Life is all about taking a dream and making it a reality. When people decide they want to become an actor, they may not know which way to go. In this website, I've given many tips and information on how you can become a professional, working actor. But first... LEARN YOUR CRAFT!
RADIO & WEBSITE ADS PROMOTING CASTING CALLS OR AUDITIONS - STAY AWAY- I hear it all the time how people were ripped off by going to a "casting call" and getting called back for an "audition" only to discover that they are being sold expensive workshops, photo sessions and promises of seeing themselves on T.V.. These are not casting calls or auditions. They are scams to get you into that hotel and to sell you as much as possible. They are fast selling salespeople who will promise you or your child stardom as long as you sign their contracts which can range from $500 - $25,000. If you have to go, don't take your check book, cash or a credit card. Once they realize you don't have that with you, they won't pressure you to sign and you can go home and really think about it.
CONVENTIONS - STAY AWAY unless you just want to have fun for a lot of money. You may have been solicited by someone to join a convention that will "get you in front of agents, casting directors, etc". These conventions are huge money making schemes to line the pockets of those who put them on. The agents, actors and casting directors get paid handsomely for their participation. You will be required to pay anywhere from $1,000 - $25,000. The salespeople will convince (con) you that if you go on this show business 'cruise' or convention that you will be introduced to the right people who will kick start you or your child's show business career. They pay enormous sums of money for actors to come in and say they were discovered at their convention and that you too, could be the next star. Not true. Any actor knows that their journey takes years and to be in a hit show or movie takes hard work, dedication and determination. Don't waste your money.
EXTRA AGENCIES - Never pay someone that you found in an online website ad for them to get you work. Extra work is a ' poor man's job' but necessary for T.V. & Films in order to make their backgrounds real. A union extra can make a fair amount but that's another story. Extra work is fun and you do learn what it's like to be on a set but it will not make you an actor. The only agency I would say is worth signing with is Central Casting. It may not be in your state so you might want to look on Actors Access or Frontier Casting. Backstage West isn't what it used to be so proceed with caution as many of the notices haven't had due diligence done by the network. You shouldn't pay per 'audition'. You should check with who you are signing with and only pay a maximum of $45 a year. There's so many scams out there and you must be extremely careful, especially when dealing with children or if you're going to these places alone. It's a dangerous business. Be smart. Ask questions. Go with your gut! If it doesn't feel right... don't go!
EXPENSIVE ACTING WORKSHOPS - When looking for a good, on camera acting workshop, do your homework. Make sure that the acting coach has extensive experience in T.V. & FILM ACTING. There's many 'coaches' who are only students or struggling actors themselves trying to make an extra buck. These are not the people that can give you professional, quality acting classes. So do research. The classes shouldn't cost more than $250.00 a month for 4 classes and should have no more than 16 people in a class. Now that we have the Covid virus, it should be no more than 10, including your teacher. Be safe. More than 16 people in a class in normal circumstances means that many times you will not get up to do work and will instead only watch other students. Don't waste your time.
EXPENSIVE PHOTO SHOOTS - HEADSHOTS - In. Hollywood and New York there are the top photographers who can charge what they want. But if you're looking for professional headshots that are affordable, you can find them for no more than $400.00 a sitting. Remember to look at the photographers website and make sure they have been a professional photographer for several years. Many people pick up a camera and call themselves a headshot photographer. Not! Agents, managers, casting directors etc., can tell if your headshots are professional or not. Make sure that your photographer has excellent lighting and doesn't do a lot of 'photo shopping' on your headshot. You must look like the person in the picture when you walk into an audition. Be yourself. There's nothing worse for a casting director than seeing someone completely different walk into an audition. It's an instant turn off. Keep your 'glamour' shots for your wall.
CASTING DIRECTORS WORKSHOPS - When deciding to do a casting directors workshop, make sure that the person teaching IS A QUALIFIED Casting director. Someone who belongs to the C.S.A. (Casting Society of America). You can look this up in the S.A.G./A.F.T.R.A website. There's many people who call themselves casting directors because they may have cast a local film or their own projects. But that doesn't make them a casting director. Do your homework. Also make sure that it's not a Casting Director Associate. They are glorified helpers who are NOT going to give you professional advice or help you in anyway. They only person they are helping is themselves. There shouldn't be dozens of people in your class and you should pay no more than $400.00 for the workshop. (And that's only if they are C.S.A.) Make sure you are a professional actor before signing on to do a C.S.A. Casting Directors workshop. These people are responsible for hiring you and if you're not ready or you are a new actor, this is NOT for you. Get your training first!
GETTING AN AGENT OR MANAGER - You never pay to get an agent or manager. If someone wants money upfront, walk away. An agent will receive 10% from the production company you worked for and 20% for print. A manager should take no more than 15% from your check. Make sure you are ready to get an agent/manager and that your talent is ready to be seen. Jumping too fast without knowing what you're doing can ruin a career before it starts. You can get a list of S.A.G. agents (always make sure they are bonded and licensed by the Screen Actors Guild (S.A.G). You can get a list from S.A.G./AFTRA website for your area. Managers are harder to find but make sure that you do due diligence and look up their profiles. The best managers are those who get the "breakdowns" which are the list of professional castings that come from casting directors to agents every day.
LEARN YOUR CRAFT AND BE READY FOR THAT AUDITION.
ACTORS AREN'T BORN... THEY ARE CREATED.