If becoming a professional actor is more appealing to you than spending the majority of your life in the 9-5 feeling unfulfilled and uninspired, but drama school isn’t feasible for you, you’ll want to keep reading. Training at drama school is the traditional route to becoming an actor but it isn’t for everyone, and thankfully there are other options available. Maybe the fees are too expensive, you have family commitments or you’ve auditioned for drama school and it didn’t work out, whatever the reason don’t worry! Below you’ll find 8 crucial tips to help you become a professional actor without going to drama school (and they work).
HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL ACTOR WITHOUT GOING TO DRAMA SCHOOL
- KNOW YOUR WHY – Your why is the motivation for wanting to become an actor. It’s important you know what this is because you’ll need to remind yourself of it when obstacles are thrown in your path. Some actors don’t have a big enough reason why, so when times get tough and they’re struggling to get auditions they quit. What’s your why? If you don’t know yet don’t worry, take time to figure it out.
Pssst, my why was to prove the school bullies wrong who said ‘you’ll never make it as an actor’.
- GET HIGH QUALITY TRAINING – It’s so, so important you train with someone who understands the craft of acting, not just someone who’s going to tell you how to say lines and where to stand. Make sure the coach/school you choose has experience in the industry and can help you individually with the technique. All actors have different strengths and weaknesses so be wary of a one size fits all approach to acting, a good coach will work with each actor individually within the classes to develop their talent. Something else to consider is class size. If the classes are filled to the rafters what are the chances of you getting that much needed 1 on 1 time with your coach? Getting 5 minutes a week to share a scene is going to take you longer to develop. As there are so many part time studios/schools to choose from, make sure you go with the one that resonates with you.
- LEARN ABOUT THE INDUSTRY – we’re now in the age of information – a quick Google search can bring up blogs/vlogs, interviews and podcasts with casting directors, directors and other big dogs in the acting industry. These are so valuable for learning the dos and don’ts.
- READ BOOKS ON THE CRAFT OF ACTING – any book by Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler or Sanford Meisner are, in my opinion, great to read alongside your training. Some are more ‘intense’ than others, but they’re all leading you to the same place – truthful acting.
- GET HOOKED ON MARKETING – Lots of new actors want to jump straight into this and consume themselves only with getting work, which eventually leads to frustration. You only need to take this step when you feel ABSOLUTELY ready. Why throw yourself into auditions half-baked? Sign up to casting sites, get high quality headshots, start working in student films to test your craft, then start looking for work in independent films so you can get together a decent showreel to sell yourself with. Start a social media profile dedicated to your acting, you may want to get a website too.
- NETWORK – this word can fill many actors with dread, but building relationships is crucial to your survival in the industry. People to consider building relationships with are directors, producers, stage managers, other actors and casting directors. Remember it’s who you know that will make a BIG difference.
- SET GOALS – without a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how you’re planning to achieve becoming an actor you’ll stumble along willy nilly and find it more difficult to get momentum going. Remember a goal without a plan is just a dream.
- MINDSET – this might sound a bit whacky but you have to programme yourself for success. The actors who struggle the most are the ones who see the acting world from a place of lack, the ones who succeed are the ones who see it from a place of opportunity and learning. Do you believe with every ounce of your being that you can become a professional actor?
Now I know this is a lot to take on, but this is the reality of what it takes to become a professional without going to drama school, in fact actors who have been to drama school still have to use this advice – going to drama school doesn’t mean things are handed on a plate.
My students have used these steps (and haven’t been to drama school either), and have managed to win awards for their work, audition for Britain’s best loved soaps, audition for some of the best directors in the world and one of my students is now working FULL TIME as an actor – yep she’s getting paid a full time wage. I hope this shows you, you can still achieve the success you desire.
Print this blog off and keep referring back to it, or save the link so you can keep reminding yourself of the steps to take, and if you’ve found my tips useful, let me know in the comments below which ones stood out for you.
Don’t give up, keep learning to start earning!
STOP BEING INVISIBLE & GET NOTICED!
You can also join our method acting army over on FACEBOOK and be part of the acting movement, which I think you’ll love!
Hope to see you there!