Most talent had that moment sitting in front of the television or big screen where they looked at their friend and said, “Man, I could do that!” And so, the road to a new career was launched! It even happened with a friend of mine who was being toted to shows and screenings featuring The Avenue’s own talent. He said those very words and found himself signing up for a serious film class a few weeks later. He has since done several short films and continues to find subtle ways to ask me more about becoming an actor. But once you’ve had that epiphany, what should you do next?
Sure, you can sign up for a film acting class in your area if your goal is to be an actor, but even that is putting the cart before the horse. There’s no college degree in modeling or acting, so how can you set yourself up for success? Here are some simple steps to consider before you take a step away from the computer or jump into a new venture.
Diversify your skill set – Did you identify yourself as a possible model and a possible actor? You don’t have to choose just one – why not do both!?! The more diversified your abilities, the faster you will gain knowledge, advance in training, and build your network of contacts. Supermodels like Andie Macdowell have more to offer than just a pretty face. (This has proven itself in the fact that she still models, but has also had opportunities in TV and film.) Successful models know that they are selling a character along with the brand they are endorsing. Developing and portraying a character for the still camera requires skills as an actor as much as the measurements to be the model. Learn to do more than what you just do naturally or what is comfortable!
Develop complimentary skills – Do you already know how to bow hunt? Learn to hunt with a rifle, too! Can you do a cartwheel? Learn an aerial, one handed cartwheel, or more tumbling exercises! Do you live near water (e.g., Miami)? Become an accomplished swimmer; learn to drive water crafts and boats; take sailing lessons! Dig deeper into the areas where you already excel and into the obvious needs within your market.
One day when your agent calls to ask, can you blow smoke rings, you’ll confidently say yes and then nail the casting (and even maybe book the gig)!