The Fastest Way to the Higher Tiers of the Film Industry Deconstructed.
The question that I am asked most often is, “How do I get to the good roles in movies and TV? I know I need an agent, but what is the path to get this whole thing going?”
First, you can make this happen. Even though some people don’t think you can make a career being an actor, they don’t know the industry. They are judging it from the outside.
Let me tell you, there are jobs out there, acting and behind-the-scenes jobs, and many people are doing them now. You can get these jobs too.
First, Get some good ACTING TRAINING.
Obviously, you need to know how to act. What acting classes should you take?
The best classes are the ones that the most successful, working actors are taking. How do you find those?
The best acting classes you have to be referred to. Where can you get those referrals?
Other actors. Producers. Agents. Managers.
From where you are at today, the easist would be to meet working actors on set. Make a relationship and get a referral. That’s why I say all answers are found on set. That’s where all the valuable people for your career are.
You can also meet working actors in improv classes. Go where the actors are. Talk to the actors and ask them where they got their training. Since these actors are accessable, they can give you good information.
However, the BEST recommendations comes from actors who are working on set.
Those guys are the ones to listen to. They are the ones who are successfully making a career. You always want to take advice from those who have what you want.
A note: I wouldn’t sign up for too many classes at once, I would do one class at a time. Remember, if you’re an actor, you’re going to be in class for the rest of your career! You will need to keep your acting chops exercised.
Don’t get into any expensive series of classes. Keep yourself available to do the classes that you find out are really good!
For instance, if you want to do commercials, do Killians workshop here in Los Angeles. You may not know about this amazing class until you ran into a working commercial actor. Killian worked at casting offices for 10 years, and realized that actors have no idea what the clients want from the actor. Casting directors and agents asked Killian to do a class so these actors were more prepared for the auditions and Killians workshops were born. Now, agents, CDs all refer their clients to Killians.
I heard about Killians on set. All the best information can be found on set.
So, keep yourself light and free so you can jump on opportunities. And get on set, so you can find out and get referred to the BEST acting coaches.
Next, Get ON SET EXPERIENCE.
Next, the most valuable thing you can do, is get “on set” experience. Why?
Well, don’t you want to be the best? Don’t you want to learn from the best? Where do you think the best are?
On set! (and in production offices.)
We are talking fast track here.
If you want to go slow, learn from people who are not very good… and therefore can’t get on set. Or used to be on set, but are not in demand anymore. (there are so many like this.)
If you want to go fast, learn from the best.
You will BE one of the best, because you think like someone who is committed to learning everything they can, who wants to see it all firsthand, and develop their own killer way of moving up in this industry.
“But I don’t want to be a Production Assistant! I only want to act!”
If you only want to act, then go get em! You have to do it the traditional way.
I’m just showing you another, faster way.
It’s not for everybody and that’s a good thing because those that WANT to do it, should be the ones to get those jobs and jump on those opportunities.
There are many jobs that get you inside. Like Set Production Assistant, Set office assistant, Assistant Coordinator, Director’s Assistant, Producer’s Assistant, CD Assistant, Agent Assistant, Writers Assistant, Intern. There are some paid internships too.
What if I don’t live in Los Angeles?
These jobs are available in every metro market in the US. You can get these jobs if you live in Honolulu! Or Omaha, Nebraska!
This was not the case, 15 years ago. You had to be in NYC or LA. Now we shoot in Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Portland, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, New Orleans, and I could go on and on.
In fact, it’s better if you start out in a smaller metro market because it’s easier to get in! People will take you under their wing in a smaller market.
Los Angeles is the superbowl of the entire industry, so you must come in, with experience and savvy if you are to survive.
So, I recommend getting experience with these jobs in your smaller market, then come to LA with money, experience and connections!
Since the entertainment industry is now shooting all over the US, you have a great opportunity to get in and work where you live.
Can I really get started now in my local market and make a plan to get to LA?
Yes, why not? If you are thinking of coming to LA, you will be so much stronger if you take 6 months and get involved in your local industry first!
Then, you will also come to LA with money in your pocket, and knowing people in LA too!
You will have skills that make you stand out. That earn you money.
And as you work in your local market, you’ll meet people from LA. Then, you can come to LA with work already lined up. That’s smart.
You don’t want to come to LA as a newbie.
Professionals can tell by the 2nd sentence out of your mouth if you’re a newbie. It’s just obvious and you can’t cover it up.
