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Your Questions About Acting Tips Beginners

Maria asks…

Whats my first step if i wanna become an actor?

I’m 17, male, I’m having some beginners acting books sent to me, but what else should I do? What exercises should I do to imrove my acting skills? I live in LA so where could I go for acting classes? Any advice and tips are appreciated, thanks.

admin answers:

There’s no one way to become an actor so there’s no such thing as a “first step” and you could do all the “right” steps and never make it as an actor – that’s just how the business works.

SOME things you’ll need for a professional acting career:

* Talent
* Quality acting training/classes
* Experience (on stage and in front of the camera. At first you’ll have to start with low-to-no pay jobs)
* Professional head shot
* Professional acting resume
* Acting reel (video of your on-screen work if you want to work on TV/movies)
* A licensed talent agent (good roles are cast through talent agents – not open audition or websites)
* Several well-developed monologues for auditions
* To be a member of an actors union (SAG-AFTRA for screen or AEA for stage) or at the very least an understanding of how unions work to know when/if you should join.
* An understanding of the business end of acting – the entire casting process, the players, what type of work is available in your area, industry contracts, how to best market yourself to talent agents and managers
* A good network of connections in the industry
* To be where auditions are held.
* A strong foundation and healthy ways to cope with the stress of trying to work professionally. You need to be able to handle rejection, competition and instability.
* A way to support yourself while you start your career and in between acting jobs. Every acting job is temporary — so you’ll always have to be concerned about when (and if) you’ll get another job.

I’m not familiar enough with LA to be able to recommend any acting classes – but like most things, networking is the best way to find out about things. Look at volunteering at theaters or film festivals and get to know people. Go to productions and read the blurbs and find out where the actors got their training – who they’ve worked with. Do research on the internet. Backstage.com has some helpful articles. Check out message boards too.

Checking out acting schools/programs is a good thing to do. It’s not required for a career, but it can be helpful. They’ll not only help you improve your acting skill, but a good school will prepare you for the industry. Professional acting is a business and involves a lot more than just talent agents and auditions. Plus a school is good way to start to build contacts in the industry.

Acting involves reacting and requires an audience – so doing acting exercises in your room and reading books will only gets you so far. You’re going to have to go and make yourself vulnerable in front of people. You need to audition for what you can. Research how to find auditions (even if they’re low-to-no-pay jobs for the experience).

Beware of scams and ripoffs. Most of them prey on people who mistakenly think you can be “discovered”; that all you need is “natural talent” or “the look” or “the IT factor” and once you’re noticed you’re all set. That’s not how the industry really is. Professional acting is a business and people are in it to make money not help you fulfill your dreams. So read books, articles and the like so you know what is needed to have a professional career.

Good luck.

Ken asks…

What things will I need to buy for a pet rabbit?

I am thinking about buying a rabbit and I have never owned one before so I was wondering what things I will need.

Also what rabbit breeds are good for beginners.

admin answers:

A rabbit is a great choice for a pet! 🙂

These are the items you will need in order to keep a rabbit:

-A cage/hutch (the bigger the better)
-food bowl and rabbit food
-water bottle/bowl
-hay rack and hay such as timothy hay (optional, but recommended)
-Brush (special one for rabbits)
-Bedding for the cage (straw, shredded paper…)

Some extra things are:

-nail clippers (rabbits need regular clipping)
-some rabbit toys
-an outdoor playpen
– wooden block for gnawing (UNTREATED ONLY)
-A litter box for droppings filled with straw (some rabbits need to be toilet trained)

Rabbits love to eat fresh fruit and veggies, here is a short list of safe greens:

*carrots (most popular and most favourite)
*basil
*bok choy
*Celery
*clover
*mint leaves
*apples
*pear
*oranges
*cucumber
*strawberries
*dandelion leaves
~lettuce is ok but make sure it is dark-leaved, lighter leaved types can cause diarrhea~

POISONOUS OR HARMFUL FOOD:

Potatoes and peels
Rhubarb
Lily of the valley
Lemons
Fox glove
Types of nuts
Deadly nightshade

Depending on where you live, choose a small breed.
A good breed is a dwarf rabbit or a mini lop.

Also, some good care tips are:

-trim nails about once a month
-brush fur weekly or fortnightly (depends on fur length)
-feed pellets and hay every morning
-change water every two days or so (even if it looks clean)
-clean out cage/hutch every week or so
-take your rabbit to the vet twice a year for a checkup and whenever
he/she looks sick or is acting unusual
-vaccinate your rabbit against diseases that can kill your rabbit
-rabbits are happier when with a friend
-rabbits need regular exercise
-spaying/neutering is reccomended
– if your rabbit gets bald spots, this can mean mites – take him/her to a vet, it can possibly kill

Some helpful websites:

http://voices.yahoo.com/preparing-pet-rabbit-and-303647.html?cat=53

http://www.petsathome.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Info_10601_rabbit-care-advice-home_-1_10551

http://kb.rspca.org.au/I-just-got-a-new-rabbit-Can-you-give-me-some-general-advice-on-its-care_36.html

GOOD LUCK WITH THIS NEW RABBIT OF YOURS AND
HAVE FUN CARING FOR IT!!!!

