Ok, now that you have found plenty of acting positions to apply for, what do you need to have to apply? Every position is different. The basics you will need are: a headshot, a resume, and a monologue. Remember, this is based on my experience working in a variety of acting positions.
You need properly printed 8"x10" headshots. This should be of your head and shoulders and needs to look professional. You may have a different shot that you submit for comedic and dramatic work, but this is totally up to you. It does help to have a photographer with experience in taking headshots to do this for you. Make sure to look at samples of their work to be sure that you like it. Also, prior to booking a photograph, make sure you will have the rights to reprint the work and will receive high quality digital image/s as part of your package. You do not want to be stuck having to go back to them each time you need to print more. You want to look like the best (recent) version of you and often a professional can make sure the lighting and angles are just right to help you achieve this, especially if you don't have a lot of experience in front of the camera.
You need a formal resume that lists all your performance training and experience. This should not contain any extraneous work experience, but you may add hobbies and special talents. As I stated previously, make sure these are truthful. This resume should be printed on the back of your headshot. If you cannot do this, you need to very carefully staple or paste a neatly trimmed resume (standard paper is 8.5"x11" and your headshot is 8"x10") to the back of your resume. There are many examples out there, but most importantly, it should be neat, easy to read, and contain accurate contact information.
You should always have at least one, one minute long monologue prepared, in case a director would ask to see something else. It is really best to have at least two: one comedic and one dramatic. It is important to pick a piece from a role that you could actually be cast in and stay away from anything too well known (Romeo, Romeo, where for art...NO!). Be realistic about the range that you can play. Can you really still play a high school student? Also, make sure to read the entire work that the piece is from. You don't want to just memorize words, though this is important, you want to show in that minute that you can make choices, develop the character, and make sure you are keeping the context of the piece as a whole in mind. Yes, this can take a lot of time and effort to do properly. The standard for any live performance is to spend at least one hour of rehearsal for each minute of performance time (90 hours of rehearsal for a 90 minute play, minimum). There are reasons that not everyone does it.
Other things to think about.
Do you need training? No, it is not required, but it definitely helps to have practice. You need to be able to do cold readings (Be handed a script and read from it. Not just read, perform it.), recite lines, and maybe even do some improvisation. I did have a degree in Theatre when I was working in these positions. If you don't have a degree, that is ok. There are classes and opportunities to learn everywhere if you look for them.
Will you need to sing or dance? Possibly. It depends on what positions you are applying for. Are these things you may need training for? Probably. If you are going to go after Broadway style performances, I would highly recommend both taking extensive dance lessons and getting a vocal coach to help you prepare for singing auditions.
Am I too (young, old, thin, fat, tall, short,...) to act? Absolutely not! TV, commercials, movies, stage shows, and web series all need to be relatable, so there are parts out there for all types of people.
Do I need to join a union? This really depends on how far you want to go. I never have, but not being in a union or being in a union can both put limits on what work you can do. This is really a question that you will need to ask yourself as you progress in the industry.
Good luck and get that gig!
Rayna Moore -
© 2021 by Rayna Moore