Are you interested in entering the entertainment industry as an actor, model or singer? Have you resolved in 2011 to pursue your dream of becoming a STAR? Or to help your kids get into the industry? Do you look at television, watch movies or go to live concerts and say, “I can do that,I know I can do that"? If you are serious about entering the entertainment industry, there are 3 key things you’ll need to be competitive. They are:
Training. While you may have heard you can go to Hollywood and be in the movies or get on television without being trained for the industry (we're talking real speaking roles here, not extra work), this is an untruth. A very few in a million are selected based upon their look or because they happened to be in the right place at the right time. The masses, however, are chosen because they have been trained for the industry. Whether your training is in acting, modeling or singing, you need the necessary skills to compete. Ongoing training is also necessary to stay competitive. In speaking with top Hollywood and New York industry professionals (agents, casting directors, directors, producers and managers), I have been told over and over again that good talent continues to train even after they have appeared on television, in a movie, in a magazine or catalogue, on the runways of Paris, Milan or New York or have recorded an album or two. Much like professional development is necessary for a doctor or lawyer to keep his or her skills sharp, so is training for the entertainer.
Tools. There are tools in every trade, and entertainment is no exception. Actors need to have a headshot and resume’ (and a reel for actors with credits). Models must have a Zed card for print work and a book (or portfolio) for runway work. Singers must have a bio. and a demo of their work. If the material is original, it should also be copywritten. Professionals who lack tools of the trade aren’t considered professional at all. Would you hire or allow a contractor to work on your home who didn’t have a hammer, wrench and other necessary tools to get the job done? Or what about a transportation company that didn’t have a fleet of cars, buses or other means of transportation? Similarly, the industry looks for those who have the necessary tools and are prepared to go to work.
Auditions. Auditions are necessary for you to be seen by the right people. Auditions are like job interviews; an audition is the time when decision makers look for and in essence, interview skilled people for jobs they’re looking to fill. Even celebrities have to audition or go out for their next job or gig.
Believe it or not, accessing the entertainment industry is not a mystery. There is a specific formula for success - training, tools and auditions, coupled with persistence, determination and resilience. Yet, the entertainment industry is not for the timid, but for the determined. Those who aren’t interested and willing to take the journey need not apply.
What are you willing to do to access your dream?
Everyone starts somewhere.
“Young people desperate to get into showbiz are often willing to take not-so-glamorous jobs as long as they’re close to the stage (The Daily Beast).”
Did you know Brad Pitt wore a chicken suit while working at El Pollo Loco to pay for acting classes?
What about Beyonce’? Did you know she used to answer phones and sweep hair off of the floor at her mother’s beauty salon?
Mick Jagger, the rock and roll icon, sold ice cream from a push cart while Gwen Stefani scrubbed floors at Dairy Queen.
Ellen DeGeneres worked for a carwash where she drove cars out of the carwash and over to the next station to be dried.
You’ll never have a finish if you don't start. While you may be working what you deem to be a “dead-end” job, set aside a portion of your earnings for training, to get your tools (e.g. resume, photos, reel) and to go out on auditions. Auditions are free yet, you may have to pay for your travel expenses if the audition is not local. The key to success is you must be prepared when opportunity comes. Opportunity doesn’t go away, it just goes to the next person.
Success is a glamorous job that requires a lot of sweat and hard work. Being properly trained, having the necessary tools and being seen by the decision makers is more than half the battle. The other part is your persistence, determination and resilience to succeed.