What Makes A Successful Professional Actor?

What Makes A Successful Professional Actor?

As an actor it is extremely important that you always act professionally and make a good first impression because people will always remember you, make sure it is for the right reasons!

The first thing an actor needs to ensure is that they have a suitable CV that includes only the relevant information. In your CV you should have contact information, a personal statement, qualifications and experience in the arts. The CV should be clear and easy to read, it should be truthful about age and height etc. but you can sometimes get away with being a little colourful about your experiences.

It is also important to have a good photo to accompany your CV, this is called a headshot. This should be a 10×8 black and white photo, only of head and shoulders, unless otherwise stated. When having your photo taken you should look as neutral as possible with minimal make up and jewellery and plain clothes. Also hair should be as neutral as possible with a plain contrasting background. However, the most important thing about the photo is that it is true to how you look everyday.

As you are marketing yourself, you need to know about your product, you! Be clear on what your playing age is and be realistic, this is normally 5 years either side of your actual age, but some people look younger or older. Ask your friends and family what they think, or ask people you don’t know to guess your age! Know the type of person you are and the roles that would suit you best. Actors are expected to have a good RP (receive pronunciation) so that they have a neutral voice, however, if an actor has an accent or can speak another language this is a bonus and can give them more options, added to your CV.A professional actor is nothing more than a blank canvas and the director wants to know that they can make you into the character needed, but this doesn’t mean you should be boring, show a little individuality but perhaps stay away from green hair or big tattoos.

How do i get invited to an audition?

To be invited to an audition you need to have an agent. Agents normally hire people after seeing them in a professional production or in a showcase. All of the colleges in the conference of drama schools will do a showcase at the end of the course. This is where they will invite agents and casting directors to come and watch students, it’s a great opportunity to get known in the business and get a good start to your career.

What do i need to remember at an audition?

If you have been invited to an audition, it is important that you make a good impression as most casting directors make up their minds as people walk through the door, you should arrive approx. 20mins before your audition and enter the room confidently with a relaxed natural smile. Open auditions are slightly different, anyone can attend these. You should arrive 2-3 hours early for an open audition and be prepared for every eventuality as you could be waiting outside in all weathers for hours. However, whatever the audition you should be fresh faced and well prepared, punctuality and politeness is VERY important. Never make excuses for any reason and treat every person with respect, be nice to everyone because you never know who you will meet again or who is part of the audition process.

A professional actor will have an excellent diary and contact book. It is important that you know exactly where you are meant to be and how you are going to get there, leaving yourself plenty of time and always have another route planned. It is helpful that you remember casting directors and other people in the business that you have met incase you come across them again. Also you should have a good audition mentality, treat every audition as an experience and if you get the part it is an added bonus. If you do get the part make sure you take all the details straight away so that you don’t have to ring them up to confirm again as this is a waste of their time and it won’t make a good impression.

So with all of that in mind, get out there and start your career!

Word of advice:

Always remember who you are and what your own personal morals and beliefs are and stick to them. No job is ever worth compromising who you are and what you stand for.

Good Luck!


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