The Definitive Word on How to Become an Actor

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I get emails and comments all the time that ask the same basic question “How do I become an actor?” Often times the person asking the question is young and inexperienced; however, if one types into Google “how to become an actor” the results are staggering. There are thousands upon thousands of web sites, videos, podcasts, books, and social media exchanges related to this topic. So why are people still confused? Are they simply unsure of how to begin or does this go to a deeper question of what makes a good actor? Or are they really looking to find out what it takes to be famous?

I’ve been writing a book lately that has made me reflect a lot on this question. Here is my answer, for now,  (at least the short version, for a more in depth response, check out the book when it’s published).

To Become an Actor:

  1. Study acting: take classes, go to the theater, watch movies and TV.
  2. Study people: observe friends, family, strangers. Listen to the rhythms of people around you. Watch how they interact.
  3. Study yourself: look at yourself in the mirror, dig deep to get to know where you can and cannot go emotionally. Attempt to see yourself as others see you in the world. Develop your voice, body, and mind as tools of your trade.
  4. Start acting: put on a play, make a short film, work with fellow students on a webseries. Learn by doing as well as through practice.
  5. Develop a technique: create an approach that works for you based on your studies and your experiences. Use your technique as the foundation you build your roles on.
  6. Treat it like a job: get up every day and work toward being a better actor. Go on auditions. Keep working at it. Realize that your work has value. Be a professional.

What do you think? What advice would you give to an actor just starting out. How did you start? Do you think I should add or take away some thing?I look forward to your comments.

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