If you’re in middle school and looking to prepare for an acting career by joining a high school with a great acting program, there are plenty of things you can start doing now that will help in your chosen profession. The four tips below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to preparing for an acting career.
Audition, Audition, Audition
This probably goes without saying, but auditioning—just like interviewing—is a numbers game. The more you audition, the more likely you’ll be selected for a part. And, even if you’re not selected for a part, you’ll gain experience auditioning and make connections with fellow others in the profession. Athletes have a saying: you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The same is true for acting; you can get a part if you never audition for it!
Practice Accepting Criticism and Rejection
With frequent auditions comes frequent rejections. Rejection does not have to be personal, life altering, or even painful. By understanding that rejection is a part of trying and doesn’t necessarily reflect on your personal ability, you’ll be able to maintain your confidence and move on the next audition.
Most of the time rejection happens because directors are looking for a specific type of person, and you may not fit their criteria. Or, the person who was selected will have an inside connection. However, sometimes rejection can come with constructive criticism that can help you learn how to be better. Make sure to ask your agency contact for any feedback from the casting crew about your audition. Were you too loud? Too awkward? Too stilted? Use their feedback, painful as it might be, to improve. Even if criticism doesn’t seem constructive, try to think about it from multiple angles to make sure you can’t glean any insight from it.
Take Acting Classes
Acting classes can help in a number of ways. In addition to increasing your skill in acting and helping you develop weak areas, acting classes also help you practice your strengths, meet like-minded people, and discover new talents. Many acting teachers might have relationships in the business and can bring audition opportunities to your attention. Not to mention, you may meet fellow actors or actresses who can recommend you for a role. Keeping your acting skills in tip top shape will help on your many auditions, and can give you a platform to work on any criticism you might receive following those auditions.
Develop Related Skills
Mark Hamil, otherwise known as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movies, was a great actor. However, his real passion was voice work and he went on to have a long career in voice acting. Meanwhile, Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia, was a script doctor. She was known for taking weak scripts and “doctoring” them so they performed well. She excelled in snappy dialogue and adding plot tension. Even if you’re sure you want to be an actor or actress, developing a skill related to acting—such as script writing or singing—can help your career or launch you into a second career. Likewise, many parts require a little something special, whether that’s singing, horse riding, ice skating, or guitar playing. Any time you can add an extra skill to your resume, you’ll make yourself more competitive when it come to auditions.
Preparing for a career in acting can take a lot of work; however, for people who love acting, it’s all worth it. At Milken, we offer a number of excellent performance art programs and classes for students interested in pursuing a career in acting. To find out more, submit our inquiry form. You may be able to tour the school, sit in on an acting class, and meet fellow students pursuing careers in acting.