How Much Experience Is Needed to Become an Actress?

Written by megan smith
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How Much Experience Is Needed to Become an Actress?

There are lots of opportunities for actresses to "make it" without any education, classes or resources. But the best and most resilient actresses usually have had some type of professional training. In order to become a full-time actress and make money with your career, you may have to accept little or no money for small roles for quite some time. If you're finding yourself in a financial rut as an actress, it may be time to go back to school and get some additional training.


It is entirely possible for someone to get discovered in a mall tomorrow, or an aspiring star to go into an open call and get cast on the spot for the next big thing in Hollywood. This does not happen often, however. Most actresses have worked long and hard to get seen before getting noticed. This will probably include spending lots of money on school, head shots and painstaking resume building. If you feel that you aren't getting noticed as much as you'd like to when you go on auditions, a great way to get your foot in the door is to take some classes in order to get more experience.


Decide if you would like to focus on being a film actress, a TV actress, a theatrical actress or a comedy actress. Usually you will not get to pick and choose what direction your career goes, especially if you have an agent. He will probably want to send you out on every audition you can get. However, it is important for you to decide what your focus will be, because the more experience you have in that particular genre, the more casting agents will be likely to want to see you audition.


A casting agent will take note of the school you attended. If the school you attended has a particularly good theatre program--Julliard, New York University, Northwestern University or Carnegie Melon University, for example. It is also a good idea to get an education because most likely, your casting agent will know someone you do if you went to a well-respected school. Your school may also provide an audition database where you'll have the opportunity to gain acting experience.

Time Frame

Do not expect that three weeks after you start acting classes, you will book a job. Many top actresses work for years before ever "making it." Your resume should be a full page long with lots of examples of the range and quality of your work. You should list your education, the theatre and film you have been in, and if you have any commercials under your belt. If your resume only contains a few items, wait at least a year before submitting to agents. Ideally, your resume should be built up to an entire page before you start pitching yourself as a finished product.


In some countries, like Romania, you automatically become an actress after completing the program in one of Romania's theatre school. In the United States, it is not always so easy to become an actress. There is a chance that you could audition for 10 years and not get a single role. Regardless of the school or program that you have gone to, you may still not have what it takes to become a professional actress.

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