Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Actor?

A lot of people dream of a fantastic career on the stage or screen. But the reality is that remarkably few of these actually have a passion for acting. The lure of fame and fortune is a strong pull, of course, but there is a lot more to acting than the glamour and glitz of Hollywood -which is an impossible dream for 95% of all actors. But you don’t have to make it to the big time – acting jobs are everywhere. And with the right attitude, experience, and desire to put yourself forward, you can make a decent living out of the art if you put your mind to it. Here’s what it takes to start an acting career…

You have an advantage

As a young person, you are in a good place to start planning a career in acting. With your life in front of you, time is most definitely on your side – but you the sooner you dive into acting, the better. Join your school drama group, and if it’s offered as a subject, take it. Sign up to local independent groups, too – and don’t be afraid to go to auditions. The truth is that auditions can be a little scary, but if you start trying out for things now, things will get a lot easier very quickly.

The college route

You don’t have to study drama – but as thespruce.com point out, it will help. You will learn all kinds of important aspects of acting, as well as learning how to set a stage up, lots of theory, and a good mix of styles. You can actually find yourself at acting school – maybe you will learn you are better suited in musicals than comedies, for example?

You need experience

Experience is vital when it comes to acting – whether you are going to college or looking for paid work. You might hear about young children who have been plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight, but these situations are incredibly rare. You are far better off doing as we suggested above, and getting as much experience as possible. There are plenty of services out there like AuditionsHq.com which list audition opportunities and casting calls. Your local papers will also display acting jobs on occasion. The most important thing, however, is to get involved with local drama groups – you will learn such a lot from more experienced actors, and don’t forget: you never know who might be watching!

Your proof

Although an audition will seal the deal for you, every actor needs proof to get that audition in the first place. You’ll need a showreel, showing off your range, skills, and experience. You might want to consider signing up with an agency, too – although please be careful to go with a reputable company. Agents have a lot of contacts and will be notified of upcoming jobs – and if you have star quality, they will back you to the hilt.

So, do you have what it takes to become an actor? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Chit Chatting with Charlotte Mary Wen

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing a very talented actress and singer, Charlotte Mary Wen. She was the winner of the 2013 LA’s Next Great Stage Star Award, and that award was well deserved. She has acted not only on stage, but also in movies and TV shows. Read on about Charlotte, her upcoming projects, and find out who her biggest influence is.

 

R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting.

C: I grew up in San Diego playing on the beach, singing on kitchen tables, and putting on skits with my cousins. I think ever since I was little, the idea of “playing” and “creating” was a huge passion of mine. I started out in musical theatre in San Diego, then Los Angeles and New York City. I discovered a love and interest of TV and film when I got older, and now I’m in Los Angeles pursuing a career on the stage and screen!

 

R: Tell us about your TV movie Life on Mars and about your character Rebecca.

C: Life on Mars is about a young man trying to find his way – he’s a little lost in life and trying to find the balance between love and relationships and his career. Sounds kind of typical of young adults in Los Angeles! I play Rebecca, a snarky girl who shuts him down, but who hysterically does so by misusing idioms.

 

R: Can you tell us about the movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?

C: Oh my gosh! I can’t say much about the movie, but I will say you will love Melissa McCarthy’s performance. She is a dream and I loved working with her!

 

R: You are in the movie A Killer Walks Amongst Us. Tell us about the movie and about your character.

C: The death of a high school girl leaves a lot of unanswered questions. I play her best friend, Michelle.

 

R: You got to work with an incredible cast. What was it like working with Dominic Keating, Ashley Scott, and the rest of the cast? What was your favorite memory from that film?

C: The cast was so kind and professional. Everyone on set felt like a family. I loved filming my scene with Eva LaRue and Michael Welch – they exemplified ease on set that I aspire to achieve.


R: Do you have any other upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

C: I’m excited to play Ali in Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Bowl. I can’t believe I get to work with Tony-winner Kathleen Marshall and a stellar cast. I feel truly blessed.

 

R: What theater plays have you been in? Which ones were your favorite?

C: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (The Old Globe), One Day: The Musical (Off-Broadway) and American Idiot (La Mirada) are some of my favorites, but I absolutely loved playing the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (3DT).

 

R: What is the best thing about performing on stage?

C: I love the feeling of sharing an experience with a live audience. There is something beautiful about live theatre and every performance being different from the one before.

 

R: You also sing. Do you have any plans on recording an album?

C: I love singing covers on my YouTube channel. I’ve never thought about doing an album, but I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to it in the future!

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

C: My younger sister, Janelle! She has incredible faith and dedication and I aspire to be more like her every day. She is a graphic designer for Universal Studios and an incredible hip hop dancer and choreographer. She’s also my go-to for encouragement and advice.

 

R: What are your future goals?

C: I love comedy and sitcom. I’d love to get deeper into funny content on TV, film, and new media. I also want to eventually coach young adults in performing arts.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

C:

  1. My two favorite cities are Barcelona and London
  2. I love pesto
  3. I once ate ten eggs for breakfast–yep, count ’em!
  4. My family has been in San Diego for five generations
  5. I have two dogs, one of which is 17 years old

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

C: I like this one! Hmm…I think my favorite is, “Why do you have such big feet?” It’s true. I have pretty big feet for my height, and it still baffles me. I think I was meant to be taller!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

C: Yes! My official website is www.charlottemarywen.com. I’m on Instagram and Twitter as @charmarywen, and my YouTube channel is youtube.com/charlottemarywen.  I use Instagram and YouTube the most!

 

R: Is there anything you would like to add or say to your fans?

C: In this career, you go through lots of ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like the downs are outweighing the ups, but you need to keep at it and if there is nothing else you could imagine making you as happy, stick with it. The work doesn’t validate you, but knowing you are enough and you have something to say and share is all you need. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy every moment!

 

Picture credits: Taili Song Roth, CBS Television, LA Stage Alliance, Isaac James