Getting into acting (no matter your age) requires a great deal of hard work, patience and sacrifice.
If you really have the passion for it, it won’t matter what age you decide to start your career as you can easily fit in and get work thanks to the flexible nature of the acting business.
So whether you want to know how to be an actor at 18, 20, or even 30 years old, the goal is not easy but it’s also not impossible especially if you are good at it. As long as you are willing to put in the work and be patient, you will succeed.
However, what is the most practical advice for a 20 year old looking to get into the business of acting? Well, at this age you most probably are starting to realize what your dream career would look like and even though you lack the experience (unless you were acting as a kid) you have your whole life in front of you to learn and make huge career moves.
But what does a career in acting really entail?
Acting as a career
A great way to kick off your acting classes is to take acting classes that will teach you different acting techniques. This can really help you understand the fill of being on stage as you dive deeper into your career.
If you are unable to get acting classes, the alternative is to look for local community theatres and join in.
By simply joining a theatre group you can learn a great deal about acting as a career as you will be required to spend time mastering your lines, traveling to perform and collaborating with other team members. It’s also a great way to build up your confidence and get support from other members of the group as you develop your craft.
To put it simply, a career in acting is more of a lifelong career. The more you improve your craft and build up a good reputation, the more you attract work and build a successful career. Sometimes, even the simple act of reading books can help you in your acting career.
You don’t have to stack up on acting books, any book that helps build your imagination is a smart pick as you can learn to put yourself in other people’s shoes while understanding the psychology of various characters.
Obviously the easiest way to get into acting especially if you are only 20 years old is to try and get some practical experience under your belt. You can even do this on the job and get paid while at it. Lots of actors have made it even without ever stepping into any acting school.
But the question that you have to answer is whether this is the right path for you?
Can anyone be an actor?
Great question and yes, anyone with a passion strong enough can become an actor. A career in acting requires a willingness to always learn and practice the craft. As long as you can do that, then you will succeed.
In addition, if you are somehow predisposed psychologically to being a performer, acting will come easy to you compared to other people who have to work on their confidence. But this does not mean that you have it all together.
One thing to look out for if you want to become a great actor is to have a flexible mind. Even if you had experience acting in high school, it takes more than talent to become an actor.
Be ready to learn new styles and techniques even as you grow older. Understand that you will only be good at influencing how other people fill by first allowing yourself to be affected by others.
You can do this through listening more than you talk, watching instead of seeing and generally being self aware and paying keen attention to your inner voice.
Even though learning new skills can be somewhat awkward and uncomfortable, take time and learn to get out of your own way and become the character you ought to be. A great way to do this is to watch how other actors do it and practice daily on your own.
Don’t practice in front of the mirror (unless the scene requires that you do that). Acting is more than just what people see with your facial expression and runs as deep as your emotions.
Steps to become an actor
Let’s be honest, there is no clear path to becoming an actor. In fact most of the best actors today took meandering paths that ultimately led to successful careers.
However, with these few steps you can be sure to learn the most about acting and hopefully become a successful actor especially even if you are only 20 years old with no experience whatsoever.
- Learn the technical side of Acting
The only way to truly master any craft is to first learn the basic techniques. It’s pretty much the same with acting. From books to online courses and even mentorship programs and workshops for actors, just take your time and learn all you need to be a great performer.
You don’t even have to go to school for that. You can do this by joining acting groups and communities, attending workshops and even get a mentor in your area that has experience in acting.
If you can afford it, consider getting educated by going to college taking up drama classes. Although most professional actors have made it to Hollywood without formal education, it can really help especially if you learn best with structured guidance or are looking to further hone your skills.
- Build up your resume
Thanks to YouTube, anyone can put themselves out there and get immediate feedback on their videos. You can take advantage of this and act out monologues on your YouTube channel or simply start a vlog where you come up with interesting stories on a daily basis.
After all, acting is nothing without storytelling and the more you work on it the more you build your confidence in front of the camera allowing you to flex your creative muscle as well.
In fact, this whole strategy has been done by YouTubers like Lilly sigh and Logan Paul among others who have made it to Hollywood simply by building up their acting resume on YouTube with vlogs and other creative videos.
By acting in short films, doing monologues as well as other interesting videos for your YouTube audience( no matter how small), you will not only be able to build your resume but you will also end up improving your craft in time and possibly even get noticed by agents.
In my opinions this is the most practical way to build your resume. And even if you don’t get noticed by agents, you will end up with a thriving and growing audience of your own that can prove to be a real opportunity.
By putting yourself out there (whether through short films on YouTube, or acting on stage with different theatre groups) you get to also know your type of acting and know what roles bring out you’re the best of your talent. This can be quite helpful yet it’s something you won’t easily learn from school or books.
If you are looking to become an n actor in one of Hollywood’s movies, you must be able to audition whenever there is an opportunity. But let’s face it, when you are just 20 years old, with zero experience in professional acting, it will be hard to get a paying gig leave alone getting the part you have been dreaming about, however a simple method is to search for local auditions and take a chance.
Sure you can move to LA or New York to hunt acting gigs and get exposure, but you will have to sustain your lifestyle (no matter how modest) just so as to audition whenever the chance appears. Basically you will need a plan for this to work.
You can also get a job that is flexible enough to allow you to audition and still pay your bills.
Although the auditioning process can get a little tedious with numerous vetting processes that take you through many people before ever getting the chance to meet your director or the person to give you the job, just be patient and maintain a positive attitude.
Neither the casting director, the agent nor the director is your enemy. Just work on bringing out the best of your talent with every audition no matter how many you have to attend.
To wrap it up
At the end of it, you can pretty much make it in acting (even with little experience) as long as you keep working at it every day. If you are serious about making a career out of acting while starting at a young age, the secret is to prioritize. You can do this by setting time aside everyday to work on your budding career.