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Your Questions About Actors Access

Robert asks…

How do people apply to become an actor?

I have read stories of people who didn’t try to be actors and went to the disney school for fun and ended up an actor. Where do you apply to disney and what kind of work do they do there. I was thinking of doing this because I am interested in becoming an actor.

I have no acting experience and just looking for somewhere to start. I visit Toronto and Vancouver often as I have relatives in both places, are there any opportunities to which I can apply? As for casting agencies, most are free and dont help you out but waste your time, and some you need to pay and just rip you off. Please help, this is very important to me.

admin answers:

Your chances of becoming an actor by accident are about zero, I’m afraid. Over the course of the past sixty or seventy years, there have been maybe a handful of people “discovered” and invited to try acting, but that’s not how the business works. There are no such thing as talent scouts who look for people to transform into celebrities and there aren’t places where you can apply to become an actor. Acting is like any other job in that you’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up, proving yourself at every step. TV shows and movies are way up at the top of the ladder.

Just about everyone you see on TV and in movies (including children) started out in community theater, since that’s about the only place an aspiring actor can learn while gaining the experience required to access other opportunities. If you enroll in classes at a local theater and show that you’re talented and committed to learning and mastering the craft of acting, you’ll be considered for roles in upcoming productions. Once you’ve appeared in a few of those, you’ll have the experience required to shop for an agent who may be able to find you other work. Most stage actors also work in commercials, TV and movies, so your theater peers will be able to recommend agents when you’re ready to take that step.

There are many thousands of experienced, professional actors competing for jobs every day, so directors don’t need to look for amateurs. And casting directors call agents when they’re hiring actors, since they know agents will send them actors who have enough experience to know exactly what’s expected of them on the job. TV and film production is incredibly expensive, so directors can’t afford to provide on-the-job training.

Legitimate agents (the kind who can actually help you find work) won’t represent actors who don’t already have professional experience because their reputations depend on the quality of the actors they represent. If a casting director called an agent and was sent an inexperienced actor, the casting director would not only never call that agent again, but he/she would spread the word that that agent was incompetent. Since legitimate agents work on commission (they earn a percentage of what actors are paid for jobs), they can’t afford to represent actors who haven’t already proven they’re ready to be sent into professional work environments. That’s why most agents either recruit clients from theater or rely on recommendations from actors they know and trust.

Believe it or not, most of the stories you hear about kids being “discovered” and given Disney TV shows are pure fiction. Most Disney stars have been working in theater for years. Their Disney shows may be what made them famous, but they’ve been working toward that for a long time.

Just about every young person fantasizes about becoming a famous TV or movie star, but very few of them will actually take steps toward becoming an actor. That’s because they don’t really want to become actors, but rather they want to become famous. And people whose goal is fame rarely achieve it because fame is a by-product of achievement. But if you enroll in classes at a local theater, you’ll be able to find out if you even have acting talent. And you’ll also need to figure out whether or not you’re passionate enough about acting to devote yourself to it. Most famous actors spent years working in low-profile stage productions and commercials before landing the roles for which they’re recognized. And for every actor who becomes a TV or movie star, there are thousands of actors who are just as talented and committed, but who will be lucky if they get to do a TV commercial. But real actors will continue to act whether or not they ever become famous, since acting is their passion.

Sharon asks…

My dream of becoming an actor?

Well, first let me give you a little slice of the story that is , myself.

My name is alexis gonzalez. Im 19 years old. Im not very well educated (formally). And lately, my life has hit the skids. Im living with a friend. I have a part time job. And no sight of hope. Except, when i watch a funny little hbo comedy series Entourage. And lets just say its been lifting my spirits and hopes. If you’ve never seen the show its got 6 central characters. But, only two interest me. Johnny “Drama” Chase, and of course; Vincent Chase. How they battle the odds and fate shines through and blesses each of their lives and mine. I know its all fictional or whatever. But, this rut im in isn’t at all. And i need something. Some more info about me, I didn’t graduate from highschool. I know there needs to be training. I have access to such aids like school grants, loans. Im getting my Ged before the winter. Is there any advice the prestigious community of yahoo answers can give to a friend of theirs? Thankyou.

-alexis

And i am male. 5’4. 110llbs. Brown hair, brown eyes. Light skin hispanic. I dont know if that helps?
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=150043118418528&set=a.101544556601718.2769.100002385216485&type=1&theater

admin answers:

The steps to being an actor are the steps you take.
Acting is usually one of three things: a Hobby, a Lifestyle and a Career.
Already because of the three different meanings there are three different paths.
In short, no path is the same and what worked for one person mightn’t work for someone else.

