Advice and How-To's Especially for ACTORS!

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Advice to New Actors

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I absolutely love it when I meet actors from all over the world who tell me how much they appreciate my advice and feedback for actors, and the wealth of information that I direct them to online. I encourage questions from folks all over the social media circuit, from Twitter to Facebook to Formspring -- occasionally a question is so universal I want to share my answer on this blog.

Today, I’m answering a question from Sagoon, who writes:

"Hi Erin, Thanks for taking a moment and reading this. I am pretty much new to the acting world, I want to try it, I feel some sort of an attraction towards it. However, I do not have enough money to move to LA and or take classes. Where can or do I start in NYC? Thoughts? Thanks!!"

Yes, I definitely have thoughts, and I’m very happy to help! As I mentioned briefly on Twitter, the first thing I always recommend to someone who wants to become an actor is to start looking for a place to get training. Like any profession, if you want to make acting a career you’ll need to have good training to build the skills necessary to being an actor. There are classes than you can take in the evenings or on weekends to accommodate your work schedule, and there are affordable options for just about every budget. For beginning classes, I often recommend taking a look at one of your local community colleges, which often have 10-20 week courses for a fraction of the price you’d pay to a professional studio. This will allow you to “try out” acting before making a large investment of money.

I’d also suggest starting now with researching what it means to be an actor:

• Start reading blogs by actors & teachers, like mine: Bite-Size Business For Actors or The Erin Cronicals.

• Read blogs by groups of actors who give different perspectives in one centralized place, like The Green Room Blog, Daily Actor and Playbills Vs. Paying Bills.

• Read books on the business and craft of acting (see a list of books I recommend here: Books on the Business & Craft of Acting.

• Watch as many movies, plays, musicals and TV shows as you can , and start thinking about what kind of career you envision for yourself.

• Read biographies on respected actors, directors, writers, and producers. Read plays & screenplays.

• Subscribe to professional publications like Backstage to start getting to know the industry.

I am sure there are lots of other things I can recommend, but the options above are a great way to get started. Thanks again for writing, and please let me know if you have any other questions!


Have a comment or question? Leave it by clicking below!

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.

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