals are, it might help if you ask yourself some questions:

Why do you want to become an actor?
What will that do for you?
How will it make you feel?
What kind of actor do you want to become?
How far are you really and truely and honestly willing to go for your acting career?
Do you know what it’s like to work as an actor?
Do you know what actors do when they are looking for work or in between jobs?
Do you know what kinds of different acting careers you could have?
How hard are you willing to work? Honestly. (I ask that question, because you openly declared that you feel lazy and bored. If you become an actor, your days should never be that way.)
What do you think having an acting career entails?
What do you think an actor does day to day, when he’s not working?
Do you know anything about business? Do you realize how important it is to know how to promote yourself and to be able to get your work seen?
Have you taken any acting classes yet?
What method are you studying?
What other methods are you aware of?
Do you know what the benefits are to taking acting classes? In other words, do you know what they can do for you, other than teaching you how to act?
Do you know how you can tell if a class is right for you or not?
Do you know how to choose an acting school?

Do you know of at least ten different ways that you can promote yourself as an actor?
Do you know how to go about finding a talent agent?
Do you know what agents look for in an actor?
Do you know your type and why knowing that is so important?
Do you know how to do a mailing?
Do you know how to use post cards?

How about head shots? Do you know what the disadvantages are of getting head shots taken before you are ready?
Do you know the right questions and what to look for when selecting a head shot photographer?

Do you know what the industry formats are for an acting resume?
Do you know one of the first places agents and casting directors look when they look at your resume?

If you were further along, I would ask you other questions like:
How did you get your agent?
What do you do while you are waiting for your agent to call you for an audition?
Or
How did you choose your monologues? Do you know the most common mistakes actors make when performing a monologue and how to avoid them?
Or
How do you prepare for your auditions?

What method of acting are you studying and why does that method speak to you?

Do you know how to build a character?

You shouldn’t be bored any more now. If you really want to be an actor, then get to work and answer all those questions and look for others to answer as there are many more. If you start with those, you should have a pretty good idea what it means to become an actor.

Good luck