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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Parker

How To Start Your Acting Career?

Updated: May 9

Hey actors!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what steps to take to get started with an acting career…

So here you go!

How do I get my acting career started?

It’s no secret that in order to start booking acting work, you need so start auditioning... So how do I do that?

Step 1: Self Submit

Before you even start looking into agents, you can start auditioning for roles in short films, local commercials, and other small projects. These tend to be low-no pay, but offer great expereince, and somtimes even credits and or/footage (more on that later).

So, sign up for an online casting profile like Casting Networks, it’s free to get started, and setting up your profile will be helpful for next steps. Complete that profile asap, don’t worry about it looking or sounding professional yet, just enter what you have. Get a friend to snap some temporary headshots on your phone and use those, fill out your training and expereince with you acting classes and any expereince you’ve had (no matter how small), we will update all this later.

Then, spend 15 minutes everyday scrolling the submissions and throwing your hat in the ring for anything that sounds like it could be fun.

Some other online casting profile services worth looking at are Showcast, and StarNow.

Step 2: Agents

An agent is going to want you to set up a casting profile on either Casting Networks, Showcast, or both. And, since you followed step 1, you already have that sorted ;) Now you can incude those links in your emails to agents, which shows them that you are on the ball and organised.

I recommend reaching out and speaking to as many agents as possible. This is not an audition or a job interview, this is a potential business partnership. So it is important to listen to your instincts and sign with someone that you feel good about on an inter-personal level. Remember, you’ll be interacting with this person often!

Which agents?

Unfortunately, there are some crusty companies/people out there who pose as agencies, but are less than trustworthy.

But fear not!

Here is a link to the MEAA website with the most reputible talen agents in QLD, plus some usful info and advice: MEAA QLD Agent List

There may be some names missing from this list, so if you have questions/concerns about specific agencies, or want to ask my opinion/advice about one before submitting and/or signing with them… PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO HIT ME UP!… Sorry for shouting at you ;) But seriously, I am here and more than happy to help.

Representation Tiers

Many agencies will have a tier system in place. For example, they may have an entry level that is for extras/background actors only. The next level may include tv commercials and featured extra roles (maybe even 1 line speaking roles). And the “highest tier” will be for actors auditioning for featured speaking roles in film/tv.

So how do I get into the tier I want?

This will depend on a few things:

  1. Does the Agent have space on their books for your look/vibe

  2. Does the agent believe that you have the appropriate skill/ability/expereince for the desired tier.

  3. Do you have what you need to be eligible for the desired tier?

What do I need?

Headshots: Understand that, outside of acting classes/training, headshots are essentially the only significant resource an actor needs to invest in financially.

You will probably want to update your headshots every 2-3 of years on average, more often if your look changes (age/hairstyle/colour change, piercings/tattoos etc.).

Professional headshots will absolutely be required by your agent to audition for commercials and any speaking roles in film/tv.

If you’d like recomendations for afforfdable headshots on the sunshine coast - shoot me a message!

Showreel: These days, it is a requirement for most actors to have some kind of showreel in order to be submitted for speaking roles in film/tv. Having said that, there are many creative ways to get a showreel for little to no money spent.

  1. In the beginning, you could use some really good self-tapes in place of a fully produced showreel. Make sure you are well lit (natural light is great), can capture clean sound, and can have an experienced actor as your reader. Get together with an actor friend, pick some fun scenes to work on, and help each other shoot some self tapes. Upload 1 or more of those to your profile, boom!

  2. Do as many short films as you can! Aside from being a ton of fun, great experience, excellent practice, and an awesome way to get early credits… it is also a fantastic way to get footage for your showreel. So submit yourself/audition for short films as often as you can! Better yet, write and produce your own short films with friends!

Having said that, I understand that shortfilm opportunities on the Sunshine Coast are Unicorns, and for some of you, you may be eager to get started right now with your best foot forward. So if you want a professional showreel that makes you stand out and is affordable, our next Sizzle Reel Workshop is the perfect thing to get you upgraded to the next tier and start auditioning for those bigger roles!

I hope this was helpful!


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