How to jumpstart your acting career

The question I am asked frequently is, “How can I get into the acting industry?” This is the universal question that is asked by many around the world. I, too, have asked that same question at some point in my career.

The first piece of advice I always give to individuals seeking a career in acting is to take an acting course. Through this course you will not only learn the fundamentals of the art but you will also learn if acting is for you. Taking acting courses will allow you to test the waters without spending a fortune. Most individuals who pursue acting without any formal training usually do not realize that acting may not be for them until they have invested hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.

Once you have completed an acting course, you should now get professional headshots taken. Your headshots are one of the key pieces of materials that will get you into an agent or casting director’s office. It is critical that your headshots are done properly and represent you in your particular character essence. Your headshots should be no larger or smaller than 8×10 inches. Your wardrobe colors for your headshots should be in all natural colors. You want the focus to be on you, not your clothing.

Once you have obtained your professional headshots, you are now ready to construct your résumé. If you happen to not have any acting credits, it is important to highlight your acting training along with any special talents you may have. Also, be sure to include your physical statistics in your résumé as well.

Finally, you are ready to start submitting yourself to agents and casting directors. You should look into agencies and casting companies in markets you would like to work in. Be sure to do your research on the agencies you are seeking representation from. It is paramount to verify that the agencies are licensed.

Keep in mind that the acting industry is extremely competitive. Do not get discouraged if you do not get the callback you hoped for. Rejection is unfortunately a part of the game, but always have faith in God, and go for it.

Serrell Rollins has been in roles on television shows such as MTV’s “Teen Wolf” and TV One’s “The Rickey Smiley Show.”