You want to get out of newbie status as soon as you can.
How do you do that?
Just get some experience!
Learn what to say when you talk to professionals. When you come into LA, you need to know how to have professional conversations.
This is what I love about what we do.
You will get experience as you make money, with job inside the industry.
You can learn so much about the industry you love. You’ll be like a kid in a candy store as you see how the industry works! While you’re getting paid!
The benefits of working on set… getting hooked up!
I will not say this is a strategy to get acting work, but it does happen. It makes sense why it happens so much.
When you are day in and day out, working on film sets, and people become “endeared” to you, that is, they know you’re an actor, and scripts and sitautions change all the time…it happens where they need to add another role and can offer it to you.
You should not ASK to be given a role. But, if you’re cool, and they know you, they will think of you. It’s just the way it works!
And if you’re an actor, and are doing theatre, you can invite your production friends to see your performances, and all sorts of opportunities can come from that.
The fact is, you are swimming in a pool FULL OF FISH! Once you’re in the professional world, those ARE the people who make it happen.
They are IT. They are doing the work. It doesn’t get anymore BULLS-EYE than that. You have just put yourself in the middle of it all.
If you are given a line, in a union film or commercial, you will be instantly SAG eligible. you will get paid SAG day rate on top of your day rate! (SAG day rate is around $1000 on a union commercial). Then, you may also get residuals. Depends on the contract.
Then, you will also probably get an agent immediately, because someone needs to negotiate your contract.
I know many actors who got their first agent that way.
What do I need money-wise to move to LA?
Money wise, at least $3000 is the minimum for LA. I can’t speak about NYC, since I’ve never lived there.
So, you can work in your local market, save $3000 and move to LA with experience, connections, and money!
While you work in Omaha, Nebraska, you will meet LA people who come to your town to shoot.
This happens all the time. “Hey, when you come to LA, give me a call. I’m sure we can get you on some of our shoots.”
That’s what you want.
Here’s another secret:
WORK GETS YOU MORE WORK.
You get offered work when you already have work.
If you come in, and have no work, then no one is too excited.
If you come into LA, and you contact people saying, “Hey! I just got to LA, I’m working on this show right now… You wanna have coffee? I’d love to see what you’re doing!”
What have you done?
You’ve shown that you are good. Others hire you so you must be good.
You’ve shown that you are in demand. Very good.
You show you that you have many skills. (oooh, I like people who are capable!)
You show that you are a go getter. I want to work with people who make it happen themselves. I don’t like or relate to people who ask me to help them. Blah!
You have a great attitude. Obviously, you have done something with your life… I like that!
Go straight for the professional arena.
FINALLY, When you are in the professional arena, you are exposed to PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.
All the professionals are doing, is working on professional stuff. They aren’t doing webseries and student films. That is not even on their radar.
So, when you are in professional stuff and you know professionals, then what kind of opportunities are you going to get?
Professional opportunities. That’s paid stuff, SAG, national scope, residuals, the whole shebang.
Stop muddling around in the low stuff, get into the real stuff, and that’s how you move fast!
How you move fast, is to JUST GO STRAIGHT THERE!
When you think about it, it’s obvious.
The reason why you didn’t think of it, is that you didn’t think you could.
But I’m here to tell you that you can. And you should.
So, the fastest way to MOVE UP QUICKLY is to:
1. Get some acting training. Not a ton. But, selectively take some classes. The best coaches will be found in LA and NYC and they also have industry connections, so keep that in mind.
2. Get experience so you know what you’re doing.
3. Bulld trust easily because you’re already on set.
4. Get opportunities by being in the best place on earth. On set.
3. Make money while you get valuable experience.
4. Come to LA with experience, connections, and plenty of money. Hit the ground running!
The way to go fast without spending your money is to ELEVATE YOURSELF and MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU’RE DOING IT.
Most people will do the same thing over and over, audition for student films, make webseries, and take classes… and hope to get noticed someday. That is so slow and hard. You are not in control of your career that way.
When you elevate yourself by WHO you hang out with (Professionals) and WHAT YOU KNOW (you know what professionals know) and WHAT YOU DO (you are bold and take an inside route), you truly are somebody people want to know.
Chasing people, trying to get them to notice you, just doesn’t work. And it’s not good for you either.
By becoming a knowledgable, exceptional person, people are attracted to you and this whole thing becomes so much easier!