This post may contain affiliate links, so I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Check out the disclosure for more info. And thank you for supporting free content!
I get a lot of questions from actors… a lot, seriously. And right up there in the top few are “How do I get an agent?” And “How do I find acting jobs?”
For most actors getting an acting job means paid acting work in feature films, TV shows or commercials. ( FYI: commercials can pay a LOT more money than film or television acting for the first few years at least! ) But if you’re just starting out, getting an acting job may mean booking a role in a student film, short film or even a music video.
No matter where you are in your career, it’s going to be important to get more acting work. If you’re a newbie, this list will be invaluable! And if you’re a seasoned actor this is probably an excellent refresher.
It’s easy to get busy and for life to get in the way. When that happens, we sometimes forget to do the basics ….like to work more collaboratively, foster relationships and stay inspired.
Hopefully this list will inspire you and maybe even energized and motivate you. Keep reaching for the stars and following your dreams… I’m right there with you! xo Hunter
If you’re just starting out
Get some acting training
1. I don’t care if you’re a total newb, nobody wants to work with someone who hasn’t had any training and at least invested a little bit of time and money in themselves and their career – keep in mind, everyone else on set has!
2. Get a professional headshot
It doesn’t have to be the best, but it does have to be professional
3. Set up as many free casting profiles as you can.
Even the big sites like Actors Access and Casting Networks have some free option. Getting your profiles set up early will help you get use to the site, the breakdowns and how everything works.
4. Make time in your life for acting.
That means auditions, training and staying connected to the acting community.
5. Check the breakdowns daily.
Whether you’re on one of the big casting sites or the smaller ones, check for auditions every day and submit yourself… Every day.
6. Keep doing free or low-budget projects
This will give you experience, with any luck footage and you’ll build your resume and your connections.
7. Update your casting profiles regularly.
Keep your materials up to date and posted online. I can’t tell you how many casting directors I’ve heard say that they get bored looking at the same materials over and over again!
8. Update your headshots regularly.
We change… all the time. Hair styles, facial hair for guys, age, maturity and personality. Make sure your headshot shows the current version of You and update once or twice a year minimum.
9. Have a professional and ubiquitous online presence.
That means social media accounts, casting websites, maybe a personal website + IMDB. Be seen everywhere!
10. Optimize your social media profiles to book work.
Yes I have actually booked jobs directly from social media connections. It doesn’t happen all the time and honestly I find social media to be a lot of work, but it’s expected in this business.
11. Join social media groups for actors.
There are still some great social media groups for actors out there. I have to be honest… I’m not a huge fan of the big blue book, but it still works for actor connections.
Check out this list: 16 Best Facebook Groups for Actors to Connect, Meet Reps and Find Work
12. Make your own content.
Are you tired of hearing this yet? Whether it’s TikToks, or a short film… something to keep you connected to the industry and show decision makers that this matters to you.
13. Write something and cast yourself.
This piggybacks off of the tip above. More and more actors are producing their own web series and shorts.
14. Show off your work.
If you created a project yourself, make sure you publicize it! Post it on social media, let your acting friends know, and see if a local / online magazine will interview you.
15. Get an agent and / or manager.
Yes, it helps! They have access to breakdowns that actors don’t and it gives casting a buffer that many prefer.
16. Don’t rely on your agents or or managers completely.
Still hustle for your own work – this is a partnership
17. Be professional – always.
Sometimes as actors we can be ask to do crazy things! And sometimes actors do crazy things! Use your judgment, decline politely if you need to, but always be professional. Keep in mind, the people that are auditioning you are doing this to pay their own rent or mortgage too.
18. Get to know the industry.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, every business has its ins and outs, tricks and tips, etiquette, legalities, key players and just generally accepted behavior. Knowing what’s what and who’s who and how things work will always lead to more jobs.
19. Get comfortable with the B word… Branding.
Every social media influencer knows their brand. It’s become a bit of a buzzword, but now that the online marketplace is so cluttered, it’s more important than ever. Casting isn’t going to waste time trying to figure out where you fit it you have to let them know.
20. Respect the deadlines.
When we were all doing in-person auditions, this meant showing up (I’ve heard so many stories from casting directors of actors just completely blowing off auditions! ) and showing up on time. Now it means getting that self tape in on time and not asking for an extension if you can possibly help it.
21. Do the damn audition!
If you say you were going to audition, do it! If for any reason you really can’t, let casting know ASAP so they can give your spot to another actor
22. If you’re going to show up… Show!
This is show business baby! Whether it’s auditioning or going to an industry event, or even on your social media, bring your A-game all the time!
23. Be polite.
Seriously. I know I said it earlier, and yes sometimes this business can get crazy, but it’s also a very small industry and people driven… And people have long memories!
24. Move your body!
In this business, your body is your instrument. Move it every day to be healthy and energized and it will absolutely come across in your work.
25. Work out your acting muscles regularly.
This is like going to the gym. Classes are ideal, but I also understand that they can be expensive and time consuming and you can’t just be in class all the time… It’s also exhausting. Another option is to learn monologues on your own and post them on your social media accounts or run scenes with a friend. I highly recommend WeAudition.com to find a reader or scene partner. (Use the code: MAG25 for 25% off)
26. Take vocal lessons.
I’m not suggesting that you learn how to sing, but ‘spoken level voice’ is invaluable training! It will free your body and your emotions and change your life and artistry in ways you can’t imagine.
27. Do the work. Respect the profession
Whether that means preparation for your auditions, or in your acting career in general, don’t just do the bare minimum. Strive for excellence, not just good enough so it will do.
28. Read books on acting.
Reading books by the iconic acting teachers can really change your game. You’ll gain details wisdom and insight that might otherwise take years.
Read: 17 of the Best Books on Acting that Every Actor Needs to Read
29. Read books on success.
Whether it’s mindset, motivation, habits, or business success, they’re all going to help your acting career. Art and talent are important but they’re not everything.
30. Surround yourself with uplifting people.
If you’re around positive and ambitious people who have set out to achieve their goals and dreams in life they’ll inspire you to do the same.
31. Trust your intuition and stand your ground.
Not everyone is going to support your career and lifestyle choices. Remember that the only person that has to be happy with your decision is you.
32. Stay in touch with people you’ve worked with or done classes with.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with people again and again, gotten an invaluable tip from a fellow after or even a referral or a straight up booking. Relationships matter in any business… and especially in this one.
33. Work on friend’s projects.
If an actor friend is shooting a web series or a short film and needs cast or crew, and the project is aligned with your overall views and values, offer to pitch in. Careers are long and connections last. And it just feels great to help someone!
34. See what’s shooting close to you.
In every major market, there’s going to be a list of projects that are shooting for film and television. Find out what shooting in your area and if it’s a good fit for you reach out to casting or the writers and directors.
35. Make money.
For the love of god don’t be a starving artist! Having financial stability in your life means having sanity. And it’s almost impossible to be creative when you’re worried about how you’re going to pay the rent.
Read: 10 Work From Home Jobs Perfect For Actors
36. Stay inspired!
Inspired is anything that lights you up! Weather that’s going to the beach, visiting a museum or cool tourist attraction, taking painting lessons, traveling or finding a new sport or hobby, do things that make you feel alive! Acting is art, and you just can’t create from a creatively barren space.
Be authentic. Be You.
“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else”. ~ Judy Garland
Enough said. 🙂
* Please Note: I am not an agent, manager, or casting director. I do not procure work for actors. All information, workshops and coaching are for educational purposes only and are not a guarantee or promise of employment. Thank you for being here!