Ever envisioned yourself as an actor on the big screen?
Working as an extra is a great way to get started in the business. Extras are people of all ages that make a scene appear real, but don't deliver any lines. They're the crowds in the streets, the people enjoying the beach, and the soldiers in the armies. Working on set as an extra gives you a chance to watch the pros in action and learn a lot about film making. Learn more about working as an extra.
Something else that can help aspiring actors launch their careers is getting involved in theater. Acting on the big stage requires vocal skills, physical skills, mental and emotional skills, and the ability to move comfortably across the stage and speak to a live audience. These and other local theater groups and programs offer opportunities to get involved with theater:
- Patel Conservatory
- American Stage Theater Company
- freeFall Theatre Company
- St. Petersburg City Theatre
- Ruth Eckerd Hall
- Venue Actors Studio
- Pinellas County Center for the Arts
- St. Petersburg College Theater Arts Program
- USF School of Theatre & Dance
As you pursue your dreams of acting, remember that the job is usually more difficult than glamorous. The days are long. Many people compete for a few roles. The first year will likely be harder than you thought. Yet persistence and hard work can pay off.
It can’t be emphasized enough that if you really want to be an actor, do theater. All the major talent agencies in Hollywood get new talent by recruiting them from the top theater colleges in the country.
More tips on launching your acting career:
- Network with everybody in the business, including anyone aspiring to be in the business. Strong connections will go far in your search for work.
- Make a movie. It doesn't have to be long or expensive, and it'll be good experience. Plus, you'll have a chance to be creative and work with other aspiring actors.
- Showcase your talent and skills on an actor reel, and then use it to market yourself to casting directors, agents, producers, directors and managers.
- Get an agent, but not just any agent. Take time to research and check references. The SAG-AFTRA website is a great place to start your search for legitimate, reputable agents/agencies.