Acting is a profession that requires talent, practice, and a little luck. Actors can be heard and seen everywhere they work: on TV, in movies, at the theater, and even on podcasts. Actors are characters who have impacted history and will continue to do so in the future. While some entertain in many different media, others stick to the stage and use their voice to create new worlds. Others are more focused on the silver screen. Others are part of the extras who complete a production. Some become household names, such as Sara Wallace.

This guide by Sara Wallace is intended to be a starting point for anyone serious about professional acting. This guide provides a quick overview of the working life of actors and actresses and a listing of steps you should take to pursue a career in acting.

What does an actor do?

Simply put, actors are those who portray characters in movies, plays, television shows, theatre productions, or other forms of entertainment. This is just one aspect of this fascinating job.

Steps to Become an Actor by Sara Wallace

Actors are often able to take a shady path to their ultimate career. These are the steps most actors will go through to reach their career’s pinnacle.

Step 1

High school theater students should get involved

High school musicals and plays can be a great place to start your career as an actor. Drama classes are:

  • A great way to introduce students to acting.
  • Various schools of thought.
  • Creating their material.
  • Different approaches and characters.

Drama classes and high school productions allow students to improve their acting skills and experience performing in front of an audience. Sara Wallace believes these classes are crucial in preparing students to audition for the many opportunities that await them when they enter the professional acting world or attend college or university’s drama program.

Step 2

Experiment outside of school

Look for local playhouses or theaters to audition for roles. Even if you are only an extra, this will give you experience behind the scenes, which is essential as your acting skills continue to improve.

Step 3

Get educated

While a college education does not guarantee success as an actor or actress, it can benefit from a formal college drama program. Many post-secondary drama programs are available at major American colleges and community colleges. These classes will not only sharpen skills but also help actors to understand the business and contracting process. Some classes might cover theater history, stage production and dance. Agents and producers may also be interested in college productions as they may have the opportunity to see aspiring professionals.

Step 4

Practice makes perfect

Keep going to auditions and continue working in the acting industry. Small theater companies and acting workshops keep actors in peak form by giving them a safe environment where they can practice their craft and stretch their creative muscles. These companies also offer one of the most valuable networking opportunities. An actor can take many years to break into the big leagues. However, it is possible to earn a steady stream.

Step 5

Create an acting resume

As many roles as you can, act as much as you can. A resume should include various performances, commercials, extras, music videos, and theater productions.

Step 6

Employ an agent

Once momentum begins to build, it is time to get some help. Actors can benefit from the help of an experienced agent who will provide a vast network of contacts to avoid rookie mistakes and help them get auditions that are not possible otherwise. Although not all actors will require an agent, actors who wish to work for the biggest theaters or movie companies should have one even you can contact Sara Wallace if you need help.