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Acting
Want to be a famous actress? (karma: 30)
By dancedancedance9 Comments: 247, member since Sat Jan 10, 2004
On Wed Dec 29, 2004 06:42 PM
Edited by dancedancedance9 (81631) on 2004-12-29 18:42:21 Wanted to add something :-)
Edited by dancedancedance9 (81631) on 2004-12-29 18:42:55 Ack I needed to
something!
Edited by dancedancedance9 (81631) on 2004-12-29 18:43:37 Needed to
some more ::turns red::
Made sticky by MIClogger (28613) on 2005-01-02 14:04:29

I figure I'll write something up to help everyone who is wondering how to break into show business (and I'm seeing a lot of these posts. Please be aware that if you do not live in the LA area, it will very unlikely that you will be auditioning for a lot of motion pictures and TV shows. However, in every region there are lots of commercials, print modeling, as well as small parts in movies available. Please promise me that when you embark on this chosen path, you're doing it because you love acting...and not because you want to be famous for being famous (we have Paris Hilton for that). You need an agent to do professional acting. When submitting, always include a personalized cover letter, resume, and headshot. Generally, the resume should be scaled down to 8x10 inches and then cut to the size of the headshot (8x10). You should then neatly staple your resume to the back of your headshot, facing outwards.
Agents and Managers
Many people cannot distinguish between an agent and a manager, so I’ll briefly explain it. An agent is SAG/AFTRA franchised, is licensed by the state, and their only goal is to find submissions and get you auditions that fit your type. A manager is not franchised or anything, so if you’re looking for one, getting referred for one is the best way to go. Their goal is manage you and get you publicity and good networking. For a list of agents, please visit www.sag.org . . .. Those are the only agents that you should consider submitting too. Only submit to ones that are in a driving distance from you, because generally the auditions they send you on will be in the same area. After submitting, wait 2-4 weeks and if they haven’t called you for an interview yet, you can call them for a follow up. If they don’t have any interest in you, move on. Find another agent.
Headshots
Headshots are the actor's business card; they are what market you and your image. They are basically professional photos of your upper body. A photo session should be no less then $85 and no greater then $300, if you're just starting out. You will need to get 8x10 reproductions of your headshot; abcpictures.com has nice rates. Traditionally, black and white is the norm, but in LA, color headshots are becoming the protocol. Do not wear “busy” patterns, black, or white for your photoshoot. Your headshot should stand out, and look like the real you. It is not a "glamour" shot, and should look like your typecast. For example, if you look like the girl-next-door, please don't look like a femme fatale in your headshot. When deciding over which photographer to use, make sure you have seen their portfolio, know their rates, how many exposures you'll get, digital or film, natural or studio lighting, if hair and makeup are included, etc. I could write more advice about this section, but since I haven't taken my own headshots yet (but will, soon), I don't have much more to say.
Cover Letter
You must include a cover letter when submitting to any casting director, studio, or agency. It should be brief, but very sincere. You should tell them why they should be interested in you, your prior experience, and that your parents completely support you. Agents audition the parents as well as the kid, because the parent has to make the commitment to drive the kid to auditions and be with them 24/7 on set. Direct your letter to the exact person in charge of your department, do not merely put the name of the agency. And make sure you do not mispell their names, agents want to see that you are putting careful effort into this business.
Resume
I am hoping that before you consider auditioning for any feature film, commercial, or television show, you have some training and/or theatre experience. If you don't have any, I would advise you to enroll in some classes. Around LA, it is $400 for 10 classes. Dance classes can also be additonal training, though acting is what you will need most. Audition for school plays and community theatre for the experience! When you have some substantial credits, you are ready to write a resume. A resume generally lists your name, contact information, vital statistics, experience, training, and special talents. You can check out this resume: www.lanemanagement.com . . . to see an example of one.
If you live near a college or university, check out if they have a film department. You can see if you can audition for any student films, which is a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera.
Open Auditions
You don't see open calls much, because well, open calls are useless. Casting directors and producers get their talent through agencies, but sometimes there are a few exceptions. You can check out
mancy.com
backstage.com
nowcasting.com
actoraccess.com
for some open call submission.
Scams
John Casablancas, John Robert Powers, and Barbizon are all scams. What makes them scams? They make you pay insane amounts of money for "training" and headshots. Believe me, the best way to learn how to act is to get out and do it! Model conventions and searches are also scams. They make you pay thousands of dollars to walk across a runway for ten seconds in front of a bunch of board "agents" and "managers" who are probably too doped on caffeine to see properly. Lastly, agents that make you pay any upfrontal fee is also a warning sign.
Other Helpful Sites
www.freewebs.com . . .
www.backstage.com . . .
www.redbirdstudio.com . . .

