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Becoming an Actor in NYC

Air Date: February 15, 2024



 

Becoming an actor in New York City involves a combination of education, training, networking, and perseverance. Of course, there is risk involved. Anything worth doing has risks. You can, however, increase your chances for success if you approach your planning in a straightforward way. I will assume you have a place to live, some form of income and some acting training. Having these in place, we can now address the next phase of your New York adventure. Here are steps you can take to pursue an acting career in NYC:

  1. Acting Classes and Training:

  • Enroll in acting classes or attend a reputable acting school to develop your skills. NYC has many renowned acting schools and studios. You may feel that specific classes in your area of interest is the best way to begin. Specific classes from casting directors in “how to Audition for Film and TV” makes sense for you. Perhaps a theatre monologue class is a good place to start. Do your research and get referrals from friends who have taken the course.

  1. Build Your Resume:

  • Gain previous experience by participating in community theater, student films, or independent projects before New York is in the plan. Then, upon arrival, build a portfolio that includes your headshots, resume, and a reel showcasing your work. If you do not have a reel, that’s ok. It is something that will become more important as you start working.

  1. Get Professional Headshots:

  • Invest in professional headshots that accurately represent your look and personality. Headshots are a crucial part of your actor's toolkit. Make sure the headshot looks good in it’s thumbnail version (actors access, backstage).

  1. Join Acting Organizations:

  • Consider joining acting organizations and unions such as the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) when you are eligible. Being a part of these organizations can provide access to industry events, resources, and opportunities.

  1. Create an Online Presence:

  • Establish an online presence through social media platforms and create a professional actor's website. This is a way for casting directors and agents to discover you and learn more about your work.

  1. Attend Auditions:

  • Keep an eye on casting calls and audition for roles in NYC. (Backstage.com, Actors Access) Attend open calls, submit yourself for projects, and work with casting directors in classes or workshops to get your foot in the door.

  1. Network:

  • Attend industry events, workshops, and networking opportunities to meet other actors, casting directors, agents, and producers. Networking is crucial for building connections and getting noticed in the industry.

  1. Seek Representation:

  • Once you have some experience and a strong portfolio, consider seeking representation from a talent agent. Agents can help you find auditions and negotiate contracts.

  1. Stay Informed:

  • Stay updated on industry trends, events, and opportunities. Subscribe to industry publications, follow casting websites, and stay informed about the entertainment scene in NYC.

  1. Be Persistent:

  • Acting careers often involve periods of rejection and uncertainty. Be persistent, stay committed to your craft, and continue auditioning. Success in the acting industry often comes with resilience and perseverance.

  1. Explore Additional Skills:

  • Consider developing additional skills that can enhance your marketability, such as singing, dancing, or proficiency in accents and languages.

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Remember that the path to becoming an actor can vary for everyone, and success may take time. Be patient, stay dedicated to your craft, and keep refining your skills and professional profile. Keeping a positive mindset, although not always easy, is a great perspective when starting out. Remember why you want to be an actor and remind yourself that this is an amazing profession which can be rewarding on many levels. Someone once said, “The best advice is the one you use”. It is relatively easy to come up with a list of “to Do’s” it’s quite another to really commit to your decision. Being a creative person and with a little effort, discipline and a honest approach to problem solving, you will be well on your way to growing your talent, business, and acting career in New York.

 

 

 


Jeffrey Dreisbach, Casting Partner, McCorkle Casting LTD-New York, NY

Jeff continues to cast with McCorkle Casting LTD on numerous productions for theatre film and

Television. Additionally, his podcast, “Casting Actors Cast” has reached 105 thousand downloads and

can be found on any podcast provider. He is the author of, “Conversation Pieces out of the Studio” the

voice-over workshop in book form and found on Amazon books or wherever books are sold.

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