Starting Your Acting Career in the Big Smoke? Here’s How

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For those far removed from the acting scene, some might think that being an actor is a dream lifestyle. They may not know that achieving even minimal success requires hard work, honing your craft, and setting realistic goals for yourself. You might be thinking of starting your acting journey by moving to London, but what happens after that? Don’t worry, because we have a few tips that’ll make your road to the acting scene a little smoother.

Find a Place to Live

The first thing you might consider before moving somewhere is where you’re going to be staying. If you’ve decided on London, that’s great! But you have to remember that with big cities come bigger (and more expensive) responsibilities. Don’t get excited and find a nice place that you won’t be able to pay for in a few months. Depending on your budget, there are many affordable accommodation options, and finding one is as easy as checking online.

Create a Budget Plan

You’re probably on a tight budget after the new move, and in the meantime, you’re practically jobless. Until you “make it,” you’ll have to spend a lot of money to get any opportunities in the scene. You’ll need to invest in yourself by spending on headshots, showreels, recording devices, editing software, and even transportation costs to get you to and from auditions. Since these investments tend to pile up and put a lot of pressure on your wallet and bank account, many actors choose to take up a second job between acting gigs. Like with any flexible job, acting opportunities are spaced out, and income isn’t always consistent, so it’s important to have another income source to support yourself while you’re trying to get your name out there.

Always Be on the Hunt

Set a specific time each day to do administrative work: answer emails, search for casting calls, staying in touch with your contacts, etc. Always remember to update your portfolio whenever you have something new to show. No one wants to see your work from five years ago and nothing else. Also, try to find sites that will help you find new connections and allow casting directors to find you. Some good sites that can help you do this and are worth checking out are the following:

  • Spotlight
  • The Stage
  • Equity
  • Mandy (formerly known as Casting Call Pro)
  • Acting in London

Admin work is just as important as acting work. Even if you currently have a gig you’re working on, be on the lookout for more opportunities. This will help you avoid long periods of unemployment, but remember that looking for new opportunities shouldn’t be a reason for your current gig to suffer. Put the same amount of effort into your admin work as you do in your acting job. Stay up-to-date with the industry, and be aware of opportunities that allow you to meet with practicing professionals from whom you can get advice.

Don’t just be on the hunt for opportunities, be on the hunt for learning experiences too. If you have some time (and money) to spare, consider taking up some additional acting classes as well. Learning is part of the acting process, and everything you learn in these classes will play a big part in your acting career. Aside from this, take some time to sit down and watch some TV. Try to keep up with the latest news related to the field, and use this time to study up on a few acting points you can pick up from the shows you watch.

actors acting out a scene

Collaborate

In the acting field, connections are everything. When you move to a new city, and a big one, it can feel like an impossible thing to do. Getting in touch with as many people as you can through taking on different opportunities like volunteering your skills in student films or independent projects. If there’s one in your area, you can also try joining a local theater. You’ll get to meet a ton of new people, and you’ll get the chance to put your acting skills to the test in a few productions!

Social media can also be a handy tool with many Facebook groups for actors, but be sure to be on the lookout for casting directors on Instagram and Twitter as they’re likely to post casting calls on their feed.

Take Care of Yourself

The journey to becoming a professional actor is one filled with rejection and criticism. Knowing how to handle your negative feelings and keeping yourself healthy and happy is a surefire way to get you where you want to be. Get proper sleep, get some workout time in, eat healthily, and drink a lot of water. All of that accompanied by keeping in touch with your friends and family will help keep you sane while you’re climbing up the career ladder. And however crazy life gets, remember what you’re here for and why you’re doing what you do, and you’ll do just fine.

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