Cons Of Becoming An Actor Without Going To College
There is a chance that by not going to college, you will have a harder time landing roles in productions. This could be a result of your lack of experience or training, or it could be that some people in the industry wont take you seriously without formal education.
In fact, many of the successful actors who made it without going to college, still had some form of training or took professional classes elsewhere.
Many well-known actors have made it in the business without a theater degree, but what they did get is proper training, said Denise Simon, a New York City-based acting coach in an interview with Backstage. The industry is looking for smart, well-rounded actors. Where you learn that is up to you.
Without formal education and experience gained in college, you may also lack confidence compared to fellow actors who have a degree.
One Last Thought On Dallas
Despite its ups and downs, Vildasol loves his life as a working Dallas actor and even more so when keeping in mind one final piece of advice he wants all actors across the region to keep in mind: Just because you work in Dallas, doesnt mean you cant also work elsewhere, too!
Vildasol has watched a number of his more experienced peers become what he refers to as commuting actors.
Its navigating: How much can you utilize what Dallas has to offer and, at the same time, understanding that if you want it, you can go from working within this specific region and expand into other markets.
Whatever your path, in Dallas or outside of it, Vildasol says one thing remains most important for actors: Be grateful for whats in front of you, and recognize every opportunity is a chance to learn or grow or try something new.
Ready to launch your career? Casting Networks has the latest Dallas auditions and casting calls so you can get started today.
Some facts about the Dallas film industry from DallasCreates.org:
Make Your Passion For Acting Worth It
Every actor has a limited amount of years of passion for acting. It does not last. Most people’s passion lasts anywhere from three to five and, at most, 10 years.
So if you have what it takes, the chance of booking a TV guest star, co-star, or even series regular role in 3 years is easier in LA. The chance of getting in a production on or off Broadway could take up to 10 years, even for supporting roles.
Also, the pay compared to the two is ridiculous. The weekly SAG minimum for television is $3,575, while the Actor’s Equity Association weekly minimum is around $2,034. Passion only survives if we nurture it. Think of it as a bonfire if you don’t feed it, it will go out. In our business, booking jobs feeds the flame. That’s the only way your passion will survive for as long as you need it and there’s more booking happening in LA than NYC.
Don’t forget that passions and priorities change over time. Things like starting a family will change your priorities. Once you choose that different path, your passion for acting will no longer be the priority, so keep that in mind.
The bottom line is there is a time limit to your acting passion. Better to take full advantage of it in the beginning than later and LA will help nurture it more than NYC could.
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The Importance Of The Insider Connection
Talent isnt always enough to succeed as an actor in New York City. The truth is that inside, industry connections are absolutely essential if you want that talent to be seen by the people who matter. Without the proper network, your talent may bloom, but it might as well be a flower in an alley. Nobody will ever see it. Actors Connection does more than just teach you how to nurture that talent. We introduce you to the industry insiders that can help that talent get the recognition it deserve, whether on stage or on screen.
Through our acting seminars, youll work one on one with talent scouts, agents and casting directors who professionally work and act in New York City. Get your talent the recognition it deserves with the inside connection that can help you get that big break.
One Thing Every Dallas Actor Needs
Along with a thick skin and seemingly supernatural ability to keep going, there is one other thing every actor in Dallas needs. And according to Vildasol, its basically non-negotiable.
Youre gonna need a car here in Dallas, he says. It is a city that is hustle and bustle and it is a city that was made for roads and cars.
Unless you want to waste half your day getting to a single audition in Dallas and then run late to your next one, its likely wise to heed the advice of a Dallas expert. Next stop, the DMV!
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Get The Best Tips On Living And Working On Broadway From Our Experts
So you just moved to New York City, and you have big dreams about being an actor on Broadway. How do you turn those dreams into a reality? There’s no exact science when it comes to getting started, but I’m here to provide you with a few tips on how to get started with auditioning and getting acclimated to life in the big city.
Numbers All Actors Should Know
- 40-60 Submissions This is how often full-time, working actors submit themselves each month.
- 10-20 Auditions This is how many times full-time working actors audition each month.
