How to become an actor?

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by the last son, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. the last son Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    5,349
    Likes Received:
    77
    I don't mean a Hollywood star but just an actor. I'm 25 no acting experience other than what I do by myself. I am an introvert I have about 2 friends and anything other than that I spend my time wasting how I can become an actor. I have no real drive or determination. I go over scenes that movies do over and over and act them out in front of family members who laugh at me and say we all know you are not this person. But I know deep down I can be at least a serviceable actor. When I was 21 I asked a play director for an audition and he granted me it but I was still way too shy. Well not too shy but not ready. I tell my family I am ready to pursue this and they say be realistic. I want to act. You can not tell me I can not act better than those people on sci-fi.

    SO should I start my own youtube channel portraying other actors in there roles or direct, write, and act to become successful
     
  2. Schlosser85 Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    5
    Try getting roles in local theater. Even if you don't want to become a fulltime theater actor, It'll help you gain experience and confidence.
     
  3. the last son Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    5,349
    Likes Received:
    77
    OK. Thanks I will seriously look into it. Just getting any role will build my confidence
     
  4. CFE The never-ending battle

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Messages:
    9,121
    Likes Received:
    51
    It might sound cliche and I obviously mean no offense, but I'd recommend acting classes. Depending on the degree of skill you're interested in obtaining, you can choose how much school you want.

    Classes and education are a great way of building up confidence and determining your approach to the craft, be it method or otherwise.

    Best of luck to you in the pursuit. Acting is a very demanding profession I'd say. People losing themselves in characters, putting themselves out there emotionally. It's a very vulnerable thing to do but also a potentially empowering one as well.

    Go for it!
     
  5. SpideyVille Walking out the Desert

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    24,524
    Likes Received:
    4
    I agree with CFE. I recently graduated from college, and I spent most of my four year there without any real friends, mostly because I was very shy, quiet and introverted. I decided to take an acting class in my final semester just for fun, and also as a way of forcing myself to interact and deal with people. It really helped, so much that my professor recommended me for a play that one of her former students was directing, and I was cast in my first audition.

    It was a small role, but I met a lot of other people through that play, and I ended making a lot of friends, one of whom cast me as the lead in his play a few months later. It was really a great experience and has definitely helped me gain confidence in myself, as well break out of my shell a little. For me acting was more about the fun than it was in looking for a career, and I was able to finish college on a very high note because of it. If there was one thing I learned from all of it, its that you never know what can happen unless you just go for it.
     
  6. The Guard Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    33,959
    Likes Received:
    1,286
    I'm a fairly accomplished and successful actor (at least in semi-pro and community theatre, have no desire to do it for a living).

    Other than a brief time when I was 7 and 8, I started acting when I was 21 in college, so don't feel like you're "behind" or anything. Acting classes is a good idea. Additionally, locate your local theatre community or college theatre (depending on where you live, sometimes there are multiple companies/groups) and audition for everything you can find until you start to decide what you like and what you don't.

    Theatre changed my life. I went from a shy, introverted, somewhat paranoid and insecure socially awkward guy, to a confident, funny, more secure, charming socially awkward guy. :) Seriously, it's the best thing I've ever done for myself in so many ways.

    Is this something you think you'd like to do as a career?

    Don't expect to get cast in any "roles" you want right away. Theatre is like anything else, you have to work your way up, pay your dues a bit, and its often about who you know and who you've worked with.

    Be willing to learn. Be open-minded about what parts come your way. Be open to criticism, and be willing to take direction and suggestion. And ask any questions you like on here, there are several theatre people and plenty of film people, too.
     
  7. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    25,882
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yeah um, you're going to need that. :funny:

    Even when you're trained and have all the qualifications, you're going to have go through auditions, and many times it isn't ability or talent that gets chosen. It can be very disheartening. My cousin who majored in theater at NYU is considering moving away from acting because the audition process just wore her down.

