How to become an actor

Coming out and seeing an awesome movie or checking Instagram feeds of actors traveling to new places a lot might have made you think of taking acting as a career. To answer your question, How to become an actor? We have put together an article to guide you with the skills, responsibilities, and career path of an actor. 

As glamorous as the career as an actor seems, there are hardships one has to go through to taste success. Pursuing an acting career is not an easy path. For many Success is not guaranteed, but persistence and networking can help in this industry.  

Get more information about becoming a professional actor from this article. 

Who is an actor?

For some, being an actor becomes a Profession, and for many, becoming an actor happens to be the future way of life. To put in a definition, an actor is a person who interprets a role or a part on the screen, television, or an Over the top (OTT) platform. 

Being an actor involves entertaining the Audience by expressing emotions and scripts behind a video camera that is edited and made into a Cinema, TV series, Short film, Web Series, etc. It will involve a lot of work physically and emotionally. 

As an actor, one should be able to perform stunts, dance, read and memorize scripts, perform collaborative scenes, etc, which depends on the character being portrayed. Acting is not just on screen, a lot of traditional and established actors started from theaters performing drama in front of a live audience.

Why do you want to become an actor?

This is a question only you could answer. But the most common answer is the acting industry is acting for a living, to earn. Though it’s difficult to seek work on a regular basis, there are people ready to get fixed in the industry. 

A lot of people working in the industry as actors work other jobs to compensate till work comes out consistently. Characters in a movie might come in terms of individual projects but acting in TV series will be regular.

Only you can question and answer the career path you are choosing. Be sure before taking the path. 

How to become an actor in India? Step-by-Step Guide

Aspiring Actors can go through the following steps to start their careers. However there’s no ideal way to become an actor, opportunities can arrive from various platforms.

  • Take an acting course or join acting schools – Joining an acting school or a theatre group will give you the right exposure to understand different aspects of filmmaking. 
  • Gain Professional Experience – Working gives experience. In acting, playing different roles and characters as part of practice or a live play can help you gain experience in portraying different emotions and acts.
  • Avail Networking Opportunities – Being in Acting School or attending courses or workshops will give you exposure to people already working in the industry. Connect with them to understand work better and share your interests as well.
  • Build an impressive resume – Just making facial expressions and being able to deliver a long script cannot make an actor. Learning different dance forms, maintaining fitness, basic defense techniques, voice modulation, etc will definitely make your resume stand out. 
  • Attend Auditions – The majority of the filmmaking starts with a lot of preparation. For casting actors, there will always be an audition that you could attend. Ensure to be prepared before attending. 

Skills Required to Become an Actor

Every profession or job requires a set of skills to be efficient and productive. Similarly, being an actor also needs certain skills developed over time. Here are the basic skills one expects from an actor before hiring.

  • The ability to be a team player and a solo actor as well.  
  • Must be open to taking directions.
  • Confidence to perform in front of a live audience.
  • Ability to read, learn, and memorize.
  • Ready to work unusual hours as well.
  • Should be an excellent timekeeper.
  • Experience in Character Improvisation.
  • Ability to project a clear voice.
  • Reliability
  • Ability to build a Character.

Responsibilities of a Film Actor

As a film actor, one has a lot of responsibility that lies on their shoulders. Apart from giving justice to the character one is playing, there is a lot of associated work that needs to be done in the play. Here are the responsibilities of a professional actor. 

  • Learn, Rehearse and Memorize Character dialogues. 
  • Take directions from the director to perform.
  • Express Emotions and project character in front of a live audience.
  • Build a character as the act continues.
  • Do voiceovers and dubbing.
  • Attend Auditions with sufficient preparation.
  • Improvise character reaction to a situation.
  • Work in live stage performances.
  • Promote the movie or show as part of the promotion strategy.

How to Start a Career as an Actor?

A career in acting takes persistence. Having to constantly upgrade your skills, you need to be active in the industry circle. There’s no predefined way to start this career but there has to be some eligibility for an actor. It might happen from your education, your network, references, auditions, etc. 

Get as Much Exposure as Possible

Getting exposure is two-way networking. where you get to understand how the work happens in the industry and another way you become familiar with the industry participants. There are multiple venues where you get to know people in the industry.

You can try working in Television reality Shows in different roles, attend Movie Promotions, Shoot locations, and many more to get a working idea of filmmaking. In all those venues, you’ll get to meet people with industry affiliations, and connect with them. 

Avail Networking Opportunities

Networking is the top option to try for finding work in Film Industry. Connecting with people doing various roles in the industry will make you a familiar talent. Here’s what you could do to build your network in the acting field.

  • Engage with Industry Professionals through Social media.
  • Build friendships in non-acting settings as well.
  • Show interest and interact with other people’s work.
  • Be Consistent in the work you do.
  • Support your Network.
  • Attend events happening in the Industry and interact with the attendees.
  • Most important, Follow up!