Good luck, and keep me updated on all of your successes! If you guys need anymore advice or have any specific questions, PM me!

Edit
Look, if your parents are discouraging you from acting, I have the same situation, but don't dispair. The fact is, most child actors don't end up as famous actors when they become adults. And the thing that you should focus on most is your education, and having a childhood (yeah yeah, corny). Plus, even if your parents don't want you to get an agent, there are always school plays and community theatres to participate in. So if you have wait until the day you blow out 18 candles to get an agent, just keep on taking acting classes, dance classes, and participating in theatre. It'll pay off, I swear. Besides, if you're 14-17, Hollywood would rather hire 18 year olds who look 14-17 to play the character, because of schooling and such.

37 Replies to Want to be a famous actress?

re: Want to be a famous actress?
By dance_awaymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1664, member since Wed Nov 14, 2001
On Thu Dec 30, 2004 09:12 AM
dancedancedance9, this is such an awesome, helpful and well thought out post with links included! I'm giving you karma and saving it! Good luck with acting :)

Love Molly
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By dancegal2002 Comments: 924, member since Tue Feb 11, 2003
On Sun Jan 02, 2005 03:03 AM
Removed by imadanseur (79325) on 2005-05-23 16:50:53 Netpseak. u is a letter not a word. Please spell out full words when posting.
Thank u soooo much - very useful!! Karma to u!
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12956, member since Wed Mar 17, 2004
On Sun Jan 02, 2005 11:26 AM
I'm going to ask if this can be made sticky. It would REALLY cut down on all the questions that get asked on this board relating to what you've written and we all end up answering over and over again.
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By dani_girl_ Comments: 502, member since Thu Jun 03, 2004
On Mon Jan 03, 2005 03:37 PM
Nice one!!!

Very helpful post for everyone!!!

xXxXx
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By kirstykay Comments: 22, member since Fri Dec 24, 2004
On Wed Jan 05, 2005 05:18 AM
i would love to be in the acting scene just dont know how to
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By kirstykay Comments: 22, member since Fri Dec 24, 2004
On Wed Jan 05, 2005 05:20 AM
please reply to me ans give me some information on this acting
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By JazzyJess Comments: 54, member since Fri Dec 24, 2004
On Fri Jan 07, 2005 02:41 PM
Thanks, this cleared up a few things I was confused about!
I agree, only act if you have that special passion for it not for the money or the fame. Not every actor gets to be mega rich and famous and you just have to accept that.
thanks
By dramaqueen222 Comments: 141, member since Wed Jul 28, 2004
On Sat Jan 08, 2005 04:30 PM
i used to have an agent but then that ended after a few commercials because school was too hard and sum other stuff. But ive been wanting to get back into it this is very helpful for camera acting and stage acting because a lot of theatres are now requiring a resume and a headshot...thanks again
yay
By hyperchicken579 Comments: 26, member since Sat Jan 01, 2005
On Sun Jan 09, 2005 06:58 PM
thanx very much
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By dancer_dude8701 Comments: 541, member since Mon Mar 29, 2004
On Thu Jan 13, 2005 05:46 PM
famous ACTOR and ACTRESS not just actress lol..buit yeah, amazing post!! karma
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By AcRoKiD22 Comments: 843, member since Tue Nov 11, 2003
On Sun Jan 16, 2005 12:38 PM
Great post! My parents dont want me to do acting either, but I'm still doing lots of community theatre, and am dancing almost 6-8 hours per week. I really dont care about being famous anyways, I just want to act. lolz Karma for you!!
*June*
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By tygressmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 204, member since Sun Dec 19, 2004
On Fri Jan 21, 2005 04:35 PM
Thanks so much for this, It's basic information that I didnt know lol. karma!

