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Tanya Vital's Blog

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Biz Tips No.1

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I often get asked how to get into the acting industry and sometimes get asked by those fresh into the industry, how to get further. The first basic rule is training. As you know I never went to Drama School because I was 'fortunate' enough to go straight into work. That is not to say I have not had training over the years. A dedicated Actor must learn their craft, just as you would for any other career.

Because I never had those 3 years of Drama School intensive training I am constantly playing 'catch up', to those that did. I regularly take classes, workshops, read books, and watch DVD's. Anything I can to learn technique. It's all well and good to be talented but talent alone will not sustain you in this industry.

For example, stage work requires an Actor to be able to project their voice into the auditorium as far as the back seats. This can cause strain and after a few performances can even lead to a lost voice - if you don’t have the technique to do so safely. This must be learnt. Even in TV and Film, you can be doing take after take of an emotional scene and your voice must stay strong. This applies to everything: posture, breathing, relaxation, diction, character work - everything.

So the very start or your foundation must be built upon some form of training or experience of acting. (E.g. Amateur Dramatics, National Youth Theatre, Stage School).

 Headshots

When trying to get an Agent or work you must have a decent headshot of yourself. The price can range from £60 to £500. This may sound expensive but the reality is - you get what you pay for. Your face (shallow as it may seem), is your money maker. Without a decent headshot showing your 'type' an Agent or Casing Director will not give you a second look. A cheap headshot suggests an unprofessional Actor. There are a number of great Photographers in the UK - they can all be found in Spotlight.

Read

There is a wealth of advice on line some good - some bad but these following sites have helped me personally:
The Stage 'How To Guides' to find out about Agents etc:
http://www.thestage.co.uk/connect/howto/

John Byrne Career Advice: http://showbusiness-success.com/default.aspx

Spotlight website: http://www.spotlight.com/

Ideas Tap website: http://www.ideastap.com/

Buy

If you're serious about the industry, expect to have to pay for certain things like books, promotional items, your Spotlight page etc. (Never pay an Agent! Your Agent takes commission from work you obtain through them only).

These items will help you:

Contacts book (The Actors Bible!! it’s a complete listing of Agents, Casting etc):
http://www.spotlight.com/shop/contacts

Agent e-book http://showbusiness-success.com/agents.aspx


Get On:

A professional Actor must be on Spotlight if they intend to book professional castings. It is the main Actors Database that Casting Directors use. IMDB is not enough!

If you are starting out Casting Call Pro is also good to try out - it’s FREE and you can apply for jobs as well as be chosen: http://www.uk.castingcallpro.com/.This can help you get more experience and add to your showreel.

Also TWITTER!! An Actor/ creative person cannot have an elitest attitude towards social networking. The old saying "It's not what you know, it's who you know" definitely has some stead in the Entertainment world so get networking and get yourself out there!

Yorkshire specific stuff:









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