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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Answering a Reader Question #345
hi Dania i have a question about acting. how do i get an acting agent. what is the process to get started with acting. I did several plays throughout middle school and high school. however, the last play i did was when i was 18yrs old can i include those plays on my resume right now all i have are my stats from modeling my height and other measurements i was hesitant about adding previous work from high school because i wasn't sure if they were too old. I feel that since i haven't done any performing since I was 18 I figured I'm starting from square 1 brand new. So I would love a step by step approach pursuing acting seriously and hopefully finding an agent I'm a new freelance model but I want to become a freelance actress is that possible is there a M.M for actors. Oh and I would prefer to act for television and film, theater is great but I'd rather be on camera than on stage. I prefer to be on camera I'm fine with starting with small roles I would love to do commercials too is it OK to do some extra/background work or is that frowned upon. I just want guidance on how to restart my career now that I'm 24 and I live in NYC.
Hi, Anonymous! To answer your initial questions, yes, you can include that previous acting experience. However, I would only include the high school stuff instead of middle school. Although that was some time ago, those all count as experience gained for acting so feel free to add those to your resume. You can definitely do acting freelance, so no worries there. Unfortunately, there isn't an MM for actors as far as I know. But that's okay, you've still got options to work with. Seeking background/extra work is recommended and many working actors--as well as newbies or those picking it back up--do this type of work on a regular basis as part of their careers. It's definitely not frowned upon...and you get paid!
Based on the info you've given me, here is your step-by-step guide for pursuing acting freelance in the New York area:
1. Get your professional actor headshot, if you don't already have one. If you want to use your modeling headshot, that's fine, but make sure it isn't too "model-ish." I hope you get what I mean, lol. Actor headshots are less glamorous and should have you with a nice, natural smile.
2. Have a resume you can submit to gigs (don't forget to include your stats and contact info on there as well).
3. Get registered on NY casting agency sites. This is going to be your main resource for finding work. You're in the perfect market so you've got tons of casting sites to choose from and you can register with more than one if you want. You can also choose the type of projects you want to submit to.
4. Start putting together material for your "demo reel." This can be done by working with student directors or submitting yourself to castings they offer "footage for your reel." You'll need to know someone that does video editing in order to have your reel put together so that you can use that to further market yourself as an actor.
5. Take acting workshops/classes. There are plenty of affordable classes, workshops, seminars, etc. Always work on your craft, especially in the NY market where the competition is stiff.
Casting agencies are not modeling/talent agencies and there is no contract or commissions they take out. They basically allow you to register with them, create a profile with your photos, resume, etc. online and will then send you alerts (typically via email) anytime a project comes up that matches your preferences. You can submit your profile electronically to clients and they'll automatically receive your headshot, resume and other profile details. Then they'll contact you directly if they want you to audition.
Most casting sites charge a monthly or yearly fee--some more affordable than others and vice-versa. But you can tailor your profile how you see fit and pay accordingly for the services you want. There are a few that are also free. Below are just a few of the many you can check out for yourself in order to get familiar with casting sites:
New York Casting
Casting Networks, Inc.
I currently use SFCasting.com, which is a sister site of Casting Networks, Inc. The structure is pretty much the same, except they only target the San Francisco market (but that site also exists for the New York market). I currently pay $15/month for the following services:
* Unlimited photo uploads
* Unlimited submissions (if you don't have this, it's $0.99 to submit to each casting)
* Unlimited media clip submissions (I have my demo reel and other video samples of my acting work that clients can see)
Having a demo reel will be your most valuable asset in getting legit work. Resumes are great but when clients can see you in action, that is what gets your foot in the door faster.