How to Find Acting Work – enCAST

How to Find Acting Work

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One of the most important sides to being an actor is finding work. And unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult. Even those of you with training as an actor may well find that your course has not give you the skills or information to find work.

So right here is a practical and effective guide to getting work as an actor.

You are your own business

If you want to open a shop, or begin a business as a plumber, or are starting out as a lawyer then you to spend time & money on getting yourself equipped and ready to begin work.

Acting is no different so you need to treat it like a business and approach it professionally.

First, you need to get yourself prepared:

  • get yourself good headshots
  • prepare your beginners CV and a cover letter so they’re ready when an opportunity comes up
  • get a website (you can do this yourself fairly easily at WordPress or Wix) to promote yourself and to point people to
  • then, on your email signature, add your website address for all the world to find
  • clear out the personal trash from your social media pages and make them all about acting (or create complete new pages for the acting side of your life)

Nothing, but nothing, beats experience. So get yourself in some local films. This means scouring student projects locally and even making films yourself for the experience and practice. 

Find the jobs

Unless you have an agent (which, to be frank, is almost impossible unless you are experienced) you need to find work yourself. This means scouring the casting notices to find work.

The easiest way to do this is to join casting websites to look for jobs. If you’re in the UK or Europe then join enCAST obviously, but depending on where you are based, think about these others.

With enCAST and most other sites, you can set your notification preferences so that you receive suitable casting notices the moment they are posted because it’s essential that you check the castings every day. Smaller jobs are often cast at the last moment and if you are 24 hours late to the party you might well find that someone else has got the job before you even applied.

Here are some other sources of jobs:

  • Local newspapers – these might mention a production which is taking place in your town and which is looking for extras. You might be a trained actor, but if you have no experience in the real world then a few days work as an extra is something for your CV and can help in the future.
  • Scour local Facebook pages for acting groups in your area – and check them daily for jobs and opportunities

Tell everyone you’re an actor

Without being pompous about it, tell people when you meet them that you’re an actor. 

The film industry is all about word of mouth and it’s not uncommon for actors to find work through contacts. You tell your elderly neighbour. They tell their daughter  who just happens to be an MUA on a local TV station who are looking for someone to stand in for a programme shooting this weekend after a last minute cancellation. Your name gets mentioned and you’re in.

Believe us, this happens. If everyone knows you are an actor, then you’ve suddenly increased your chances.

Other ideas

  • One task a day – it works!
  • Never, ever, stop learning; read the industry press every day so you know what’s happening and can be prepared when it happens to you
  • Connect online with others; join social media groups and interact with them so you make friends and are there when opportunities arise
  • Start a YouTube channel – it’s a chance to act and meet people

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