- 3-5 Bookings This is how often full-time working actors book real, paid acting jobs each and every month.
actual, real numberswho didn’t just get luckyThose busy, working actors started at the beginningHow do I get taken seriously by casting directors when I don’t have good credits or footage? And how do I get credits/footage without being taken seriously by casting directors?
- “Should I take another acting class?”
- “Do I need better headshots or should I pay to shoot a reel?”
- “What’s the fastest way to get an agent?”
TacticsStrategystrategyThat’s why “strategic thinking” is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself as an actor.strategically.
- Book Broadway roles
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A Couple Things You Should Know
There Is No Age Limit to ActingThe beautiful thing about acting is there is no age limit you can begin acting at 14 in school, or at 64 after retirement or anywhere in between. We even have students in their 70s and 80s that are learning the craft so its never too early or too late to begin acting.
Acting: A Talent or a Skill?
You Dont Have To Live In Nyc Or La For A Successful Career
Over my 30-plus years as a full-time actor and model, the top myth I hear from actors at all stages of their careers is that if you dont move to New York or Hollywood, you will never be successful. While its true that the majority of starring and guest-starring roles are cast out of New York and Los Angeles, you can become a very successful actor in your current market if you know what to do and where to look.
The biggest difference between work available in big versus smaller markets is the frequency and consistency of opportunities and project size. In New York and L.A., new projects are consistently being cast and will range from low-budget to major motion pictures and television shows. In smaller markets, where the majority of actors live, new projects dont always happen with as much regularity and the size of these projects is usually smaller.
However, youd be amazed by how many great projects happen outside of major markets. For example, over the last 20 years, Baltimore, Maryland has been home to quite a few award-winning shows, including HBOs The Wire and VEEP , and Netflixs House of Cards. In fact, Ive been lucky enough to book several national television commercials after auditioning in a smaller market.
So if you are living in a small market, how do you become a successful actor?
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How To Become An Actor In New York
From Broadway to Blue Bloods to Breakfast at Tiffanys, New York is a mecca for the arts. So whether you are considering a move to New York to launch your acting journey, or are already a local, here are some tips from an actress who has been creating her career in the city that never sleeps.
Casting Networks had the privilege of speaking with one of New Yorks working actresses, who has shared with us her thoughts about the business of acting in NYC, how to survive the hustle and bustle, the importance of self-care, and some tips for thriving as an actor in New York.
Erika Longo got her foundation in acting classes at the Terry Schreiber studio, an acting school in Chelsea. There, she discovered her voice and inspiration. This passion led her to student films and indies, where she got her first experience being on set and obtained footage for her reel. After that, she went in search of a talent agent in New York and found very supportive representation that she is grateful for. She has been acting professionally ever since, and now owns her own self-tape studio, Midtown Self-Tapes.
A New York actress whose credits include Law and Order: SVU, FBI: Most Wanted, and The Endgame, Longo zoomed in to discuss some of her passions as an actress and takeaways on how to be an actor in New York City.
Keep Up With What Is Happening In The Entertainment Industry
Dont go into this blind. Nothing irritates me more than meeting an actor who doesnt watch TV or isnt up to date on what is going on in film, TV or theater. This is your job!
My favorites are The Hollywood Reporter and Variety for film and TV news. Backstage is good as well. And of course, Daily Actor, with our actor interviews and articles where actors talk about the craft of acting.
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How Should I Prepare
Before moving interstate to spend pilot season in New York get local representation. Freelancing during pilot season is a huge waste of time. You need a team of people on your side to get you pilot auditions. Pilot season is hectic and you cant do it on your own. Make sure you update your headshot, resume, and showreel before you approach agents.
You should also read our self-taping equipment guide in case youre asked to self tape!
Being based in New York will give you greater access to pilot auditions than say Houston, Sydney or London, but LA is the place to be during pilot season. Even if a series is shooting in New York, the lead roles will be cast nationally/internationally.
Get yourself an agent or a manager and go for it this pilot season!
Looking For A Challenge Try A Professional Acting Career
Having lived and worked as an actor in New York, I can say from personal experience that you will never know how hard it is until you try it for yourself. That said, there is an amazing community of actors, writers, directors and designers living in New York, and so if you have a true love of theatre and performance, you couldnt ask for a better playground to skin your knees. But: your knees will not come away unscathed pursuing a career in NYC theater from what will likely include countless auditions, cattle calls, and productions that you yourself would not pay to see.
