Life After Training

11 05 2015

SO, what do you DO after you get all this training? How do you get started in the actual business of acting? I think many of us think of this process in the wrong order. The perception of starting life as a professional actor is often this:

  1. Get Training (B.A., B.F.A., or extensive classes)

  2. Get Agent

  3. Start Auditioning

  4. Get work!

However, I think there are a few steps missing before “Get Agent” and after “Start Auditioning.” I think it should go a little more like this:

  1. Get Training

  2. Get Involved in your local theatre, film/tv scene

  3. Get to KNOW Local Working Actors

  4. Start Auditioning for Student Films, Indie Films, Theatre, New Media Projects

  5. Get an Agent – maybe through this “getting to know” process

  6. Start Auditioning for Higher Profile Projects

  7. CONTINUE TRAINING…. ALWAYS

  8. Get work!

Walking right out of college with your B.A., landing an agent immediately, getting auditions immediately, and booking one of the first jobs you ever audition for DOES HAPPEN. It just DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN. If your expectation is that you will get an agent, and work immediately, you will be very disappointed as you start out in this business. I can remember hearing similar things when I finished graduate school and planned my big move to NYC. I thought, “Well, that applies to everyone BUT me! I will get going immediately! No one will be able to DENY my talent!!!!” A certain amount of that ego was necessary for my survival as a nascent professional actor, but I can tell you…. I was SORELY disappointed.

Not only did I land in NYC approximately 18 days before 9/11, I had no agent, and no one cared that I had my MFA in Acting. No one cared. I didn’t have an agent, I didn’t have any “real” experience, even though my grad school resume was quite impressive. I was already a member of Actors Equity Association! I made sure I had walked out of grad school with my CARD! I began the process of attending Equity Principal Auditions in Manhattan! Surely it was only a matter of the right person seeing my audition, and I would be ON MY WAY.

Even if 9/11 hadn’t happened a mere two weeks into my NYC experience, I was already finding out that getting in the door of a NYC theatre company to ACTUALLY audition for someone that might ACTUALLY cast me in an ACTUAL role, and “Equity Principal Auditions” had nothing to do with one another. When I realized that the business was who you know, and who your agent is, it burst my delusion balloon real quick.

More later…

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