    If you're too shy, definitely considering taking acting classes. Get yourself out there and in front of people. If you want to be a TV/film actor and you're nervous, the camera will pick it up anyway. You have to work it out of you. Stage acting actually takes more training because you have to memorize lines and work with other actors, as well as project well using your face and voice.

    Online videos can help. A friends' cousin got her start at fame via an online video. But she had been taking acting classes for years and participated in various comedy troupes starting in college. She now has a starring role on The Office as well as a few comedy movies. So I don't think you can be a successful actor just by acting in your own videos. You have to get out and meet people, make connections. To be fair, many actors (not the crazy ones loved by paparazzi) are introverted and shy, but the sheer love of their craft gets them out and working. You can't act in a vacuum.
     
  8. The Guard Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    33,959
    Likes Received:
    1,286
    You'll definitely need drive and determination if you want act as a career. It's not an easy profession, and there's a LOT of competition and work involved in getting work.
     
  9. Boy Scout Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    This. And pretty much what everybody else said, too.

    Also, you should probably start surrounding yourself with people who will actually support what you want to do. Not to say anything negative about your family, but it would behoove you to be around people who will be supportive as well as honest.
     
  10. Ajendo Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,427
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Guard is the only person here who has really addressed the meat of your problem. Your attitude stinks and you make yourself sound like a loser. No drive? No determination? What kind if nonsense is that? To get results in anything one wants to do, there needs to be a desire. If you have no drive or determination and yet you waste your time fruitlessly then you are crazy and will amount to nothing.
    Change your attitude and find something to believe in, ideally yourself, for starters. Once you've found a motivation then as others have mentioned, engage yourself in activities and classes to build up a required level if confidence and to hone your skills. Study the performances of good actors and do not use crappy acting that you see on some tv shows as a benchmark. First thing's first though, your mindset and attitude needs a major overhaul.
     
  11. Gotham Knight Watchful Protector

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ellie Kemper?
     
  12. JaD Thriller Night

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    21,141
    Likes Received:
    2
    Acting class/theatre was probably the absolute best thing to get me to break out of my shy/quiet shell. I consider it the reason as to why I'm told today I have a great deal of charisma and fun to be around. There's a tremendous feeling when you're on stage or playing a character in front of others (just like when you're doing an impression of a celebrity or someone in front of friends). I'm looking forward to getting back into it once I go back to school. My dream job has always been to be a writer/actor on Saturday Night Live :)
     
  13. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    25,882
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yup! My friend was giving her the side-eye when that video came out (given the subject matter), but hey, it took her places! :funny:
     
  14. The Guard Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2002
    Messages:
    33,959
    Likes Received:
    1,286
    There definitely needs to be a change in attitude, but acting classes/theatre involvement can help with this.
     
  15. the last son Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    5,349
    Likes Received:
    77
    My lack of motivation comes from years and years of heavy drinking. I've been drinking since I became an adult and have been drunk more than I've been sober. I recently have started to try to quit and focus on activities that take my mind off of drinking. I go online and see when they are open auditions for roles. I don't think plays and things of that nature would work for me. My anxiety would take over. I just want something where I can have a few lines and move from there. Thank you everyone for your suggestions and insights. I still say the movie flight would have been perfect for me if I was 15 years older. Pretty much how my adult life has been. Without the crashing of a plane
     
  16. Schlosser85 Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    5
    Without any credits to your name, you're not going to get cast in a lead role in a high-profile movie, I hope you realize that.

    And if you can't get past anxiety, that's going to hinder you no matter what medium you try to act in.
     
  17. the last son Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    5,349
    Likes Received:
    77
    I understand that. It starts at the bottom. Way, way, way at the bottom and that's fine. I'm doing it more for fun than anything else. And like I said a hobby which I think I could be decent at and to keep my mind from idling.
     
  18. SpideyVille Walking out the Desert

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    24,524
    Likes Received:
    4
    So it sounds like you're just looking for something to keep your mind and your body busy, but to be honest, it's not like acting is going to stop all of that. I think it will definitely help with the anxiety stuff, but it won't do much for the drinking because that's something you have to learn how to control on your own. Not to mention, a lot of the people I met while acting were really into drinking, so I don't see that kind of situation helping you out.

