Steve Oldfield's Top 10 Tips on starting out in show business
1) Get some kind of instruction - Lots of local theaters/colleges have weekend classes or workshops.
2) Try out for a community theater production. You have to build a resume.
3) Don't spend a fortune on photos- have a friend take a medium/closeup shot of you and you can turn it black and white and print it out yourself at any store with a photo kiosk machine. If you want to go with a professional, expect to pay between $150 and $400 - never more! Wear darker solid colors for your pictures - it's not about your clothes- it's about you.
4) Once you have photos, seek out the bulletin boards at the area colleges/university drama and film departments. They often advertise for castings of student films.
5) Check out Casting-Call.US or entertainmentcareers.net for listings of castings.
6) Shop around to be represented by an agent in Cincinnati. Look for a certificate from AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and a good rating from the Better Business Bureau.
7) Ask to talk with current clients to get their thoughts on the agency. NEVER pay someone to represent you. Be wary of postings for extras or actors on employment websites and other "castings" that may just be a veiled attempt to take your money.
8) Don't be afraid to keep your name out there - agencies have lots of clients. Show them you're hungry.
9) You should be able to avoid signing a contract initially with an agency. If they insist, make sure you have an attorney read it over. Talk about percentages up front the standard cut is anywhere from 10 percent and as high as 20 percent.
10) Make sure you (or your child) really wants it. Don't waste your time (or the agency's) by being gung-ho at first, then slacking off. NEVER be late for an audition and go on as many as you can to get experience and to meet people. SMILE often and even if you know you're the next Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, keep that to yourself.