Over the years, you’ve watched countless movies. You sit back and marvel at the wonderful actors and actresses. You find yourself mesmerized by the way the actor brings his character to life. On the other hand, you’re worried that actors might get paid too much. You wonder if they do enough to earn their wage. Well, many people fail to realize that actors spend a lot of time and energy preparing for their big roles. They work hard to better understand the character that they’re going to play. Then, they use every ounce of their energy to portray that character on stage or on the big screen.

So, what does it take to be an actor?


First and foremost, you have to understand that you’re not going to become famous overnight. You can call a few agents and audition for a few films. You could get lucky. Before you know it, you might land the role of your dreams. However, you need to realize that this is rare. It is highly unlikely that you’re going to become a celebrity actor overnight. Instead, you need to be patient. Patience is very important in this industry. It can take many years to gain recognition for your work. It’ll take years to get auditions for the biggest films and television shows.

Don’t enter this industry believing you’ll become a success overnight because that will not happen.


Another thing to note is that you’re going to need perseverance. You need to dedicate yourself to your career. If you’re not serious about being an actor, you shouldn’t bother. Getting jobs and earning money as an actor will be very difficult. In the beginning, you’ll earn very little. You could likely earn more playing Situs poker at night. Nevertheless, there is a chance that you’re going to be able to access higher-paying jobs in the future. You have to be optimistic and continue working hard to achieve your goals.

Without perseverance, you’ll never get there. You’ll give up after you’ve been turned down once or twice.


When it comes down to it, most actors and actresses rely on others to achieve their goals. You’ll need to be invited to an audition. This means that someone must know you. If you don’t have any connections, your opportunities will be limited. To expand your options, you should build connections in the industry. You need to team up with agents, directors and screenwriters. It is pertinent to create a thick black book full of friends you can call when you need help.

You need to know what you can offer and what you expect in return. Build connections and your pals will help you advance your career.


If you’re one dimensional, you’ll never make it as an actor in Hollywood. You likely have one or two favorite actors and actresses. You’ve watched their movies over and over again. What stands out about their roles? There is a good chance that they’ve played many different roles. In some movies, they’re business people trying to run a corporation. Other times, they’re playing the bad guy who wants to crash the economy. Then, they’ll play the convict trying to fix his life. These people pull off an assortment of roles because they’re versatile.

It is in your best interest to be versatile as well. You need to become flexible so you can take any role and turn it into a master piece. If you try to master one type of character, you’ll limit your options and your potential.


Do you really need the talent to become a successful actor? Well, you won’t need talent right away. However, you’ll need to develop and improve your skills as you go. If you’re not good enough, you’ll likely be stuck taking small jobs that don’t pay well. You need to expand and continue developing your skills. As you gain experience, you’ll improve your talent. This will make you a valuable asset to any film crew. If you don’t have talent, you need to supplement it with something else. You can work on your appearance so you can become the next “it” girl.

Alternatively, you can try comedy. If you’re fun, you might be able to excel as a comedic actor.

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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