Build an Impressive Acting Resume

Applying for any job needs an impressive resume. Whether you are a fresher or experienced, resume projects you as a professional in auditions. Your resume will help the casting personnel in filtering the applications as well. Building a resume takes years of learning new skills and references. Here are some tips that will help you in writing an outstanding resume.

  1. Do not use common resumes for all auditions. Relate yourself to the casting role and personalize the profile.
  2. Format your Objectives.
  3. Include your Contact Information.
  4. Include your Physical features.
  5. If experienced. List all the roles you have played in different projects.
  6. Project unique skills you possess.
  7. Include your education and acting courses you have taken.
  8. Attach your Still images for reference.
  9. As a reference, list well-known directors.

Join an Acting/Talent Agency

Once you believe that you have all the skills to get into the work, the key step is to find the right casting or talent agency. Selecting the Right one is very important. Here’s how to evaluate an agency before signing up.

  • Write down a list of all the talent agencies in the industry you need to work in. 
  • Research online and check references to filter the list.
  • Narrow down your list depending on the production companies they have partnered with.
  • Prepare and Submit your Profile i.e Headshots, Resume, Demo, and Cover letter.
  • Check out the references from your network.
  • Revamp and Resubmit if necessary. 

Top Acting Schools in India 

If you want to follow to education route to make an acting career, there are colleges and institutes which offer degree and diploma courses. Here are the top institutes in India. 

  • Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune
  • National School of Drama, New Delhi
  • Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata
  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi
  • Asian School of Journalism, Chennai
  • Zee Institute of Media and Arts, Mumbai
  • Barry John Acting Studio, Mumbai
  • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
  • Barry John Acting Studio, Mumbai
  • Annapurna College of Film and Media

Actors’ Earnings Sources

Playing different roles in a play will be the primary source of Income. However, the actor’s income comes from many sources. Here are some income opportunities. 

  • By doing Voiceovers for different characters and advertisements.
  • Building Social Media Profile and Followers.
  • Product endorsement on Social Media platforms.
  • Build and Monetize YouTube Channel.
  • Vlogging Channels of Social Media.

Conclusion

A lot of people in India aspire to become an actor in Bollywood and many different linguistic industries like Sandalwood, Tollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, etc. In this article, we have made the best effort to address your lingering question How to become an Actor? 

This article will address all your questions about being an actor, their roles, and their responsibilities. With an understanding of networking, talent agency, and top acting schools, one can pursue their dream of becoming a professional actor in different industries that extend up to Hollywood as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I start being an actor?

Being an actor is a continuous effort. Practice and Consistency is the only way to remain an actor. A hero may be the highlight of a movie or a play or a series, but the play will remain incomplete without actors. Build your profile consistently. 

How do I become an actor with no experience?

Experience matters a lot in the Film Industry as a film actor. But, it is not always a key factor. There are a lot of opportunities for entry-level actors without experience as well. Today, Filmmaking is not limited to big screens and has expanded to Smartphone OTT platforms opening up enormous roles. 

Is it hard to become an actor?

Well, hardship is in every field. Keep putting in your complete effort. Take the right steps and guidance. Build your work portfolio, things will start getting a lot easier. 

How much do actors get paid?

The remuneration of actors depends on the role they play and the duration of the shoot required to complete your part of the project. It also depends on your experience and the number of projects you have worked on. With experience, you will get to fix your remuneration. For an entry-level actor, one can expect to start with Rs.5000/- per day of the shoot. 

How do actors find auditions?

Sometimes, the production company gives open publication for casting. Most of the audition calls happen through talent agencies, make sure to sign up with the right agent. 

Is acting a good career?

Entertainment is a very popular field. Acting is an important part of the Filmmaking process. So, as long as you stay versatile, opportunities will open up different roles. 

How do I audition for a movie?

When preparing for a Filmmaking project starts, an open casting call will be sent to talent agencies. If you have signed up with a casting agency, they will evaluate if you fit the role being cast for. If you fit, they will inform you about the role, date, and location. 

Can everyone be an actor?

A film project doesn’t happen with only children or young people or old people or only women or only men. Everyone irrespective of their age, color, gender, experience, etc can become an actor. Even a baby can be cast in a play. 

Can you audition without an agent?

Sometimes open casting happens. Publications in newspapers and Social Media will be released by the Production house. Also, open auditions will be conducted in colleges, and educational institutions as well.

Can a shy person be an actor?

As long as you can deliver your script and express emotions on camera, being shy won’t matter. 

Do actors memorize all their lines?

Actors must read and memorize the script. They have to deliver it on screen with expression.

Can you audition with no experience?

There is no need to have the experience to audition. Anyone can give audition as long as they match the basic candidate profile the house is looking for a role. Once you have established yourself in the industry, opportunities show up and you need not give auditions. 

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