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10 Things You Need to Succeed as a Film Actor

By New York Acting School for Film and Television on 29th, May 2015 with no Comments in Acting Guide ,Acting Tips ,The Contributors

There are so many actors that are hoping for that one big break that will launch their career. The sad fact is that only a few people ever make it as successful actors.
What can you do to help your chances of success?

#1.  An honest evaluation – Sometimes when I’m feeling especially mean spirited, I will turn on the auditions for “Idol” or “America’s Got Talent.”  My favorites, when in that mood, are the folks who say: “Everyone tells me I’m a great ________ (fill in the blank)!  Then they do their schtick and the judges get to be funny in response to the horror unfolding in front of them.

Can you act?  In your own opinion?  Your mom agrees?  Have you consistently won roles against serious competition?  Have you had outside reviewers praise your work?  Are you unclear on your ability to move to the next level or even make a living at your current skill level.

Get an honest evaluation done by a professional teacher, coach, agent, or casting agent.

#2.  Thick Skin – It doesn’t matter how good you are, you are going to be sent home, not recalled, and even let go. The cause of the rejection may be as obvious as your not having the right look, or as subtle as you remind the director of the uncle he hated.  Your acting skill could be great, but you might be too tall, short, heavy, skinny, square jawed, pixie faced, or over muscled.

You must be thick skinned enough to deal with the reality that you might get turned down 80% of the time or more. Success depends on doing lots of auditions and casting calls.

#3.  Have Perfect Paperwork – Your head shot and resume’ need to shout “professional.”  It is true that doing these right will cost you money.  Doing them wrong or half way will cost you way more in lost opportunities to hone your craft and earn income.

#4.  Always On Time – When you are a top star MAYBE you will be given SOME grace for acting like an amateur.  When you are an amateur or a novice you will be given no grace for acting less than professionally.  Be on time to casting calls, auditions, call backs, meetings, rehearsals, shoots, everything!

#5.  Be a Networker – Only a politician needs better networking skills than an actor.  The more people you know, the more people on your Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube Channel, the better chance you will have of getting found when someone wants to find you.  Joining groups, doing amateur when you don’t have paid work, gathering where the industry gathers, all add up to more chances of getting work.

#6.  Learn to Audition – There is a very distinct and unique skill set to doing an audition.  Don’t undervalue the need to learn how to do it right.  As with any skill set, your wrong habits repeated over and over are likely to set in the wrong approaches.  Get coached and trained in how to do it right, then hone those skills.

#7.  Stay at It – As crazy as it may seem, mediocre actors who keep showing up are more likely to make a living in the trade than great actors who give up due to discouragement.  If you have confirmation from trusted outsiders that you have the talent, and you are doing 1 – 6 above, you will also need to be tenacious.

#8.  Practice, Practice, Practice – Assuming that you are desiring to make acting a career, not a hobby, you will need to treat it as such.  In a career, you need to work 50 – 60 or more hours per week.  When you aren’t actually working, auditioning, networking, or taking classes, you should be practicing.

#9.  Learn Everything – The internet has added a massive amount of information, both text and video, that can help you know everything about the business.  Be single minded in your desire to be an expert on every aspect of the trade and of your specific niche in the business.

#10.  Take Classes – That brings us back to the classes part.  Most of these other nine aspects can be partially accomplished through classes at one of the best acting schools in NYC, the New York Acting School for Film and Television. Founder and Director, Mark Stolzenberg, has made a living in the business for over 35 years.  He has successfully done 1 – 9, and he can help you with each and every one.  Call now to get started. (917) 797-2577

(photo source: pinterest via carole benoit)


New York Acting School for Film and Television


Drawing on big- and small-screen success, such as appearances in Tom Selleck’s Her Alibi and on Late Show with David Letterman, as well as more than 25 national commercials, acting guru Mark Stolzenberg transforms amateurs into screen-savvy performers at the New York Acting School for Film and Television. Thespians hone their acting chops through monologues, improvisations, and cold readings in Mark’s classes, preparing for time spent on television or the big screen. Essentials classes introduce neophyte film actors to the intricacies of playing to the camera, whereas advanced pupils refine their techniques by co-starring in a two-person short film directed by Stolzenberg, learning to handle more difficult scene work and larger crowds of crazed fans. For more targeted practice, Mark hosts one-on-one, on-camera coaching sessions to prep audition material or monologues for upcoming performances.


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