Acting is your calling. Performance is your muse. You live and breathe the artistic life. But how much time and effort are you ready and willing to commit?
Your level of dedication is personal; it is dependent upon your own unique situation. Your family, transportation, health, and employment status (and their degree of flexibility) will all factor in when you allocate your time.
Actually sit down and plan out your goals and a game plan to reach them. Can you dedicate 10 hours a week? 35+ hours a week or are you just dabbling? There are industry solutions that fit your needs, but remember you need to be completely honest with yourself and your intentions before you commit.
Once you know how much you can dedicate, start researching Agents and how they can work for you.
*Principal Agencies are a full time job; you need to have an incredible degree of flexibility, open availability AND a deep seeded drive to make a living as an actor.
*Background Agencies can keep an actor quite busy depending on the project, their credentials differ from a Principal Agency. Although background actors work long hours, the notice they are given is far more than a Principal actor. Background actors do not have to audition, they are booked from their headshots. There are no day before calls to attend auditions, there are no lines to prepare.
*Boutique Agencies that specialize in skills (fire eating, contortion etc.) These gigs are also a little more flexible as they are specialty categories with far less competition.
Dedication is a cornerstone to becoming successful. It starts with being dedicated to yourself and your goals. If acting as a profession (instead of a hobby) is a goal, you have to give over to it.
Be a man/woman of your word, attend all auditions you are requested to be at, take classes to better yourself and manage your time wisely. Book out with your agent so that there are no discrepancies, complete self tapes on time (or better yet, ahead of time!) and ALWAYS be in constant communication. Read every line of an email twice BEFORE asking questions, 90% of the time, the information is provided. However, if you are unsure or need clarification, please ASK. Your Agent is not a mind reader, they can’t answer questions if you don’t ask them.
To avoid misunderstandings with your Agent be HONEST from day one about your availability or lack there of. There is nothing more frustrating to an Agent then being retained by talent to get you work and then having you turn down the work that they get you. This results in termination and hard feelings. Actors ask agents to make them busy, make sure this is actually what you want BEFORE you sign with an Agent.
Key Points for Dedicated Actors:
- Pay attention to wardrobe outlined in audition emails.
- When asked to bring a headshot and resume, dont arrive with excuses and no materials.
- Be on time: most casting directors are very friendly and will make it seem as if its no big deal that you arrived a little late. It is a big deal, it isn’t professional and it reflects negatively on their view of your dedication.
- Self tape deadlines are firm! They will not be sent to clients late, casting wants their tapes when they have requested them.
- Always be off book with your script. Tape yourself rehearsing your lines to get an idea of how casting will see you.
- Train, train, train…..you can always learn more.
- READ ALL AUDITION INFO THREE TIMES TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE DATES, CALLTIMES, WARDROBE, SCRIPT, CONFLICTS, ETC. DO NOT EMAIL YOUR AGENT ASKING QUESTIONS THAT ARE ALREADY EXPLAINED IN YOUR EMAILS.
Dedication and commitment shows to casting. If you do not make the effort to do the above, no matter how charming an actor is, how well liked in the community, how talented, you will not be successful. Actors reap what they sow!!