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How to Become a Commercial Actor: Part 2

The job growth for actors is highlighted below. The path to acting careers can actually begin in high school plays and musicals.

How and Why to Become an Actor | The Art of Manliness

Drama classes can introduce students to performing, different methods and schools of thought in acting, writing their own material, and different approaches to characters, along with stage and costume design. High school drama classes and productions allow students to develop their skills and experience what it feels like to perform in front of a large audience.

They are also very important in preparing students for the inevitable countless auditions that await them once they venture into the world of professional acting or head off to a college or university drama program. Seek out small playhouses and theaters in the local area and audition for various roles. Although a college education is certainly not mandatory to succeed as a professional actor or actress, some aspiring performers may benefit from a formal college or university drama degree program. Post-secondary drama programs can be found at almost every major public and private college in the United States, as well as at most community colleges.

These classes will not only hone skills, but will help aspiring actors understand what happens behind the scenes, such as contracts and business dealings. Classes might include theater history, stage production, dance, music and the like. College productions may also provide aspiring professionals a chance to be seen by agents and producers who may be looking for promising new talent.

Continue going on auditions and working as much as possible in the acting world. Acting workshops and small theater companies keep performers in top form by providing an environment in which they can stretch their creative muscles and practice their craft. They also provide one of most effective networking opportunities available. Join a theater team, continue networking and be patient; it can take years to get the big break, but it is possible for some actors to receive a steady stream of work.

Act as much as possible, in as many roles as possible. An experienced agent can help actors succeed by offering a huge network of contacts, helping them avoid rookie mistakes and getting auditions that might not be available otherwise. Though not all actors will have an agent, those who want to work with the largest theater or movie companies will need to have one.

These dedicated schools are designed exclusively to teach aspiring actors. Students work closely with seasoned actors, theater directors, producers and others who can show them the ropes and skills they need to stand out during casting calls. There are classes for actors, dancers, choreographers, singers, comedians and more. Some community colleges offer associate degrees in theater, drama and other performing arts fields. Trade schools, meanwhile, tend to offer more specialized diploma or certificate programs in areas like set or costume design.

These programs provide a well-rounded education for students who want to make a lifelong career in the performing arts.


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The world of acting is large and diverse, and so are the educational backgrounds of those who work in it. Any of the following degree paths can prepare students to succeed in the acting industry. Students pursuing associate degrees can expect to take two years of coursework, including general education classes along with more targeted classes for actors. Here are some common courses:. This course fosters appreciation of cinema, including genres, narrative devices, themes, film theory, promotions and more.

Students will learn how to design period- and stylistically-appropriate costumes that support character development. Acting exercises, memorization, improvisation, various acting techniques and oral projection are studied in this class. Performing arts schools tend to offer fewer general education courses than colleges or universities, but both options take about four years to complete. Students will be required to work with various productions, whether on-screen or backstage. Here are some of the more common classes taken at this level:. Physical coordination, proper singing postures, changes in speech and intonation, voice projection, the Alexander method and other techniques are taught in this course.

These courses allow students to perform their own scripts while overseeing production, costume, makeup, set and all other elements.

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Students will engage in professional casting calls with oversight from faculty while learning interviewing, improvisation and more. Common options include drama, set design, playwriting, film, theater, television, acting, directing and more. Below is a list of courses students might find in the acting track.

Please note that courses will vary widely, depending upon the major.

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This courses looks at the in-depth history of theater and may include lectures and discussions with award-winning actors and playwrights. This course focuses on the various ways a script can be read and interpreted, the role of direction in creating a vision for the final product and storytelling techniques. Students prepare for scenes, songs, monologues and other presentations to create a well-rounded performance.


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This refresher course covers everything that happens off the stage, like casting, auditioning, producing reels, rehearsals and more. Many curricula require only acting, drama or theater seminars, allowing students to select or design all remaining coursework. Each PhD program also requires a dissertation, which is fairly standard for this level of education. Many PhD programs encourage students to study a specific aspect of theater or drama that truly interests them, such as various methods, histories of cinema and theater, and cultural roles.

They usually require six years of study. Here are some common seminar themes found in PhD theater, drama or acting programs across the nation:. This seminar combines the cognitive sciences with the world of acting, focusing on the psychology of certain pieces such as Shakespeare and the influence celebrity brings to the role. What cultural influences change the performance? These questions form the basis of this course. Students will explore the research and scholarship at play in scripts and performances to develop a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses.

This course shines a spotlight on the human tendency to laugh instead of cry, and how playwrights over the centuries have used that as a method to convey troublesome issues without overburdening the viewer. Those who choose to pursue an acting degree can turn that hard-won education into any of these potential careers, with median wages reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An acting coach works with actors to help them bring characters to life.

The acting coach is well-versed in all areas of acting methods and techniques, and has the ability to convey them in such a way that the actors can use them on set. Acting coaches might work with performing arts schools or take on individual clients. Set designers work closely with producers and directors to create a set that is true to the time period and feel of the script. The work requires a strong knowledge of architectural trends as well as the ability to build, paint and otherwise work with physically erecting set pieces.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Working Actor

An actor plays a role in a variety of entertaining mediums, including theater, television, movies, live performance, radio and more. Their work is not only for entertainment, but often also for information or instruction. Many actors are quite versatile and can add singing, dancing, writing and even directing to their list of talents. Most directors work closely with everyone on set, especially actors and producers, to create a character arc that is true to the vision of the script.

Directors might work in a variety of areas, including theater, television, movies and the like. Producers handle a great deal of behind-the-scenes work, including issues with casting or extras, financial flow for the production, design and sound on the set, and other creative decisions. Producers are usually weighing the needs of the production against the budget set to finance that production.

Here are some of the skills that can help them succeed, and the tools and technology they might use when they get there.

Best Acting Classes In Los Angeles

Since much of acting is conveying emotion, setting a scene and otherwise connecting with the audience, top-notch speaking and reading skills are imperative. Actors are in a very creative profession, and they have to be able to keep up with other creative types.

That means letting ideas flow like water, offering unusual points of view, and keeping their creativity going with other mediums, including writing or singing. Memorizing a script in order to perform long, unbroken scenes is a must for any actor in any area of entertainment. Acting may entail being on set for many long hours or handling several hours of stage work without a break, especially during live performance.

Being in good physical condition is the key to handling it. There are many actors out there and far too few roles for them. It can be easy to give up when faced with near-constant rejection; the best actors learn early on to simply keep on trying. Though there are no clear-cut credentials for actors, there are some options for areas that support actors, or that might enhance an acting career. For instance, the film editing certification or the digital video certification can help an actor transition to other careers in the field. Credentials should be chosen based on what actors might want to do if they choose to move behind the scenes.

This labor union for actors provides help with benefits, working conditions, contract negotiations and more. Others will have you represent their brand through your Instagram and other social media platforms. Paid by the hour, plus tips in various locations. Check out different staffing agencies for your city. Waiting tables is a classic side job for any actor looking to make some money. And assuming you're of age, bartending is a great way to earn a full-time income working part-time hours. Nannying is an excellent option for actors good with kids and have childcare experience.

Early morning, late evening, and weekend hours make it very easy to balance dog-walking with auditions.