    Personally, I starred in a play for the first time last May, and then I graduated a couple of weeks later. I've been in a depressive funk ever since because I know I need to get a job, and the financial situation has gotten worse with each month. I would love to be able to do another play just to get out of it and keep myself busy, but I know my main priority now is to get a paying job and unless I do that, no hobby is going to fix the issues I have with myself internally. I still think you should try acting, but look into theatre first because that can definitely help out with the social aspect and how you feel and interact with others around you. Not to knock acting on camera, but doing that would not really help you because its like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.
     
  19. Conundrum Registered

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm actually attempting to build my passion for acting into a career too.

    I can't give you great advice because I've not "made it" yet, but I can share my plan. Oh, and by "make it" I mean earning enough money so that I don't need to hold a second job, nothing crazy.

    I knew I wanted to act but didn't know where to start, so early last year I took an acting class for beginners. That gave me the confidence and the tools to audition for local community theatre, where I was cast in the ensemble and performed in my first show. Since then, I have appeared in five shows and am in rehearsals for my sixth. I have networked with the local dinner theatre (which pays its actors) after some of the staff saw me perform.

    I am currently taking my first improv class and auditioning for film projects so that I can add film to my resume. I hope to keep building my resume and making contacts until I can eventually earn a regular income.

    As for concise advice, take an improv class.
    It will help to break out of your shell, make some great friends and give you confidence to perform. After that, or at the same time, audition for local community theatre. Most groups are very welcoming to new actors and you'll discover whether this is the career for you.
     
  20. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    25,882
    Likes Received:
    5
    Start at the bottom and be an extra? That mostly requires living in either LA or NYC if you want lots of chances to audition for extras. Although IIRC if you are in SAG, you get better chances at speaking roles.

    Also, make friends with film students and act in their short films? You won't be in a big movie but you'll be acting in front of a camera...
     
    #20 Anita18, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  21. Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014/2019 Champion

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    58,466
    Likes Received:
    14,676
    Look on craig's list. Many filmmakers with low resources or student filmmakers will either look on craig's list for actors or post information about needing actors. There are jobs out there, you just gotta seek them out. Make sure you have contracts that allow you to use raw footage of your performances in demo reels, and if you seek agents and such, send them your reel (which you probably should find an editor for...they can make it look sexier than someone not experienced in making demo reels can). Often reels are more effective than headshots and such because they can actually see you perform.

    Improv classes and local theater are also good suggestions.
     
  22. Conundrum Registered

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mandy.com is also a great resource for auditions. Mainly short films and music videos, but some commercials and theatre productions.
     
  23. Gotham Knight Watchful Protector

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    0
    The, uh, sandpaper video? I think I know what video you're referring to. :funny:

    That's a really awesome connection your friend has, though. She's great on The Office.
    You tryin' to get him locked up in some creeps basement, Spider? :oldrazz:
     
  24. Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014/2019 Champion

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    58,466
    Likes Received:
    14,676
    That would be the downside to that method, LOL!!!! But, I know many local filmmakers in PA and OH that look on craig's list for people because they don't know actors.
     
  25. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    25,882
    Likes Received:
    5
    Craigslist is a great suggestion too. Another friend found a crew gig on Craigslist for a short film that turned out to have a vaguely Nolan connection. :funny: (Not too crazy though - the producer was a PA on The Prestige. Only in Los Angeles, I suppose!) When that shoot needed more crew ASAP, she put the word out on Craigslist again and actually got people! :funny:

    As long you get out in front of a camera and get stuff for your demo reel, I think that's a great start. If you don't want to slug through theater auditions or the like, I mean. There are always different avenues.

    That's the one! :funny: I met her at my friend's wedding, just before she got The Office gig. Of course I had no idea how big she would get, but she seemed like a perfectly normal person. The family isn't huge into acting, and she didn't call attention to herself in any way. Wasn't her wedding, at any rate. :cwink:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"