Now, I am no Angelina Jolie, but I have starred or co-starred in over twenty independent films and several TV shows as an actress and I came from a small town up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with absolutely no connection to anybody in the film industry. If I can do it, you can do it!
Some simple but helpful tips:
1) Keep your gas tank full — you never want to run out of gas in a bad area;
2) Always have a map (Thomas Guide of the Greater Los Angeles area or navigation system);
3) Sign up with extras casting companies, such as Central Casting (the most popular in the industry);
4) Be friendly to everyone you meet – you NEVER know who can help you!
5) Use the internet to get yourself out there – create as many profiles as you can and input as much information as you can — be your own Hollywood agent until you have one;
6) Have professional, color, digital pictures done – do your research so you are not taken advantage of and ask people you trust for recommendations;
7) Get in a “Cold Reading” class – every actor has to be able to cold read for an audition for a new movie, so it would benefit you to be good at it;
8) Get in an in depth scene study class such as Meisner (great tools for actors!) or any good class that goes beyond cold reading and allows you to practice getting into a character;
9) Stay in shape and be healthy – your body is part of your product, be at the top of your game (find things to do that are free, such as hike Runyon Canyon – it’s a great place to meet people, too);
10) Network! Get out and meet people – and refer back to #4;
11) Do something that isn’t all about you – donate your time at a shelter or volunteer to help feed the homeless. It will keep things in perspective!
12) Audition for as many roles as you can, including student films. You will need a reel (a compilation of scenes you’ve been hired for) and as much practice auditioning as well as practice in front of the camera as possible.
13) Get a side job to pay for living expenses until you become a celebrity
Actors and actresses face more rejection in one month than most people do their entire lives. Don’t take it personally. I have worked on both sides of the camera and sometimes I’ve had to reject an actor because they didn’t match the actor who was already hired to play their mother/brother/love interest, etc. It is not all about you. You may have all the talent in the world but there are a lot of variables that the producer/writer/director must consider. Do your job, keep your skills honed, and after your audition, just let it go. Give your performance some positive thought and then walk away with your head up. If and when you get a callback, jump for joy and pump your fist and go back and nail it again! You just proved you’ve got talent and can make it in Hollywood; the producers simply need to see if you fit the role in all the other aspects.
Break a leg!
I have lived in Los Angeles for over 14 years. I have worked as an actress and in production for most of those years. I am currently working in development for a film project called “Flipside” with Moving Forward Productions at Sunset Gower Studios. For a list of some of my acting credits you can go to http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0582270/
At Moving Forward Productions, our main purpose is to make a difference in the world. Our mission is to help others in any way possible. Recently, we volunteered our time to produce a public service announcement for Rosemary Children’s Services to help kids and teens find foster or adoptive parents. Please visit our website to be a part of the change you want to see in the world! [http://www.whatistheflipside.com]