How To Become an Actor With No Experience
When it comes to filmmaking, there are a lot of moving components that go into crafting a good movie.
Everyone from the screenwriter at the beginning, to the production managers putting together their crew, to the production assistants/location managers ensuring that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes, the set dressers and construction crews building sets that will blend in with the actors’ performances, to the producers who oversee the film production, the film director who oversees the film production, the film director who controls the artistic and dramatic aspects of the film and visualizes the screenplay, and the actors who bring a script to life.
Regardless of how many crew members are engaged in a film project, the performers are the ones who may make or break it. Acting is an important part of filmmaking because it brings a script to life. Acting is what binds the film together; it’s what draws the audience in and allows them to follow the characters on the big screen.
For many people, becoming a successful actor is a dream come true. Acting is a difficult yet very rewarding, and most importantly, enjoyable profession. However, many people wonder where to begin on the path to becoming an actor when they are first starting out.
If you’re new to acting, it can be difficult to know where to begin pursuing your dream of being an actor if you haven’t even read a line from a script.
Many individuals are put off by the fact that they don’t have any acting experience, but with hard effort, patience, and a little luck, anything is possible. This article will break down the top 10 techniques for becoming an actor with no experience if you are an actor with no experience seeking assistance on how to become a full-time actor.
How To Become An Actor With No Experience - 10 Best Tips
Learning How To Read Lines
One of the most important aspects of becoming an actor for a newcomer is learning to read lines and memorize them. I remember trying to figure out how to learn lines when I first started learning the discipline of acting.
When it comes to learning how to write lines of a screenplay, there is no better way to learn than to practice. To begin learning how to memorize lines, purchase a book of monologues and set a goal for yourself to memorize one or two every week.
Go over and over the lines of a monologue’s text until you are entirely fluent with it, forwards and backward, till it’s ingrained in your muscle memory.
This is an excellent practice for improving your memorizing skills, and you’ll also have a new audition or acting class material at your disposal.
You may also try practicing scene work with an acting friend once you’ve gotten the hang of remembering monologues. Zoom has been a blessing in disguise for me as an actor since it allows me to perform scene work with an acting partner at any time and in any location.
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Casting calls and auditions will be numerous for an actor with no prior experience. Because of the current pandemic, many casting call auditions are now conducted by self-tapes rather than in person.
Self-tapes are an important aspect of any actor’s career, and it’s critical that you know how to do them so that you’re confident in your ability to perform when the opportunity arises.
Self-tape auditions aren’t common depending on where you live, so it’s important to practice scenes or monologues on your own during downtime to be ready when the time comes.
The benefit of performing self-tapes at home is that you may learn how to set up your camera equipment, learn lines, play a scene without guidance, and then assess how well it worked out without the added pressure of a casting director watching.
Additionally, various online social media groups perform daily self-tapes as a method to practise together and provide feedback to one another. This is a terrific way to gain constructive feedback on your performance and network with other performers.
Learn How A Script Reads
Scripts are written in a specific format, and as an inexperienced actor, you must learn to understand them. Learning how to read scripts will help you better understand sides for auditions, and the best part is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Scripts are widely available online, and you should spend time reading a screenplay each week and envisioning how you would act in a scene.
Take time to consider what a character you’ve chosen says, what they truly mean, and what other characters have to say about the character you’re studying, all while keeping an eye on the wider storey arc and the character’s goals within it.
This can help you improve your reading technique the next time you have to read a script for an audition or a job.
Read screenplays to learn which components are crucial to a character, how a screenwriter provides hints for an actor’s performance, and how this is communicated on screen.
To learn how to correctly read a screenplay, I subscribed to the YouTube series “From Script to Screen,” which is really worth watching if you want to see how a script looks on paper versus what you see on the big screen. As an example, take a look at the video below.
Start An Acting Group
While you can learn monologues and practice self-tapes, nothing beats working in a scenario with other actors. It might be difficult to make lines on paper sound genuine when practicing your acting craft at home, which is why working with other actors is essential for improving your acting skills.
In any town, there is an aspiring actor like you trying to improve their skills, which is why it’s beneficial to gather a group of other actors (in person or via Zoom) and read over scripts together.
Everyone has the chance to practice their readings, engage with other actors, and potentially pick up a new skill set while they’re at it by having a meet-up.
Take a screenplay with a lot of characters and assign characters ahead of time, swap between acts, or go around in a circle changing characters every new line to make it as even as possible.
