So, you want to be an Actor? The first thing that is probably coming into your head is where do I start? I want to be an Actor but how do I even begin a career as an Actor? A lot of people when beginning their acting career ask these questions. There are many different routes into acting, but they all result in the same thing – getting experience. Some routes may be closer and easier than you think.
Secondary school, college, or university
If you are still at school, secondary school or sixth form college, these can be great places to start acting. You’ve probably already taken drama classes and may have done some scenes from a few plays and improvisations here and there. Try out and audition for the next school play. School plays are great opportunities to gain experience and get a sense of what it’s like to be involved with a production. Of course, these can be quite nerve-racking and that’s normal, but the more you get involved with drama classes either as a part of your studying or extracurricular activities, the more your confidence will grow, preparing you for experiences like auditioning for the next school play.
Even if you’re in higher education, most universities have a drama club or society. Join them, have fun playing drama games, exploring plays new and old and even putting on student productions. You never know, you could even take the production to a fringe festival. A fringe festival is an arts festival where Actors, Dancers, Comedians and a variety of Performers and Performance Artists put on shows in small-scale theatres and venues.
There are lots of Saturday classes that specialise in acting and are sometimes run by people who work within the acting industry. These Saturday schools could be set up by your local theatre, performing arts schools and or drama schools.
At Saturday schools you’ll play games, explore scenes, and learn how to improvise with very little stimulus. They help you start to build up your confidence by using your instincts as an Actor. The class lengths vary from school to school but tend to operate during term times.
Most theatres in major cities tend to have programmes that allow young people from the local community to get involved with the building. These tend to be in the form of workshops, training or even productions that get staged.
The great thing about getting to do these programs or workshops in these theatres is that you see what it’s like to work within a professional theatre. You get to work with Directors and Coaches who’ve worked on professionally produced plays and/or musicals. Not only do they give you invaluable skills on how to bring a character to life from page to stage, they also offer great mentorship to guide you in the right direction.
Some theatres will have annual youth companies that will devise and produce a play with a full creative team, meaning you’d be working with a Playwright, Director, Producer, Costume, Lighting and Sound Designers to create a play tailored for you.
Keep an eye out on your local theatre’s Twitter page and website to see what opportunities they have for you to get involved and start your acting journey.
As you grow in experience and confidence, you may consider auditioning for drama school to get even more training and skills to apply to your craft. You do not necessarily need a degree or drama school training to be an Actor. Read more in Get Into Theatre’s blog post, Do I need a degree to be an Actor?
For more advice on a career as an Actor, check out these blog posts:
- What does an Actor/Performer do?
- What does an Actor Musician do?
- Do I need an Agent? How do I get an Agent?
- How to write an acting CV
- Top 10 tips on how to self-tape and audition online
- How to be an Actor with Amy Trigg
- How to become an Actor with Gemma Dobson
- What is the best advice on getting into drama school for musical theatre training?
- How to tackle nerves and anxiety before an interview or audition
- How to prepare for a drama school audition
- What is the best advice for getting into drama school as an Actor?
Get out there and have fun. I can’t wait to see you on stage sometime.
Written by Asa Haynes
I'm a Playwright and Actor from London. I studied at Mountview from 2015 - 2018 on the acting course.
Blog image: Photo by Obie Fernandez on Unsplash
Published: 26 January 2022