Anyone can pick Acting up as a Hobby.
Whether it be picking up a script, grabbing yourself a camera, acting it out, filming it then uploading it to Youtube. Or seeing an audition notice in a local newspaper for an upcoming play, contacting the director, attending the audition and seeing how it goes.

As a Lifestyle, you’ve decided that Acting means something more to you long term.
Therefor it may be in your best interest to get involved with Acting Classes, Acting Schools, become a Member of a Theatre Company to generate more regular Acting Opportunities. Though how you enjoy Acting as part of your Lifestyle is up to you, same as enjoying Exercise as part of your Lifestyle.

The website Starnow:
http://www.starnow.com/curtisfarrell
Provides opportunities for Actors interested in both of the above and occasional professional opportunities as well.
For Actors in Australia I recommend against AT2 as it’s very similar to Starnow – you get the same types of opportunities, though you have to pay over $100 more per year for them and they discriminate between Actors who do have an Agent and those who don’t.

If you’re after Acting as a Career there are certain things inside of your control and outside of your control.
What’s inside of your control is keeping yourself ready, centered and focused – (this is usually done by keeping yourself busy with some acting opportunity whether it’s paid or not). Having an Agent, representation, networking and looking for work.
What’s inside of your control are the avenues you have to generate work, what’s outside of your control is the work that comes in.
Lucky breaks are also outside of your control. You can do your best to be in the right place at the right time, though sometimes it’s not a matter of what you know but who you know.

When you’re ready, here’s how to Find and Apply for an Agent:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Funstuff13613?feature=mhee#p/u/4/0nUBPVIwJTE
It’s how I got mine.

Answers that give you a bulk ladder in how to become an actor are false.
As anyone can become an Actor just as anyone can become a cook.
Acting isn’t the same as being famous and Acting means many different things to many different people.

The best step for you to take, is the step that is available to you.
Once you take that step I’m sure you will gain insight as to what you’d like to pursue and what step you’d like next to take.

All the best 🙂

Nancy asks…

I need access to really good breakdowns in Los angeles.?

I have a commercial agency but not theatrical and i need to figure out how random actors get access to really good breakdowns and iam not talking about LA casting or casting frontier

admin answers:

Generally speaking, random actors don’t get access to really good breakdowns. Casting directors control who has access to their breakdowns. If a casting director wants submissions from talent representatives in New York, only talent representatives in New York can view and submit on that project. If a casting director is willing to accept submissions from actors, they release the Breakdown on Actors Access (or other similar site).

Here are some tips about using Actors Access:
http://thestrugglingactress.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-use-actors-access-effectively.html
http://thestrugglingactress.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-use-actors-access-effectively.html
http://thestrugglingactress.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-use-actors-access-effectively_29.html

Now you can do research and see what upcoming projects are coming up and who the casting directors are. Research either via the Internet or The Ross Reports to get the address of the casting office and submit directly to them if you want to try. Understand that Breakdowns are copyrighted material. You’re taking a risk if you look for some “blackmarket breakdowns” or something – it’s illegal and just wrong.

David asks…

Actors Access helppppppppppppppppp?

When one submits for a role, they should right a note in the note box.
I wanted to do something cute, so I could stand out, but someone said it will come of Unprofessional.

What should I right in there?
I mean, Do I say why i’m good for the role, or my personality or what not.

admin answers:

This is an article that was in the PerformerNation Newsletter

14 Self-Submission Tips (From 2 Production Companies) – Part I
By Holdon Log
Avoid mistakes…read this article to assist you in making the most of your self-submissions!
Http://www.holdonlog.com/pages/AN-SubTips1-0608.html

You can get the newsletter for free on their site.

It’s a 2 parter and has a lot of tips.

“Notes” are for special skills or to reconnect…not to say “hire me” or “I’m your guy”.

Michael asks…

Actors access help?!?

Yesterday I got a cmail from the casting director interested in auditioning me. I was asleep at the time for she did it late at night. Today, I was talking to my mom and she said she may be able to take me she’s not sure. Tonight, she said her friend will be able to take me to the audition. I was wondering if I replied tomorrow if I would be too late an unprofessional that I took 2 days? Oh yeah and it it ok that my moms best friend is taking me and not my mom?

admin answers:

Yea, i’ve replied 6 days later and actually got the part for that show! Aha dont worry about it. And yea that’s fine – my acting coach took me to one once. To every audition i’ve been to, they would have never known if my mom or even anyone was there with me. You just sign in and have a headshot/resume with you just in case. Then they call you when its your turn

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