How To Be In A Movie
So, you want to know how to be in a movie, because everyone wants fifteen minutes of fame. Even if you’re not a member of the Screen Actors Guild, you don’t share a last name with any of Hollywood’s elite and you have no prior experience, it’s still possible to star in a film.
- Have professional photos taken. Your photo, or “headshot,” is your entertainment business calling card. Film casting directors look at your photo before anything else, and if it’s a good photo that catches their eye, they will call you for an audition. Do some research on your photographer before you book a photo shoot. Compare their photos to the headshots of actors who look like you on www.imdb.com. Make sure your photo shows your personality and that your eyes pop off the page.
- Put together a resume. Acting resumes are different from traditional business resumes. List all of your relevant entertainment experience, including theater roles, modeling jobs, singing and dancing experience, and parts in student films. List any training you’ve had. Also list your height, weight, hair and eye color, a phone number, email, and website. To play a part in a movie, you often have to fit certain physical requirements.
- Create an account on casting websites. Www.CastingNetworks.com and www.ActorsAccess.com are where legitimate casting directors in New York City and Los Angeles list films they are casting. Creating a profile with your picture and resume is free, and for a small fee, you can submit yourself for the roles you are right for. The newspaper Backstage (www.backstage.com) also lists casting calls. There is a lot of competition for even the smallest part, but a good photo and resume could help your land your first film role.
- Register with background casting agencies. Central Casting in Los Angeles and Grant Wilfley Casting in New York City are two highly regarded agencies that cast extras for films. Registering with these agencies is free, and if a project comes along that you’re right for, you could be on a movie set in 24 hours. If you want to be in a movie, working as an extra is a great place to start.
- Audition for student films. Colleges and universities with film programs are full of budding directors looking for actors. The aforementioned casting websites & publications are full of student film auditions in the New York and Los Angeles areas. If you’re located somewhere else, check your local newspaper, www.craigslist.org, or contact the university directly for information on where student film auditions are listed. Student films are great places to hone your acting chops and get footage for a reel.
- Sign up for acting classes. Acting is just like any other skill- you have to study, practice, and perform to get better. If you want to be in a movie, sign up for acting classes that specialize in studying acting for film.
- Meet agents and managers. After you’ve had some experience doing extra work, working on student film sets and taken acting classes, you may be ready to sign with a film agent in New York City or Los Angeles. You can mail your headshot and resume to them directly to try to get an interview, or you can perform a scene or a monologue in a showcase. Agents and managers come to showcases to look for new talent all the time. Showcases happen frequently in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as Las Vegas, Chicago, and Dallas.
- Sign with a film agent or manager. All the greatest actors wouldn’t be anywhere without their agents and managers.There is no cost to sign a contract with an agent or manager, but they take anywhere from 10-20% of your earnings. The more connected your agent or manager is, the more film auditions you will get.
- Keep at it. Hundreds of actors want to be in movies and films. Casting directors can read hundreds of people for the same role. Acting is very competitive, but if you really want to be in a film, you should train hard and work even harder. There was a time when Jack Nicholson, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller were beginners. Everyone has to start somewhere!