5 Acting Career Mistakes Beginner Actors Need to Avoid

Watch out for acting career mistakes!

Whenever you attempt anything new, you will make errors. Acting is a mixture of career, profession, personality and creative work, and it is the same for beginner actors. Some new actors are more interested in what they should do to book more acting jobs, get an agent, appear on television. They forget they have a career as an actor to preserve, rarely do they ask what mistakes they should avoid. Beginner actors need to avoid certain mistakes at the beginning of their career. This is especially important if you are thinking about moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.

Never Forget Time is Money in the Entertainment World

Casting directors, agents, managers, and directors, who select your cast or assist in the selection process, are concerned about avoiding mistakes and errors as much as they’re concerned about your skill. You might be good, even excellent, but nothing makes people as upset as mistakes and mishaps especially at auditions.

Acting Career Mistakes Beginner Actors Need to Avoid

Now, I’m not talking about technical mistakes. Everyone makes those. (And yes, everyone will tell you they don’t – but they do.) We’re all human. And yes people do notice mistakes when the final movie is released like the controversy and mistakes surrounding Don’t Look Up from Netflix.

Avoid acting career mistakes as a beginner actor.
Avoid acting career mistakes as a beginner actor.

I’m talking about the mistakes that are so egregious, so over-the-top, that they will immediately cost you a job or make you look unprofessional and untrustworthy.

I believe actors make these mistakes because they don’t know any better or because they have a false perception of what landing a role is all about. I hope this article will help clear up some of those misconceptions and help you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.

1. Research Before Arrival

One of the most common acting career mistakes, which could be avoided, is actors aren’t prepared. They don’t make time to do their research on the project before going to an audition or meeting with casting or producers. This is usually because the actor doesn’t know what kind of project it is or how to find out more information about it.

You must know everything you can about a project: who wrote it, who produced it, who directed it and who the target audience is. That way, you’ll be able to have intelligent conversations with your potential bosses about the project and it will help you better understand their goals for the project and how your character fits into the bigger picture.

2. Asking too Many Questions Actors Should Already Know

Sometimes it happens because an actor doesn’t want to appear too eager for work by asking too many questions before getting there in person. Either way, you need to do your homework before going into any audition room – especially if it’s for something big like TV commercials or feature films – where there are likely to be other talented people vying for the same job as you are!

If you’re meeting with casting or producers and they ask you, “Do you know anything about this project?”, they want to hear that you do. If they ask if you know anything about a specific role, they want to hear that too. You should not be asking a ton of common questions.

If a client asks me if I know anything about a project or character when I meet them in person, I tell them that I do but I also tell them that my opinion is subjective because it’s based on what I’ve read in the script. Plus what my impressions are from reading it. Then, as we talk more about the script and our vision for the role, we come up with more objective criteria for deciding whether or not an actor is right for a role.

3. Not Prepared for the Role Emotionally or Physically

Actors are being put into a cast or group of actors so we need to know you might fit. We discuss who else has been cast in the project so far and why those actors were chosen instead of others who auditioned. This helps give a perspective on why you might be better or worse than someone else for the part. Common acting career mistakes including suggesting you won’t do something on the script before being hired. Or you refuse to work with someone being considered for a part.

4. Too Busy for the Part

Some actors are busy. Especially beginner actors and they aren’t busy working at a studio. Many have other excuses on why they may not make the role. Whether they’re older or younger actors we look at how they respond to the idea of working with our schedule. If a beginner actor bristles at the idea of a long 3-day shoot week or starts offering excuses, we look to avoid them. By the time we’re finished talking about those things, we usually have a much better idea of whether we should be optimistic or pessimistic about our chances of booking the actor for the roll.

5. Not Open to the Roll being Presented

A huge acting career mistake is going though the process and then not being remotely interested in taking the job without strings. Think of it in terms of physical characteristics, personality traits, and acting experience. If there are specific scenes in the script that require us to show a range of emotions. Is this something they will do willingly or will there be issues?

This is an opportunity to share information that can help both parties make a more informed decision. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about each other so they can decide whether or not they want to work with you on this project. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

I don’t know why people do it any other way!

In Conclusion

If you’ve read this over and wondered which medium of entertainment the acting career mistakes applies to, I’d say everything. Most of what is mentioned here does impact auditions for film, TV, and theater. However, I’ve seen actors auditioning for commercials or voice-over work make acting career mistakes as well. As with every job, making sure you do as needed for your job today and your career tomorrow is extremely important!

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