Many kids want to be an actor when they grow up. They see their idols performing crazy acts on the screen, and want to be like them. It might seem impossible to get into the world of acting. But there are so many shows being produced nowadays that you can easily find a spot in some offshoot comedy.
Its not the most fashionable, but you have to start from somewhere. But before getting into the action, youd do better by attending an acting school. As the home to Broadway, New York is the ultimate dream for many actors. They want to be a part of it, and this means attending one of the best acting schools in NYC.
Aspiring stars can easily find several options if they search online. The problem comes when they try to narrow down their choices based on reviews or personal preferences.
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Interim Jobs For Actors
In all likelihood, you will not be able to support yourself as an actor right off the bat. You’ll want to find a job that pays decently and provides you with enough hours, while providing you scheduling flexibility to be able to audition. The go-to, of course, is waiting tables. Earning tips at a restaurant can be a great way to make a living and pay your bills while you focus on auditioning. Other options include tutoring – many SAT/ACT tutoring companies pay very well and allow you to create your own schedule. I also recommend fitness, for those of you who are inclined that way. Many dancers especially go this route because its a way to make money while staying physically fit and in shape – something that’s very important, especially in musical theatre.
In all of these cases, if you haven’t moved yet/are still in school, I recommend getting some experience prior to moving. Whether you’re in high school, college, or just living in a city outside New York, try to get a job waiting tables, teaching fitness classes, whatever sounds most appealing. Jobs in New York City are incredibly competitive, and you’ll be much better suited to get a great gig right off the bat if you have a decent resume, experience, and references. It’s not a necessity, but if you have the time before moving, it’s definitely worth exploring.
Meet Special Guest Top Hollywood Talent Manager Dave Mckeown Who Helped Start The Careers Of:
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- Lovie Simone Oprah Winfreys Greenleaf and more!
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Professional Training For Actors Directors Playwrights
LOCATION: 248 W 35th St. 14th Floor, New York, NY 10001
The Acting Studio – New York is an acting conservatory studio of distinction located in the heart of the world-famous New York City theatre district. The Studio founding director, James Price, who was a personal friend and protégé to the legendary acting instructor Sanford Meisner, and his staff of Studio associates have been training actors, directors and playwrights ongoing since 1983.The acting programs and acting classes are designed to train actors, directors and writers who seek professional careers in the fields of Film, Television and Theatre. With our studio training offered in conjunction with off off Broadway’s Chelsea Repertory Company, and with our extracurricular acting and directing opportunities available to all of our acting, directing, play writing students and studio alumni through the Chelsea Rep LABs, along with the success of many of our students has earned the Studio recognition for developing award-winning talent.
The Acting Studio – New York ranks as one of the most-respected schools for acting classes in New York City.
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT: The Acting Studio New York stands in solidarity with communities of color and with all those who, through their participation in peaceful, non-violent protest, seek justice for acts of violence against people of color by law enforcement and an end to the systemic racism that pervades our culture.
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Open Casting Calls Don’t Always Go Well
“I’m sure you have been on a casting or go-see where the photographer, designer, or client is not impressed by what they see. Maybe it’s because you didn’t know how to pose, the lighting wasn’t right, your makeup was too much for the look of the shoot…etc.” I had one lousy go-see that stuck with me even today. When I went to this casting, I forgot I was going in as a fashion model, not a commercial print model. So understanding this and knowing how acting is different than modeling and how you enter the audition room v.s. the casting room is significant, and once you know those dynamics, you can become anything and adjust yourself according to what you’re going out for.
So being able to walk is very important understanding what the vibe is is also very important. There are tons of resources and tools available for any of you to learn those traits or those skills. But overall, again, all this can be discovered via YouTube, so you don’t really need to spend any money or anything like that. Some of these courses come with direct connections to people that have been there and have done what you need to. Not only that, they have access to a community rather than you having to learn everything on your own the hard way. So never be afraid to pay for something valuable. I don’t know if there’s a modeling Bootcamp. I haven’t seen one. I’m pretty sure that somewhere online offers that, but you just have to be careful of scams. Again, you can learn all these things on YouTube too.
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