Have you ever wanted to try acting but you don’t know where to start? Maybe you did some in school and really enjoyed it but haven’t found the right outlet since or maybe you’ve never done it and are just interested in giving it a go. I’ve been working as an actor, my side hustle, in London for the last 8 years so I think I’ll be able to give you some pointers in the right direction. I’ll start with people who are looking to just get started and move to people who are looking to deepen their practices and get more involved in the industry.
Acting can be a lot of fun, particularly at an entry level. It’s about exploring your human nature and revealing it in front of an audience to give a piece of yourself to the world. So if you are looking to get involved I’d recommend starting by doing a workshop for acting beginners. These workshops can be incredibly informative and will set you up going in the right direction to begin acting confidently. You’ll cover the basic skills you need to learn to present yourself appropriately on stage or screen. They are fun supportive environments where it’s easy to make mistakes and learn from them. You’ll also meet other people who are starting out.
If you are starting to feel like you have a handle on the basics then I’d recommend trying to audition for a community theatre production. If you are looking for some fun community activity and a creative outlet this is a great option for you. In a community production, you’ll get to meet other players and put together a personal and meaningful show. It is often said that some of these community productions are better than west-end shows due to the passion and commitment of the people involved. If you’ve never performed in a play before then this is a great way to do it for the first time. You’ll find these environments supportive and encouraging.
If you are feeling like you now have some experience in acting and are looking at going pro. Then I’d recommend you make a profile on The Mandy Network. Here you can see jobs that are being posted in your area. It’s perfect for actors starting out professionally as you don’t need to be represented by an agent and can find interesting work that can fit your schedule. This will include a lot of fringe theatre and student short films but also has some more high-profile castings in there too. A lot of the work on the Mandy network is paid and it’s a good stepping stone to the next phase.
Getting representation. After you’ve had five paid jobs through the Mandy Network you’ll be in a position to get Spotlight Membership. You’ll need to get some professional headshots taken and set yourself up on spotlight’s website. Spotlight operates as the directory for actors working in the U.K. Once you have a spotlight membership it will be easier to get represented by an Agent. An agent will help to connect you with the casting directors that are looking for people like you. You should send your headshots as well as a little bit about yourself to many agents and eventually, hopefully, you’ll hear back from one.
Once you are set up with an agent you’ll be in a great position to get regular work and try to make your hobby into your career. However, if you’re just wanting to try it out I’d recommend that you try going to a workshop or auditioning for a community production. You’ll have lots of fun and meet new exciting people. It’ll be a great social adventure.