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Want to Act Full-Time? How to Go from Hobbyist to Acting Pro

If you’ve been wondering about what it takes to make voice acting (or acting in general) a full-time gig, you’re about to discover how to go about it! Heidi Dean of Marketing4Actors shares her tips and insight with us in today’s Vox Daily.

Three Ways To Turn Your Part-Time Acting Hobby Into a Full-Time Career!

By: Heidi Dean
The difference between amateur and professional actors is that professional actors treat their acting as a business! My experience consulting with clients has taught me that working professionals understand 3 things:

1 – You Must Know Your Type!

Ask an amateur actor what types of roles they play and they’ll say “I have a big range. I play lots of different kinds of roles.” In the amateur world you can play the prom queen in the first show of the season and a great-grandma in the last. Likewise, in an educational setting, like high school or college, your teachers want to challenge you to grow but, in the professional world, actors must know what they are most castable as and own it.

They don’t put 10 different types of headshot on their websites. Their headshots reflect their type and they present that “look” to potential agents and managers and when self-submitting for projects. They know submitting for projects they’re not right for is a waste of everyone’s time, including their own, and makes them appear amateur and unprofessional.

This is true in all areas of the business including voiceovers! I was fortunate to interview Voices’s co-founder, Stephanie Ciccarelli, who said “You really need to understand who you are, your instrument and the kind of voice-over work you want to do. You might really love creating characters, but if you are hired mainly to voice corporate telephone systems, purposefully seek out more around those opportunities.

When you’ve determined what your Signature voice is, you’ll be able to brand your business and make strategic decisions that will help you attract the kind of work you’re best suited to.” By honing in on your unique qualities and what roles you’re truly right for, you increase your chance for success and increase your professional career opportunities.

2 – You Must Be Easy to Find!

Professional actors have websites so people can find them! Casting directors have said over and over again if they don’t know an actor the first thing they do is Google them. If you don’t make it easy for them to find you and hear your work, you could be missing opportunities. Last week a client (an established actor) told me he couldn’t find an actress in NYC for a high profile opportunity (that paid VERY well). He received recommendations from a number of reputable people in the business. However, when he looked them up very few of them had a website.

Whether you’re in voiceovers, commercials, theatre, film or TV you must be searchable on the web. If hiring a website designer or building your own site isn’t possible, create a free or inexpensive website with companies like IADB (who specialize in actor websites) or Wix.

Don’t forget to make sure your social media profiles and pictures look professional as well since they’ll come up when people google you. Ten actresses lost that great opportunity last week not because of their look or talent but because no one could learn more about them, hear their work or contact them. The surest path to job security in this business is to make it EASY for people to find, contact and hire you! If you want to attract business put up a sign.

3 – You Must Constantly Create Your Own Opportunities!

Professional ‘working’ actors don’t wait for the phone to ring. They are constantly finding and creating work for themselves. They’re working with theatre companies, letting people know about their projects, creating web series and constantly trying to meet new people in the industry.

Even if they have an agent they’re submitting themselves for projects on sites like Voices, Actors Access and many, many others. They even use social media to find auditions! Yes, social media. Many legitimate casting offices post auditions on Twitter or their Facebook page. On Twitter use the Advanced Search feature to find these casting director’s pages or look up “casting”, “casting calls”, “submissions” and see what comes up. Use Facebook’s Graph Search to search for auditions posted on Pages and Groups.

Be your own agent, casting director and producer and see what opportunities you create.

Are You Up For It?

Do these 3 things and you’ll be on your way to turning your hobby into a career! To help you jumpstart your career, I am offering Voices readers 20% off any of my online class at Actors Marketing Classroom where I make mastering your showbusiness easy with step-by-step video tutorials! Use the coupon code VOICES20 to get started!

About Heidi Dean

Heidi Dean is founder of Marketing 4 Actors and the creator of the Actors Marketing Classroom. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was a professional SAG and AEA actor with 20 years experience in theater, commercials, voiceovers, print, and TV. Combining her years of industry experience with cutting edge marketing strategy, Heidi helps actors create strategies to take their careers to the next level! Her revolutionary courses in the Actors Marketing Classroom, help actors embrace the business of show business by teaching them how to discover their unique brand and optimize their online presence to build lasting relationships with industry professionals. She loves nothing more than helping actors live the life of their dreams! For more information, about her consulting, courses, and public speaking visit Marketing4Actors.com.

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