Acting How To: Getting Started
Answers to various acting questions I get from aspiring actors and actresses.
Q: I'm finally pursuing my dreams by getting started in acting. Do you have any acting tips or advice on how to get my career going?
A: Not to be trite, but I would say that reading my book "Acting for Film and Television" would be a really good starting point!
I definitely want to encourage you to pursue your dreams, though my particular form of encouragement is the full disclosure of what one is really getting into when they decide to make a career out of the acting business.
And, there are about 10 years worth of skills that need to be perfected before one can realistically expect to have a regular opportunity to act in film and television. Bear in mind that's just the opportunity...even when you have everything going for you, acting work is hard to come by.
By everything, I mean, that you have the technical skill to do the job, you have practical work experience, you look right for the part and you have an exceptional ability to interpret and emotionally express a screenplay, which is to say that you know how to act specifically for film and television. I specify that, because it is remarkably different than acting in a play.
There's a saying amongst elite military trainers..."the only thing stopping you from being here is you". Same is true of acting. I won't say that you can't or shouldn't, but I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone that wants to act.
It's going to take a lot of work and experience. How to get that acting experience?
It will take bare minimum, three to four hours a day, six days a week for at least the next two or three years before you'll even be close to the bare minimum level of professional proficiency. Tack on another three or four years of serious, three to four hours a day of work, and you'll be ready to realistically compete regularly for acting work. Bear in mind that all of that work is on your own time and often (in the case of learning to act) it may actually cost you money.
Like I said, you can do that, getting started in acting is really no more difficult than going to grad school...but this is the disclosure I was talking about. I hope this helps you and I really do hope that you go for it. I just want you to go for it with both eyes open, because once you know the truth, the only thing stopping you from having your dream is you.
As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, or would just like to share some of your successes, please feel free to drop me a line. I actually answer them.
Best of Luck out there and remember, you can't fail if you don't quit.