How to Make a Living as An Actor Without Moving to Hollywood – There’s a misconception that you have to live in Hollywood (or New York City) in order to make a living as an actor.
While most starring roles are cast out of New York and the Los Angeles area, and many celebrities live in those cities, there are places across the country and beyond where films, TV series, and commercials are shot, not to mention local theaters that often cast actors for plays. That includes north of the border in Vancouver, B.C. where there’s a booming filming industry and everywhere from New Orleans, Nashville and Atlanta to San Francisco, Miami, and places in between.
The reality is, if you have the skills and put in the effort, you can make a living as an actor almost anywhere.
Put Together the Proper Marketing Materials
No matter where you live, you’ve got to be able to market yourself which means you need a great 8X10 headshot and a resume that’s focused on the part you’re auditioning for which will give you credibility.
Having a website is a must these days too as it acts as your portfolio and can include reviews, photos, your resume, and social media accounts. Social media is an excellent networking tool when used right – you can follow casting directors, industry leaders, media outlets, and more. Be sure to post interesting information related to the acting industry, including clips about your latest projects.
Having a demo reel can show your confidence in front of the camera, highlight your acting skills and personality. Think of it as a commercial that’s selling yourself.
Make It Easy For Casting Directors and Producers to Find You
Having a good local agent who knows the market can be helpful as he or she will know about any projects in your area you may be able to audition for, but it also means someone else will be taking a cut off the money you earn.
You should put yourself out there to those looking for actors for hire by taking advantage of a booking app. That eliminates the middleman while helping to spread the word that you’re available for jobs. And, you won’t have to pay commissions and other fees to an agent.
Contact Local Casting Directors
Don’t simply wait for someone to find you, your job is to sell yourself which means you should contact local casting directors, submitting your headshot and resume with the link to your website. Include a cover letter that’s short and to the point, ensuring that all of your contact information is included.
Audition for Student Films and Community Theater Roles
If your local community college or another place of learning offers classes in filmmaking or others that require students to shoot films, talk to the instructor to find out how you can audition.
It’s a great way to build up your resume, getting experience in front of the camera, and if the end result is good you can use it for an acting reel. Plus, a student director could very well end up casting for a future film and remember your talent.
Don’t dismiss your town’s community theater either. You can add the experience to your resume and perhaps make some decent money at the same time.
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