~Gwen~
Acting
By dancer817 Comments: 20, member since Sat Oct 16, 2004
On Sat Jan 22, 2005 04:49 PM
those tips did help im going to be auditoning for Footloose and i didnt know what to expecct since my last audition was 2 years ago so thanks!
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By aviv Comments: 443, member since Wed Jan 26, 2005
On Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:11 AM
great tips for starting out. i feel more confident now
-a
very helpful
By NeoSoulchildmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 1488, member since Sun Dec 26, 2004
On Fri Jan 28, 2005 03:47 PM
you know what? you are the only person i know who is straight about the acting business. no one has ever been as honest, straight forward, and informative as you. you gave some information that would really help out some aspiring actors. thank you so much for your knowledge and good luck to you.
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By Arramwen Comments: 7, member since Mon Feb 07, 2005
On Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:35 PM
Wow, that was really helpful!
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By dancinchic4ever Comments: 30, member since Wed Oct 20, 2004
On Fri Feb 11, 2005 08:56 AM
WOW! thanks a bunch!!! this will help SO much!!! karma for ya!

*Tricia*
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By crunchyPremium member Comments: 4810, member since Wed Nov 05, 2003
On Tue Feb 15, 2005 07:30 PM
heads up!! KARMA!
haha. Thank you for sharing!
Allison
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By Perfect_Pointe Comments: 136, member since Thu Feb 03, 2005
On Fri Feb 18, 2005 02:03 PM
That was the most helpful post i've ever read!!!! Thank you soooooo much!!! You've answered every question i've ever had about acting and modeling! I have friends who are modeling with Barbizon and i almost joined!! I'm sooo happy I didn't!! Thanks also for the tips about teen and childhood acting!! That has been a huge dilema for me over the years!!Also I have the same problem with my parents seeming to be not too keen on the acting idea-they always say i can accomplish anything, but I don't know if they saying just to keep from hurting my feelings!! I'll wait till i'm 18 i guess!! LOL!! Your tips have been most helpful and encouraging! Thanks again!!
*~Liz~*
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By AIMDancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 846, member since Mon Jun 09, 2003
On Mon Mar 07, 2005 04:46 PM
thank you :D thank you :D thank you :D THANK YOU :D

i love acting sooo much im like obsessed with it lol and i want to start professional once i get older.. this post was SO helpful!! KARMA FOR YOU!
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By Dying2Dance Comments: 104, member since Sun Oct 17, 2004
On Wed Mar 09, 2005 05:48 PM
What a wonderful post! Those websites are great references as well... thank so very very very much!
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By pinkdancebabemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 55, member since Mon Mar 07, 2005
On Sun Mar 13, 2005 02:51 PM
Thanks so much! I really want to be an actress and your post helped A LOT! Thank-you so much for helping me!
~XoXoCassidyXoXo~
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By crunchyPremium member Comments: 4810, member since Wed Nov 05, 2003
On Mon Mar 14, 2005 04:18 AM
And when he came to Erin's sod, (4)

Image hotlink - 'http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v284/alyrie/shamrock.jpg'

Congratulations! You have found the fourth comment in the shamrock riddle!

Allison
re: Want to be a famous actress?
By Ebo1on1 Comments: 166, member since Sat Mar 12, 2005
On Tue Mar 15, 2005 03:11 PM
Thanks for the information. I give you much karma for your informative information. I will use this from now on.
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