The entertainment industry is a tough nut to crack at the best of times, and it’s even tougher for aspiring actors who have no experience whatsoever. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. No matter how inexperienced you may be, the truth is that everyone has to start somewhere, right? The biggest stars in Hollywood including Golden Globe winners and even Oscar winners all have one thing in common — they all started with no experience. Sure some may have got their big break at a young age, but every single one of them started at the same point that you are at right now.
So yes, there is hope.
We’ve been in the entertainment industry for decades and we’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to go from zero experience to seeing your name in those end credits. And luckily for you, we’re more than happy to share our thoughts on the best approach to take.
If acting is your passion, but you have little or no experience, then these are the tips you’ll want to follow.
Set an achievable goal
Okay, so you want to see your name up in lights or hear it being called out at an awards ceremony, but that’s not going to happen without first putting in some hard graft. And that means lowering your expectations just to get yourself started.
Now don’t confuse lowering your expectations with curtailing your ambitions. What we’re suggesting here is that you set a goal that you can conceivably reach within a certain timeframe. For example, you might ask the question, can you get an acting agent without experience? Well, that’s a goal right there. Get out there and talk to some acting agents.
If you already have an agent, you might set a goal to land at least two auditions over the next few months or at least one acting role within the next six months. Of course, landing those auditions and that acting role isn’t something that you have complete control over so you might want to take a look at our next tip.
Audition for EVERYTHING
And we really mean everything that you are comfortable with. This means opening yourself up to any acting opportunity that comes your way. This includes roles in amateur theatre productions, TV commercials, stock videos, and even acting for free in student film productions.
All we’re suggesting here is that you make sure that you’re open to opportunities even if they fall outside the acting niche that you’re targeting. Remember this is all about how to get acting experience that you can stick on your acting resume. There’s also the small matter of this experience helping you improve your skills and understanding of how the industry works.
Take some training
“One of the joys of being an actor is that you’re always learning new things. I’ve been doing this since I was 19 so there are a lot of things I have learned for each part.”
Richard Gere said that when asked about learning as an actor, that’s just one of scores of quotes saying the same thing — acting is all about continuous learning.
So do yourself a huge favour and start some acting lessons. Not only will this help you improve your skills when taking auditions and if you land a role but it will also look great on your acting resume. A casting director will certainly prefer an actor with no experience who is taking acting classes over one who isn’t. Then there’s also the added bonus that acting lessons can also be a great way to network and open yourself up to more opportunities.
Make your own showreel
Casting directors will want to see a showreel of a talent’s best acting clips or the work that they are most proud of. Unfortunately, an actor with no experience won’t have much to put into a showreel, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have one.
We’re sure that you’ve heard all about self tapes and how they are being used more often now as a first audition. Well, they’re also a great way to show off some of those acting skills that you’ve picked up in your training. Pick a suitable monologue to perform — a google search will bring you to dozens of online resources with monologues for all scenarios. Rehearse the life out of it so you can perform it with absolute confidence. Record it. It’s as simple as that.
You’ll just need to make sure that you follow the right process with regards to equipment and setting up your environment. Check out these quick tips for self taping that will set you on the right path.
It’s worth reminding yourself every so often that acting is a business and you are a professional. This is just as true for actors with no experience who have yet to book their first gig as it is for the seasoned pro. Getting yourself in this mindset will help you to prepare for auditions in the right way while it will also keep those romanticised ideas you may have about acting at bay.
So what does being professional involve? Firstly, it’s always treating every single audition or job as if it’s the most important of your career. It’s about always being properly prepared for auditions and being on time for any appointments or meetings. It’s about treating everyone you meet with respect as a fellow professional in the industry. It’s about staying on top of your training and continuously working on your skills. And last but by no means least, it’s about not taking rejection too personally. After all, not everyone can land the role and you are likely competing against hundreds of other aspiring actors.
To answer the question ‘do you have to have experience to be an actor?’, we’re not going to lie. Experience does help when your agent puts you forward for a role. But as you can see from the tips above, you can easily help yourself — and the casting director — get past your lack of experience and give yourself the best opportunity for success.
If you’re an aspiring actor that is looking for some guidance in the entertainment industry, then we’d love to hear from you. Whether you’re inexperienced or a seasoned professional, we’re more than happy to have a quick chat with you about your goals to see if we can help you out. Get in touch today or you can even go right ahead and apply to join us here at Hunter.
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