Want to turn your part-time acting hobby into a full-time acting career? The difference between amateur and professional actors is that professional actors treat their acting as a business! My experience consulting with clients has taught me that working professionals understand 3 things:

1 – You Must Know Your Castability!

Ask an amateur actor what types of roles they play and they’ll say “I have a big range. I play lots of different kinds of roles.” In the amateur world you can play the prom queen in the first show of the season and a great-grandma in the last. Likewise, in an educational setting, like high school or college, your teachers want to challenge you to grow but, in the professional world, actors must know what they are most castable as and own it.

They don’t put 10 different types of headshot on their websites. Their headshots reflect their type and they present that “look” to potential agents and managers and when self-submitting for projects. They know submitting for projects they’re not right for is a waste of everyone’s time, including their own, and makes them appear amateur and unprofessional. By honing in on your unique qualities and what roles you’re truly right for, you increase your chance for success and increase your professional career opportunities.

2 – You Must Be Easy to Find!

Professional actors have websites so people can find them! Casting directors have said over and over again if they don’t know an actor the first thing they do is Google them. If you don’t make it easy for them to find you and hear your work, you could be missing opportunities. Last week a client (an established actor) told me he couldn’t find an actress in NYC for a high profile opportunity (that paid VERY well). He received recommendations from a number of reputable people in the business. However, when he looked them up very few of them had a website.

Whether you’re in voiceovers, commercials, theatre, film or TV you must be searchable on the web. If hiring a website designer or building your own site isn’t possible, create a free or inexpensive website with companies like IADB (who specialize in actor websites) or Wix.

Don’t forget to make sure your social media profiles and pictures look professional as well since they’ll come up when people google you. Ten actresses lost that great opportunity last week not because of their look or talent but because no one could learn more about them, hear their work or contact them. The surest path to job security in this business is to make it EASY for people to find, contact and hire you! If you want to attract business put up a sign.

3 – You Must Create Your Own Opportunities!

Professional ‘working’ actors don’t wait for the phone to ring. They are constantly finding and creating work for themselves. They’re working with theatre companies, letting people know about their projects, creating web series and constantly trying to meet new people in the industry.

Even if they have an agent they’re submitting themselves for projects on sites like Backstage and Actors Access and many, many others. They even use social media to find auditions! Yes, social media. Many legitimate casting offices post auditions on Twitter or their Facebook page. On Twitter use the Advanced Search feature to find these casting director’s pages or look up “casting”, “casting calls”, “submissions” and see what comes up. Use Facebook’s Graph Search to search for auditions posted on Pages and Groups.

Be your own agent, casting director and producer and see what opportunities you create.

Are You Up For It?

Do these 3 things and you’ll be on your way to turning your hobby into a career! To help you jumpstart the social media part of your career, be sure to grab a copy of my free 30-page guide The Ultimate Social Media Checklist for Actors! 


Discover Three Ways To Turn Your Part-Time Acting Hobby Into a Full-Time #Acting Career! Share on X

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Heidi Dean

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