A guide on how to become an actor with no experience

One of the most common questions we’re asked on a regular basis is “how do I become an actor without any experience?”. It seems like an impossible feat, every job ad I see asks for experience, yet I have none.


Studying for film

Study, study, study… and read!

Understanding the industry is a must for an actor – there are numerous books out there to help you understand the film industry as a whole.

It’s also an opportunity to work on your craft. There are plenty of books out there for you to hone your craft. Two of our favourites are Andy Hyman: The Golden Rules of Acting and Dee Cannon: In-depth Acting. Use the books as a way of understanding the theory then put it into practice with your own monologues and projects (which we cover in more depth below).

Check out our breakdown of film schools in London HERE.

Create your own work

One brilliant example is Michael Dapaah he created his own world SWIL from his YouTube channel and had major success.

You should write your own work – is there a character you’d like to portray with certain characteristics? Where do your strengths lie? – Tailor the writing towards that. Set up a YouTube channel or maybe film small clips to plaster across Facebook, Instagram and so forth.

Even though these won’t send you to stardom in weeks, it will help you improve your craft.

Read More: Seven top tips for a beginner screenwriter

Research the industry

We briefly touched on this above. But, researching the industry is incredibly beneficial for your development as an actor. By researching the industry and understanding it in more depth you’ll feel like your part of it. It will help you understand audition processes, the filmmaking process and you’ll feel far more included in the industry. It helps build your morale.

Have a side hustle

This is something we feel is important. A lot of people drop absolutely everything and go for the dream. This rarely works and they end up under a lot of pressure. By balancing the two at the start is an integral part of becoming an actor. Find a job that’s flexible or in the evenings. This allows you to eat, afford rent and most importantly exercise. You can look at evening jobs to allow you to study the craft and audition in the daytime.

Having the financial pillar will take a massive weight off of your mind and allow you to focus on your craft without worrying about your day to day finances.

Promotional Materials

PolaroidBuilding your brand is extremely important. Firstly we recommend getting professional headshots, there are many photographers out there. Always use Spotlight or Mandy to have a look at registered photographers to ensure you are getting a professional. 

You will then want to work on building a social media account to show snippets of your work and maybe to document your acting journey.

Then finally, you can get your showreel assembled. There are many ways to get this created. One would be to put thefootage together from your student projects or you can now find companies who will produce a three-scene showreel for you. These showcase all aspects of your acting ability to give prospective casting directors an idea of your talent and get you into “the room”.

Learn to accept rejection

There’s so much of it. Sometimes with feedback, other times – silence. This can be tough, especially in the earlier stages. However, a method used by a lot of actors is to go to the audition and once you’ve performed to the room. You put it into the back of your mind and continue.

Bryan Cranston sums it up brilliantly HERE.

Be patient

Finally. Be patient, it takes so much time to get where you want to be. To combat the wait. Always look to be adding to your reel and reaching out to people, you will be surprised by the opportunities that may seem “lucky”, but they are down to your hard work and perseverance. Maybe look at gaps in your CV, never acted in a comedic role? Have a look at some web series or student films to get that experience down.

Overall it takes time, perseverance and a lot of frustration, but trust us – you’ll get there!

If you found this article helpful please follow us at @ifilmthings.

Photo of author

Jay Neill

Jay Neill is the founder, owner, and managing editor of iFilmThings and believes everyone should have access to the film resources they need to plan their filmmaking project, which is why he’s dedicated iFilmThings to helping all filmmakers.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.