How To Start An Acting Career – 10 Steps

Are you an upcoming or talented actor interested in pursuing a career in acting, or do you have certain skills that make you believe you can be a good professional actor? Well, it’s not too late to turn your dreams into a reality.

Acting is one of the most lucrative forms of art. Johnny Depp made $90 million in his role in the Pirates of the Caribbean, while actors such as Will Smith and Bruce Willis have grossed hundreds of millions in acting roles. Therefore, this may be one of the best careers to pursue. However, just like any other act, acting is not easy. It requires lots of practice, auditioning, and above all, patience. It is also highly competitive, especially if you venture into method acting. All in all, you can make it with the right amount of dedication. We will guide you on how you can begin your acting career, but first, let us look at some of the skills every actor needs.

Skills Needed In Acting

Every profession requires certain skills from those intending to pursue them. Here is what you need to be an amazing professional actor:


Acting is all about creativity. Art as a whole requires one to be creative. You should be able to think outside the box and be inventive if you decide to pursue such a career. We also advise that you develop your creativity in other related areas, such as drawing, to make you suitable for several roles.


You will not have time to read through your notebook or guide when on screen. Therefore, an actor must be able to memorize lines and be as accurate as possible. However, some types of acting, such as method acting, allow a little deviation from the set lines while on-screen, even though that still requires you to be creative and spontaneous.


You will perform before thousands or even millions of people as an actor. In fact,  your interaction with an audience begins from the auditioning stages, and therefore, knowing how not to let other people’s perceptions affect you while on stage is thus important. It will help you avoid making avoidable mistakes. If you are serious about pursuing a career in acting, you may as well start working on your confidence.


You won’t be acting alone. Almost all types of acting have more than one actor, meaning that you should know how to work well with others. Keep in mind that you may sometimes be paired with someone you don’t like in real life, but that shouldn’t reflect in your acting. Therefore, knowing how to get along with others on set, despite any conflicts you may have had during auditioning or in your personal lives, is key.

Ability To Learn

Acting is all about learning. People who have been to drama schools know that learning is one of the most vital skills for an actor. Without adequate learning skills, you will not grasp a new acting technique or move. Being able to learn quickly will help you easily jump into new skills. You should start sharpening your learning skills as early as now if you intend to thrive in this field.

Singing Skills

It is well known that some of the best drama schools worldwide have mandatory weekly singing classes. It allows you to work on your voice, which is important for an actor. Remember, you don’t need to have an angelic voice to get into acting, just some vocal work that can help you hum a tune.

10 Steps to Start An Acting Career

Working on the above skills will give you a competitive edge in the acting world and help you fit in various roles. Now that you know what to improve, it’s time to start an acting career. Here are ten proven steps:

1. Start Small

You don’t need to move to New York or Los Angeles at the beginning of your career. Even though your dream of becoming the world’s best actor is valid, it takes time to reach such heights unless you are extremely exceptional. We don’t disagree that the places mentioned above have many opportunities, but they are flocking with several talented actors, making them highly competitive, especially for beginners.

If you have been thinking of moving to a place with the world’s greatest actors, this may not be the right time. We advise you to start with your hometown or a smaller city, gain experience, work your way up, and make a move once you are comfortable enough. Remember, you’d rather first be a star in your hometown or city rather than begin your career in a place with thousands of stars.

2. Look For Camps And Workshops

You need to polish your acting skills, which is best done by taking acting classes. An acting class does not have to last the entire day; some take as little as one hour. You should find fellow actors or acting instructors who will help you work on your confidence and technique and offer you general knowledge about acting ahead of your first audition.

Fortunately, there are several camps and workshops that you can enroll in to kickstart your acting career. If you are a beginner, a beginner camp will do. All in all, pick somewhere you will not feel out of place.

3. Further Your Education By Taking Up Acting Classes

Even though camps and workshops will give you fundamental knowledge about acting, they are not enough. You should and will have to take acting classes, which you must know how to choose. You wouldn’t want to spend two hours every day on classes that won’t help you in your career.

If you are a beginner, consider taking general interest classes that will unravel your passion for acting and give you the urge to pursue an acting career. Fortunately, such classes are usually cheaper given that they ate relatively bigger. They will also give you a chance to weigh if you are really into acting.

For intermediate actors who want to advance their acting, personalized or one-on-one group acting classes come in handy. Unlike beginners, these classes are less populated,  meaning that you will receive personalized feedback from the tutor or acting teacher after every session.

For an advanced actor who has taken several classes and has a higher level of experience in acting, you need special and advanced training classes. Enroll in a class taught by an experienced former actor, someone with a local or national name.

Also, note that you need a good acting teacher. You may have thousands of classes, but your progress will be extremely slow without a good teacher. How do you know that one is a good tutor? First, confirm whether he is a master of his trade. What’s his experience in acting? Someone with on-the-ground knowledge will definitely be a good trainer. They should help you integrate easily into the acting world.

Your teacher should also be interested in your success, not the money you pay them. Make sure that your acting tutor takes note of your progress and gives you personalized feedback. The teacher should give you exercises that uncover your pre-existing talent. It would help if you went for someone you trust. You will only learn fast if you can be free with your teacher and allow them to see you for who you are. Therefore, be very thorough with the teacher you pick.

Remember to change classes as you progress. You shouldn’t be in an intermediate class once you are an advanced actor. Learn to change as you grow. If you cannot pay for personalized classes, join a local community or university with acting classes and enroll in one that goes hand in hand with your schedule. Personalized classes and local community college classes have their benefits, and if you’re exceptional, a talent agent may spot you.