😀

Thomas asks…

Do high ranked talent agencies such as CAA, ICM, and William Morris Endeavor prefer contact via mail or email?

I have a cover letter, resume, and headshots ready but I’m just not sure whether if I should send them individually to each agency or through an agent’s email. I feel as if I sent a letter directly to the agency it wouldn’t get into the hands of an actual agent, more like a “fan letter” room, which is not my goal! Also, my headshots were done on a DSLR high quality camera but not professionally done! Is that okay? In general, I just need MUCH more tips on this process. I’m not really sure how this all works when you are just kick starting off this road. How does one before a SAG actor/actress? Explain everything! Thank you!

admin answers:

They prefer not to receive unsolicited submissions at all. These are the top agencies in LA – they only do interviews through industry referrals. You send anything unsolicited to an e-mail or their offices it’ll just be dumped.

As for your headshot – this is one of the tools you use to sell yourself to a talent agent. It’s not just a picture of you to see how you look – it’s about how you’re going to market yourself. It should give a hint of the type of acting roles you could actually book. You need to be able to communicate through this head shot to the talent agent and convince them you can book a professional job. That’s why people hire professionals to do that – to be able to help capture your personality and acting type. Agents get hundreds, if not thousands, of unsolicited submissions a week. You will have to stand out.

I think you might need more than a few tips – you need to do more research to better understand the acting industry as a whole. You don’t start an acting career with an agent – you start by getting good, quality training and experience and learning the business end of things. The best way to get an agent is through networking – so if you can impress an acting teacher/coach, director, other actor, or someone else in the industry enough that they are willing to refer you to an agent.

Agents are paid on commission – they only get paid if the actor books a professional job and they get a percentage of that. So they are picky about who they take on as clients. They are not looking for beginners. When you start out, you begin with roles in things like student films, web series, independent films and the like to get film for your show reel and demonstrate to people that you can actually do the work. These roles are basically low-to-no-pay that actors take for experience and so an agent isn’t going to help you get those. (The commission on $0 is $0 so it isn’t worth their time.) so you need to know how to find auditions on your own first.

SAG-AFTRA is a union for professional actors. Once you join, you can not work non-union jobs (which again is how beginning actors get experience). So joining the union too soon can actually hurt your career. (See http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130828183726AAVLgdx for details).

I really recommend that you research the business end of things more. Actors are not just “discovered”. No one is going to give you an acting career. Professional acing is a business and you are the product that has to be marketed and sold. So read industry trades. Backstage.com has helpful articles and advice: http://www.backstage.com/actor101/ Showfax also has articles and advice: http://more.showfax.com/columns.php . A couple of books you might want to check out include “Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business” by Bonnie Gillespie and “Acting as a Business” by Brian O’Neil. Come up with a business plan as to how you want to approach your career – then find an agent that can help you carry out that plan,

Good luck.

Lisa asks…

How Do I get Started in Acting in Film?

I really want to start acting in films (genres similar to the Transformers Movies -some action with some comedic parts) and my drama teacher and acting coach says that I have a lot of talent and that I have a very good way about me thats good for films but I don’t really know how to start getting out there. Should I get an agent or could I just go out to an audition and try my best? should I take another class?

admin answers:

Hello! I have been an actress for 9 years and I would love to help you with your question. First get her into some acting classes. Without these, she will get nowhere. Also, get some experience in acting by getting into school plays or local theater productions. She need to do both of these things. Once she has had training and experience, make a resume. You can check out the format by searching it on google. Then, you must get an 8×10 headshot of herself. Paste her resume to the back of her headshot. Now you are ready for an agent. Agents don’t cost a thing! Never ever pay an agent! They only make money if you book a job, so don’t pay an agent up front. Search “talent agencies in your town here”. You can also go to http://www.sag.org and find your market to find local talent agencies. Once you have selected a few good agencies you would like, send her resume/headshot along with a cover letter (a letter describing why you would like to be represented by their agency) to all of your local talent agencies. If they like your headshot, they will call you in for an interview. This can take anywhere from 6 days to 6 months, so never re-submit if you think they didn’t receive your submission. Never call an agency, they are too busy. Again, if they call you in for an interview, and they really think you have what it takes, they will sign you with their agency. Your agent will then find auditions for you to go on in film, television, commercials, and theater depending on your type. You can also check out http://www.startips.com/ to find out in even more detail on how to become an actress.

