Monday, January 28, 2013

Top 10 Steps To Become An Actor in Los Angeles

Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networks such as ABC, NBC, TNT, CBS, Comedy Central, BIO, Lifetime, and more. They have booked TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Blackish,” “Extant,” “The Colony,” “Animal Kingdom,” “My Haunted House,” "Walk The Prank," “Henry Danger,” "Murder Among Friends," "Night Shift," as well as hundreds of commercials for major spots including Shutterfly, Mercedes, Visa, Taco Bell, Honda, Legos, Justice, Walmart, Little Tykes, Foot Locker, Hot Wheels, Home Goods, Universal Studios, and many more. Prior to being a manager and a talent agent at Burn Down Entertainment, Wright assisted many high profile managers, agents, and publicists. For 20 years she was a recording artist, actor, and music producer, and is now the author of seven books called, “Secrets of a Hollywood Talent Manager.” Wright teaches the business of acting all over the country and is on the faculty of the New York Studio for Stage and Screen in North Carolina. For years she has appeared in numerous magazines, and on radio shows and talk shows including “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Wendy is also a Recording Artist, Actress, Author and Music Producer all  giving her a 360-degree perspective of the industry.

It amazes me how many actors have been in Hollywood for several years and still don't know the basics of breaking into television. I am going to break it down simpler than I ever have. Here are 5 steps you can take to get ahead of your competition and maybe even get your foot in the door!

1. Get an easy ONLINE TYPE ASSESMENT with Wendy 
or go to a Type Class Mark Atteberry to figure out where you fit in in the business.

2. Get your headshots done with Alex Kruk or Nancy Jo Gilchirst

Have your 8x10 headshot reproduced at Argentum Photo Lab

3. SELF SUBMIT Create online profiles with ACTORS ACCESS and LA CASTING and

Upload your new Headshots. Upload 3-4 different looks. Start submitting yourself to indie films, webisodes, theatre productions, SAG ULB films, student films and non union projects.

4. Take Commercial Training classes with Judy Kain and Terry Berland Then go get a Commercial Agent!

5. Take On Camera Training DOUG WARHIT  Comedy Training with Scott Sedita or Lesley Kahn, Audition classes with Amy Lyndon and acting classes at Playhouse West and with HOWARD FINE

6. Create a professional Demo Reel and record 1 scene in HD at:
Jig Studios
Reel LA
LA Reels
Create Your Reel

Compare prices, styles and looks.

7. When you have 8+ acting credits on your resume, (short films, student films, webisodes) go to agent showcases and try to get an agent. Show them how hard you work and how talented you are!

8. Create a List of 10 TV shows you are right for, where you see your type on it every week. Figure out the casting directors at IMDBPRO Start making contact with them. Do they teach intensive classes? Follow them on Social Media. See if they are doing workshops at SAG-AFTRA. Audition for them and stay in touch afterwards ending them postcards of the jobs you book.

9. Before every TV audition watch the show you are going in for to get the feel and tone of the show. Be sure to look up who casts it and be ready to answer a question like, "Who is your favorite character on my show?"  Be familiar with the shows you are auditioning for.  It highly likely the actor who gets the job will be.

10. Build authentic relationships. Be likeable, professional and find ways to give to the relationships you are creating. Don't be a taker. Be a giver! Stay in touch with every casting director you meet, director you work with and other actors you befriend along the way. People hire people they know, and people they like. Use this great information management tool for actors: PERFORMER TRACK.

That sound easy right? Well that gives you the JIST of what you should be doing during the 1st TWO- THREE years, so at least you are right on track. This career takes a lot of work and thousands of dollars to get started. If you don't have OUTSTANDING headshots you won't get anywhere. Don't have them taken by a friend for free. It is your most important tool. If you aren't submitting yourself everyday on Actors Access (mostly theatrical breakdowns) and LA Casting (mostly commercial breakdowns) and auditioning you are not getting better at auditioning, meeting casting directors and directors, and you are not building credits on your acting resume that agents will start to take seriously. If you have not trained with RECOGNIZABLE commercial acting teachers, your commercial agent will have a hard time selling you to casting directors and likely you won't even get in the audition room. If you are not training with well known and respected acting teachers, theatrical talent agents will never take you seriously. If you don't have TV credits, you MUST have training credits. Your resume MUST have professional training with several recognizable and respected acting teachers if you want Casting Directors to even look in your direction.

Do these things in your first 1-3 years and you will be miles ahead of other actors who are "winging it" without guidance or direction from a reputable Talent Manager.

For you really dedicated and ambitious actors, here's a Bonus:

11. Learn all about making yourself STAND OUT from the competition by taking Actor Marketing classes with Dallas Travers.

This is the fast track. Get on it!
Follow me on twitter for more great advice! @wendyalane1 LIKE WAW Entertainment on Facebook

Want to Learn more? Get 3 FREE chapters of my new book "Breaking Into Show Business; Secrets Of A Hollywood Talent Manager."Just sign up below.

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Several times a Year I offer a workshop called, “The Winner's Circle" for brand new actors which will help you begin to understand the business and start to develop a plan of action for your success. I teach it along with several important industry friends of mine including a top Theatrical Agent, Commercial Agent, Casting Director, Headshot Photographer, WorkingActor and including Reel Producer. You will learn so much information in this workshop from top people in the business who are all committed to your success! I have been coaching actors for years, and I know new actors need a mentor and professional guidance, so if you are new to this business I highly recommend this workshop. It will give you the "inside" information you need and it will put you miles ahead of the hundreds of other newcomers that arrive in L.A. every year. At the end of this 4-hour seminar with us you will have a game plan for success. The cost is $179 and it's worth every penny. Visit my website and sign up today for my NEWSLETTER to find the nest Winners Circle Breakthrough workshop.

If you liked this information and found it helpful leave a comment! I love to hear from new people.
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Wendy Alane Wright Smith
Talent Manager


 Wendy Alane Wright is a Hollywood Talent Manager and the president of WAW Entertainment. Her clients have appeared on television networ...