Now that you’ve either have gone through all those steps of drama school training (mentioned in Acting for Beginners Guide) or decided to go straight into the business, there are some things you have to know before you start going after various acting industry jobs. This journey is not going to be easy and will probably last most of your lifetime, if you have the patience and willpower to stick around the entertainment industry for so long.
Taking into account all the advice from working professionals and those who have been through heaven and hell of this career will surely put you at advantage against fresh new actor who don’t know what they are doing.
Preparation for Acting Industry Jobs
Aside from what you read on Acting in London website, you will be getting plenty of advice here and there as soon as you embark on this journey. Some of that advice will be good, other advice can hinder your career. Unfortunately, it’s only up to you to decide which ones to take it and which ones to dismiss. You’ll encounter a lot of contradictions in this business when going after acting industry jobs; people have different opinions and therefore will be giving out different kinds of advice from their own perspective. But you always have to remember to use your own instincts and gut to make the right decision. Be in full control of your own career.
It’s going to be different
Whatever you have learned in the drama school or whatever you have read or heard about an acting career before actually stepping into the reality of is — the truth is that all of that is going to be different. As a fresh face on the block, you will encounter a bunch of new unspoken rules you teachers and friends never told you about; you’ll start learning new words, terminology and working practices that nobody has ever told you about. However long you spent in drama school or however much you have read about acting industry jobs, it’s all going to be different to what you have imagined. The best thing you can do is prepare for the change so as to not be shocked and discouraged, then take a deep breath and step into this real new world.
If you have graduated from drama school and met some great, experienced acting teachers or directors — that’s great. You should try your best to establish a connection and a relationship with these people, then after you leave drama school and start pursuing acting industry jobs, try your best to keep in touch with these people. Some directors not only will give you a great advice about the realities of an actor’s life, but they might also give you first big break out role in one of their productions. The bigger was your drama school, the more known directors they usually employ. This is why we always advise to choose drama schools rather than acting universities.
For those who haven’t graduated from drama schools, there’s no need to stress. First of all, you have the advantage against the drama students of starting in the industry 3-4 years earlier. You have all this time to make connections, network with people and establish relationships will all sorts of acting industry professionals. But before all that happens, and as soon as you have decided to pursue this career choice full-time, think about the connections you’re bringing in. Maybe your old time friend was an aspiring filmmaker, your distant cousin loves to write scripts, or your friend’s father knows a working casting director. Get in touch with these people, talk to them and establish relationships. Connections mean a hell of a lot in this business.
Forget the technicalities
Actors in the business and those who attend acting classes knows this a lot better than actors fresh out of drama school. Never let you technique show; do not try to discuss your approach to performance with directors, agents or any other industry professionals. While you spent a long time learning all these things and you might seem to know it all, nobody cares about it nor do they want to start. Everything you know about performing or just about to learn, you have to keep to yourself. You will also soon learn that even actors do not like to discuss their approaches, because every single one of their have their own technique, their own methods they admire and they feel works for them. Be respectful of others and keep your subtleties to yourself.
Don’t be an amateur
Interestingly enough, actors who spend a year pursuing this career on their own, usually come off a lot more professional to casting directors and talent agents than those actors who spent 3-4 years training at a drama school. The problem is that drama schools do not teach students how to behave in the real work of acting industry jobs. It’s different there and everybody has to abide by the rules, otherwise you just won’t get that part you really want. There is no place for ego and arrogance; no matter how well you are trained or how much of a good actor you think you are, never discuss your philosophies about schools, your views of good and bad acting with industry professionals.
Read a lot
Make sure you stay on top of acting industry jobs and news in the business. Read everything on the show business side of acting, and the best way to start are the following websites.
It’s a different world out there, and you must understand that as soon as you have decided to step into it, whether from a drama school or not, you’re all in the same plate. Acting industry jobs are available for grabs for any actor who can prove themselves worthy. Now, it’s all about the professionalism. Try your best to learn how this industry works which in turn will teach you how to avoid looking amateurish. Casting directors, agents and directors hate working with amateur actors who don’t understand how the business side of acting works; don’t be that person and you just might develop some strong and long lasting relationships with industry professionals who admire your professionalism.