4. Enroll In Your Local Theater

This is one of the reasons why we were advising you to hold your horses at the beginning of the article. You need to join your local theater and get a para tical acting experience. It’s time to down the theory and gets to real serious work.

Most professional actors make their acting debut in their local community theaters. Here is where you will work on your confidence, master acting basics, and meet several like-minded people who will push you to explore your potential. Remember, you have to incorporate teamwork in acting gigs, and therefore, knowing how to form relationships at this early stage is important.

Joining a local theater will also allow you to work closely with other non-acting personnel who will help you at every stage of your career, such as the script supervisors and producers. This is part of the ‘starting small’ we were talking about. Get to learn from others in your local theater by working closely with them and interacting with the non-acting persons.

5. Improve Your Knowledge About The Industry

You cannot pursue a successful career in acting if you don’t know about the industry. You don’t need an agent at this stage, nor should you join a talent agency if you don’t want to. One of the best ways to learn is reading, so read anything about acting that comes your way.

Know about the different types of acting, processes involved, what talent coaches and agents look for during auditions, how to get into your role, social media marketing, filmmaking, management companies, talent searches,  the non-negotiables in acting, and many more. Knowing about the industry will keep you safe from talent agencies and management companies who may want to take advantage of you once the time is ripe. Also, make sure you learn about contracts and the remunerations in acting. Ensure that by the time you get an active role, you basically know everything about the industry and cannot be taken advantage of.

6. Work On Your Resume

Pursuing a career in acting means having and building a resume. It summarizes your education, work history, accomplishments, skills, and credentials. Ensure that it is constantly updated as you learn about the industry and get relevant education and acting experience. As we mentioned in our first point, the trick is starting small. Capture every small detail in your resume, including the acting techniques that you have learned and your little achievements, to have an easy time when you decide to apply for a role or acting gigs. The richer your resume, the better your chances. Also, consider indicating both your writing and non-acting experience in your resume. Include activities or skills such as directing. Such non-acting experiences relevant to the acting scene will make you outstanding to talent recruiters. A good resume will work wonders l.

7. Go, Professional

One of the first steps to make when going professional is to take a quality headshot since that’s the first thing, alongside your resume, you will be asked for if you start auditioning. Remember, your physical appearance plays a big role in such an industry, and therefore, you need to find a good photographer who can adequately bring out your facial structure. You will have a better chance of qualifying for auditions if you have a good professional headshot and resume. Do not, therefore, take it lightly. It would help if you also had a demo reel once you have a few tape experiences. The rule is to make it short and captivating. It should also capture different experiences. Together with your resume, the demo real will market you.

8. Audition! Audition! Audition!

This is where you will prove yourself to the entire world. Go for as many auditions as possible, regardless of the outcome. Ensure that you do your best during these auditions and wow the audience.

Audition for both small and big roles at this point because you never know who’s watching. Talent agents get sent to auditions where they pick actors for much bigger roles. You can audition for commercials, movie shows, local production, or even live shows. All in all, never stop auditioning. Also, do not forget to network during and after these auditions. Talk to people, build relationships, pitch yourself and ask for feedback from directors and producers. Success in acting requires putting yourself out there, and nothing beats auditioning combined with networking. Give people a chance to know you and what you can do. Also, with an excellent resume and good acting skills, there’s no way you will miss a role in one of five auditions. Remember, auditioning with no success can get discouraging. However, hold on. Also, as you network, remember to check with casting managers and agencies who may give you a different role in TV shows and commercials, allowing you to put your name out there.

9. Attend Workshops

You have to attend workshops at the beginning of your career. These are normally the best places to network, regardless of profession. Go to as many workshops as possible and talk to several casting directors as you also expand your acting skills. You need to be around those that can get you a role, which in this case are casting directors. Most people get auditions by networking with the right people. Note that most of these workshops are expensive, which is a small price for roles and auditions. However, do not overstretch yourself- find one that suits you.

10. Get An Agent

This step will mostly come last when you decide to start an acting career. Get an agent who will help you get auditions. They will handle marketing, one of the hardest roles for a beginning actor. However, we advise you to get a smaller firm with not-so-many clients at this first stage. You will get more attention and less competition, which is a huge advantage for beginners.


1. How Can One Improve Their Acting Techniques From Home?

Some of the ways of improving your acting prowess from home include practicing in front of a mirror, studying commercials, shows, and films; befriending actors, building resilience, and taking online classes 

2. How Can I Find Good Acting Classes?

The best way of finding a good acting class is through recommendations from students. However, you should also research extensively and watch out for reviews.

3. What Are Some Of The Techniques Taught In Acting Classes?

In acting classes, you will learn about Stanislavsky, Strateberg’s method, Meissner, Adler, and Hagen.

4. Are There Different Types Of Acting Classes?

Yes. Acting classes touch on different skills, which explains why we have scene study, technique, on-camera, audition technique, cold reading, improv, commercial, vocal, and body movement classes.

5. What Do People Learn In Improv Classes?

Improv classes are meant to teach people how to improvise and thus build confidence, creativity, and courage.


Being a professional actor requires enough preparation and, above all, patience. Therefore, be keen to follow our steps if you decide to start an acting career. We are with you every step of the way, so ensure that you watch out for our articles. We wish you all the best!

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