The number one question I get emailed, and I get emailed quite a lot running StageMilk, is how to get acting work. For most actors that means professional acting work in film, theatre or TV, but for some it’s simply how to land a role in a short film, local production or music video. Whether you are aiming for the stars, or just taking your first step, here are 34 ways to get acting work.
Some things on this list seem almost too obvious, like number #12: show your work, a vital step in pushing your career forward, but it’s amazing how many actors don’t do these basic things. Hopefully this list reminds, or inspires you to work more collaboratively and creatively in your local industry.
How to get more Acting Work:
#1 Write something and then cast yourself.
#2 Don’t say NO to acting work.
#3 Ask! Get in touch with people who inspire you, best friends, normal friends, and friends of friends, make the connection and work with them.
#4 Contact directors whose work you admire: send 5 emails this week. But do not ask them to hire you, simply let them know you’re a fan of their work, and do not expect anything else. Sometimes it’s just nice to let people know what you think, and make a small, but significant connection. (Please don’t be weird…)
#5 See what work is out there. Be a detective.
#6 Update your casting profiles. (Seriously, if your profile isn’t up to date, it could be costing you jobs)
#7 Get an agent. (Read: how to get an acting agent)
#8 Do the work, do as much preparation as you possibly can for auditions. Don’t just do the bare minimum.
#9 Produce work – a play, a short film, a webseries (and then cast yourself, obviously)
#10 Follow up on conversations – random meet ups, in the street, from networking events
#11 Show an interest in other people and their work
#12 Show your work. Don’t hide in the shadows.
#13 Build your social network – Social Media for Actors (Must Read)
#14 Be on time.
#15 Be polite.
#16 Be professional at all times.
#17 Iron your clothes.
#18 See a stylist (Or ask a stylish friend for help!)
#19 Brush your teeth. Audition hygiene has lost actors countless auditions.
#20 Do a voice warm up. Auditioning for theatre? Your vocal strength could be the difference between landing a role, and not.
#21 Move everyday: if you are healthy and energised it will absolutely come across in your work.
#22 Have other interests. Stop being so desperate in auditions.
#23 Research your industry: ignorance doesn’t lead to acting roles.
#24 Finance other people’s work: help other people flourish.
#25 Volunteer to work on friends projects – working as an actor for free, is still working as an actor. And work, leads to more work, so get your hands dirty.
#26 Make time for acting – is your day job taking you away from your true passions? Maybe it’s time to reconsider.
#27 Save money $$$ – so if an opportunity arises, you can take it and give yourself completely to the project.
#28 Stay in touch with people you’ve worked with previously – whether that’s on social media (small cringe), or even better, IRL.
#29 Get new headshots taken – a fresh look will definitely improve your chances of getting in the casting room.
#30 Be authentic – good things come to good people, maybe not as soon as you’d hope, but eventually, it will.
#31 Surround yourself with motivated people, because guess what? They will motivate you too.
#32 Update your Showreel – your showreel is your second best asset, after a great headshot, and you need a banging one to get more auditions, especially for people who aren’t familiar with your work.
#33 Join all the Acting Facebook groups in your area.
#34 Sign up to the major online casting websites. (Check for new jobs every day)