No formal license or certification is needed to become an actor or actress, however listed below is a list of favorable requirements that may make entry into this occupation more effective.
- Begin training at an early age with private lessons or participation in school or community productions.
- Study drama at colleges and universities or train at professional acting schools that are concentrated in the New York and Los Angeles areas.
- Attending a first-rate acting school increases people’s chances of getting a job--in part by giving them connections in the industry.
- The Screen Actors Guild recommends that aspiring actors have enough savings to live for two years without any income while trying to break into the acting business.
- Also, because it can be so difficult, it is very important to have a "day job", which you do to keep your bills paid while auditioning for acting jobs.
- Most actors begin by going to auditions and taking small parts in order to gain experience and make professional contacts. Often they will need to work as extras or walk-ons before they get more substantial roles.
- Getting good parts often depends on contacts as much as it does on talent and earlier success. Many actors use agents to help them find work and spend significant amounts of time promoting their work in order to attract the attention of directors and producers.
For more information contact:
The Screen Actors Guild:
5757 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036-3600
(323) 954-1600 Main Switchboard
(323) 549-6648 For Deaf Performers Only: TTY/TTD
1-800-SAG-0767 for SAG Members outside Los Angeles
360 Madison Avenue 12th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 944-1030 Main Switchboard
(212) 944-6715 For Deaf Performers Only: TTY/TTD
The data sources for the information displayed here include: Virginia Career VIEW Research.