There are some basics steps one must take on the way to becoming a professional actor. Here are some tips I’ve found on becoming a professional actor:
You must be aware of your “look” and market yourself as such. This is most important in television and film. Are you the ingénue? The thug? Schoolteacher? Blue collar? Know your type!
Find a recommended headshot photographer and get good headshots. Consult with your photographer to figure out how to capture the look you are going for. You’re headshots are important marketing tool in getting an agent and submitting for roles. Get a headshot that will reflect your personality and the types of characters you can play.
Build a resume based on any acting work you’ve done. Don’t worry if there is not much to list in the beginning. Put on anything that comes to mind. Don’t lie on your resume (you will probably get caught), but you can embellish on the work you have already done.
If you really want to go out for professional roles, you must find an agent. Send out your headshot, resume, and cover letter to agencies in your range. If you have no TV/film experience you probably have a better shot at finding a commercial agent first, then working your way up to getting theatrical representation (agents for TV/film).
You should perform as much as you can. Join a theatre company and do plays. You will meet people this way and be able to showcase your talent. Invite people to watch you perform. It will keep you alive as an artist and help people see what you can do as a performer.
Acting is an extremely competitive profession. You must make sure you are always at the top of your game. Many working actors still take class to stay sharp. Learning the craft of acting is a life-long pursuit that doesn’t end at getting a job.
Meet people in all parts of the entertainment industry and keep in touch with them. You’ll find that many jobs you get come from people you know. The entertainment industry is based on relationships. Build relationships while you can, because your peers are the one’s who will be running the industry in the future.
You will face a great deal of disappointment in attempting to be a professional actor. Don’t give up. It’s just like pursuing anything else in life that is very difficult. Pick yourself up when you fail and keep going until you succeed!