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Read Newspapers and Magazines
Reading and memorizing monologues might become tedious after a while, so why not purchase a few newspapers and magazines and read the pieces aloud?
This is an excellent practice for a new actor since it teaches you how to be creative with your delivery of the lines. The first time you read an article, pay attention to how the author wrote it.
Then repeat the same material aloud, but this time make it sound like you’re sharing a story with a friend down the pub.
This is a difficult exercise to perfect since you are trying to learn to speak naturally rather than forcing yourself to do so. You want to make anything sound as natural as possible, so you take someone else’s words written in a different voice and make them your own.
Make a Demo reel
After you’ve practiced your self-tapes and have a few monologues under your belt, you might want to consider making a demo reel.
The benefit of making a demo reel is that it allows a casting director and maybe an agent to see how you look on video before bringing you in for an audition.
In an ideal scenario, you’d have multiple clips of onscreen performances from the past that you could put together to create a really great sizzle reel to wow a talent agent, but an actor with no experience will have to be inventive.
A self-tape can be used to illustrate your acting ability for your showreel, or even just shooting a scene with some buddies can be quite successful.
Just keep in mind that your demo reel is an opportunity for you to demonstrate what kinds of roles and characters you can play professionally.
Casting Workshops & Webinars
When you’re a new actor, now is the best time to get your feet wet and learn everything you can.
Casting Workshops are a great way for any actor, whether or not they are a member of the actors union, to perform in front of a casting director and get some helpful criticism.
While the pandemic is always changing, and in-person seminars may or may not be available at this time, there are multiple weekly online casting webinars or Q&As that are a great way to learn what professional Hollywood directors are looking for.
Furthermore, certain casting websites are usually free, and you can use them from the comfort of your own home.
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Seek Out Opportunities
There are plenty of options for an actor with no experience to display their talent online, with various acting competitions to help kick-start your career as an actor.
These websites are frequently free or low-cost to join. Monologueslam is a platform created to help unsigned artists gain representation by showcasing them to high-level film industry executives.
Acting & Voice Studios is another talent website that hosts virtual showcases where performers can perform a scenario of their choice, demonstrates their acting skills, and receive valuable critique from a panel.
They also advocate following up with the agents and managers on the panel after the showcase to thank them for meeting with you and providing comments on your performance. This puts you in direct contact with the people who will help you launch your acting career.
Attend auditions. Experience is more important than anything else for rookie actors. You’ll most likely have to start with free work, but you’ll develop experience and be able to list each role on your resume. Volunteer to appear in a commercial for a local auto dealership, for example. Audition for plays or student films at your local institutions. These free projects can help you develop your résumé while also getting you in the habit of auditioning and performing. There is no better way to learn how to act than to practice it.
Volunteer On Non-Union Short Films
For many actors with no experience, volunteering their time on low-budget films is a major step.
If you don’t have an agency and want to add to your demo reel, there’s no better way to do so than to keep an eye on open casting calls for low-budget productions.
Acting in short films is a terrific opportunity to learn about the filmmaking process while also honing your collaborative process as an actor.
Today, more short films are being produced than ever before. Why?
More filmmakers are trying their hand at making movies based on their dreams and creative exploration of storytelling thanks to the availability of filmmaking camera equipment. Making short films is not only a great way for a filmmaker to hone their craft, but it’s also a great way for an actor to get noticed and earn acting experience.
Working in a short film can help you get more employment as an actor while also allowing you to be seen at film festivals and online. You never know who is watching, and each year, hundreds of anecdotes are reported of performers who have advanced in their careers as a result of being seen in a short film.
Working in short films indicates that you are actively employed, which signals to casting directors, agencies, filmmakers, and producers that you are actively engaged in your area.
So keep an eye out for casting calls on local Facebook groups and student film postings in your region, and send your headshot and résumé to any project that suits your profile.
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Become An Actor With No Experience Summary
Do you want to learn how to become an actor without any prior experience? Take advantage of the opportunity! Numerous websites provide opportunities for unsigned actors to find jobs.
Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find parts for free by joining groups dedicated to casting calls or following casting directors and creatives.
While the road to becoming an actor can be arduous and time-consuming, it is an essential part of the process, especially when you are just starting.
All you have to do now is leave your ego at the door and get to work. Being involved in the film community is the quickest method to gain expertise and exposure in front of the camera or on stage. There is always that gem in the rough that can catapult you to the next level, therefore no part is too small.
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About the author: Trent (IMDB | Youtube) has spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.