Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Be an Actress

We've all watched TV or gone to the movies and been dazzled by the talented players on the screen, or even wished we could be them. With some hard work, practice and a whole lot of perseverance, just about anyone can be an actress.

Here's how to be an actress:

  1. Decide what kind of actress you want to be. You can act in television, film, commercials or onstage. Choosing a path will help you hone your craft more specifically for what you need to be successful. If you don't limit yourself to one type of acting, you'll have to work harder to broaden yourself.
  2. Evaluate your strengths, personality and talent level. Should you be the heroine or are you best as a comedic sidekick? Determine what type or types of characters you will be good at portraying, so you will know which roles to pursue.
  3. Go to acting school. Learn the basics so you won't make mistakes, like overacting. You'll also learn different methods for getting into a character. Finally, acting school is also a good place to network with other aspiring actors and actresses, as well as with experienced teachers who can give you guidance [Acting].
  4. Get a headshot. The first thing directors and agents will see is your headshot. You'll need an experienced headshot photographer to take a headshot that reflects the type of actress you are. Prepare your wardrobe, hair and make-up so you portray the look you are going for [Acting school stop].
  5. Find an agent who specializes in your type of actress. Your agent will help you find jobs.
  6. Audition and promote yourself. As an actress, especially when you're starting out, you will need to search for work constantly. Start small, and don't turn down parts.
  7. Stay positive and focused. Remember, it's a tough business; you have to keep working hard, training and trying out for parts.