I wish you the best of luck in this business 😀

TIPS

NEVER attend acting classes at places like John Robert Powers, Barbizon, ProModel, or iPOP! They are complete scams, and they will cost you thousands of dollars. I have talked to many agents and they have said they DO NOT like to see that on your resume. If you have taken classes there, I suggest just putting the teacher’s name instead of where you have taken the “classes”. A good acting class for beginners should not cost more that three hundred dollars, if that.

Don’t be an actress or actor if you are aiming for fame. You should pursue acting for the love or passion, not because you want to be famous like your favorite stars. It is most likely that you will never be famous, so don’t make that your goal. However, if you try hard, you may have a chance.

NEVER pay an agent up front. Agents only make 10% of what you make when you get a paid job in commercials, television, film, or theater.

You DON’T have to live in LA or NYC to become a star! There are many acting opportunities across the country in different markets.

NEVER say that you are a great actor. Number one, you sound rude and conceited, and number two, agents and casting directors don’t like it. A good actor always think he/she can improve. Nothing wrong with confidence, just always think you can improve.

Don’t think that you can’t be on television because you don’t have the right “look”. Agents and casting directors need actors of all ages and body types, so don’t bring yourself down over that.

You should also take some dance or voice lessons instead of just acting classes. Not only will they help you, but agents and casting directors like to see more talent than just acting.

ALWAYS have a backup plan. There is no guarantee that you will make it in this business, book a job, or even make a living or any money! If you are going to college for acting or theater, I suggest making acting your minor, and make your major something more realistic. If you are still young, always have some kind of other job not related to showbiz to fall back on.

You NEED your parents support. They will be the ones to pay for your classes, headshots, etc., and to drive you to auditions. If you don’t have your parent’s support, talk to them and say that you do have a backup plan, but you would really love to just try acting as a hobby or to see if you can make it in the business. If they say no, then I would suggest performing a monologue for them to show them what you’ve got. Get into school plays to showcase your talent to them.

Your parent’s NEED to have a flexible schedule. Once you have an agent, they will call you with as little as a 1 hour audition notice. Your parents/guardians have to be able to pull you out of school, leave in the middle of their work day on a drop of a hat to drive you to auditions. I would suggest talking to your parents about a plan to help you get to audition to audition.

When you go to an audition with an agency or any professional audition, don’t bring siblings or other relatives. Just bring 1 parent and yourself.

Sandy asks…

Will listening to learning Cds during the night help you learn a language better?What are some good tips?

I was wondering if i play my how to learn Spanish CD at night that i will be able to learn the language better is this true? If not can someone give me some good tips on how to remember and speak languages better?
EDIT: Yeah but im also really nervous to talk to people who speak the language because i feel like i either A) Have a thick accent or B) Might be saying the wrong words and get laughed at
Is there any way to over come this fear as well?

admin answers:

To the CD question: I agree. It’s not going to work. You have to be active and enjoy the process. Because I loved speaking Spanish to everyone and anyone, I improved quickly. BUT on the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to immerse yourself in Spanish.

**To the fear question: You can do tons of things:
I think the best advice I ever got was: find a person who is the same level Spanish as you (If you’re a beginner find another beginner). Pick a time (like a 1 hour coffee break) and a place that doesn’t have a lot of Spanish speakers (like a Starbucks in a non-Latino area), and speak Spanish to each other. If it helps plan beforehand what topics you’re going to talk about. And just speak.

Since both of you are at the same level, you’ll both make a lot of mistakes. That’s actually really good! You learn through mistakes. And don’t worry about picking up your friend’s mistakes. First is that your build your confidence. Once you get used to talking nonstop for 30 minutes to an hour or more, then take the next step: talk to someone who is more advanced (or even a native speaker).

Also, try the little things. Order in Spanish at a Mexican restaurant. Speak in full sentences. If the waiter responds in English ask him if your Spanish was correct.

**To the accent issue
Watch Spanish TV and repeat back what they are saying. The more dramatic and exaggerated the show, the better. Imitate the character as much as you can. Act along with them and really get into it. TRUST ME it works wonders on your accent.

**To the saying wrong words issue
Memorize some set phrases and dialogues from your Spanish lessons. For example, go to the unit on ordering at a restaurant and making friends. Practice the dialogues repeatedly (in front of a mirror, with your new friend, whatever). When you get in a situation where you have to speak to a native speaker, the correct phrasing and grammar will come out automatically. You can get creative and play around with sentence structure later. For now, just start talking.

¡Buena suerte!

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