How to Start an Acting Career at 30: Older Actor Success

An acting career at 30? Older actor success? Is that real? It’s never too late to start a new career! There are plenty of examples of successful people who have taken the plunge into a new field when they were older.

Even if you’re in your 30s, 40s and even 50 year old actors breaking into acting. With the right preparation, dedication, and strategic thinking you can successfully launch a new acting career at age 30 or any other age. Older actor success is possible and that could be your next open door.

On Your Acting Journey Be Realistic 

I like to think that age isn’t going to hold you back, but realistically I know better. I live in Los Angeles and I know I won’t be the star of a romantic comedy in the tech business. However, there are a number of roles you can audition for and tenacity is very important. 

What I’ve come to learn is you need to keep looking for work. While you might be discouraged in what options you might have, going to auditions and showing your skills will get you noticed.

There are also some challenges that older actors face when trying to break into this field at a later age. It’s not impossible; it just requires some special considerations and planning. I know that you need to be realistic as you aren’t going to be famous overnight.

Whether you are exploring acting as an hobby or launching a new career, there are some essential things to keep in mind if you want to have success as an actor. Your passion for acting needs to be balanced with a clear-headed assessment of how difficult and competitive this field is.

Older Actor Success is possible.

What to Expect When Starting an Acting Career After 30

Older actor success is all about hard work. You should expect to have to work harder to get the roles they want. That’s just a fact. There are many actors in Hollywood who are younger than you who are also competing for roles. 

That said, you also have many advantages that make you a strong candidate. You’ve got life experience, you can play a variety of ages and you’re more likely to bring integrity to a project. Most likely, you’re not going to be cast as the lead in a blockbuster movie. You’ll be cast in bit parts, extra roles and small speaking parts. You should expect to audition more often and for smaller roles.

Build a Solid Foundation of Skills

You’ve got to be good at your craft before starting an acting career. This means you need the basics down, but you also need to perfect a few areas. If you’re an actor who only knows how to act, you’re going to have a very, very hard time in this industry. And you will need to network as well.

Audition and Network to Land the Right Roles

You’ve built up your skills and you’re ready to start auditioning. Make sure you have a solid resume and you have a headshot that’s well-lit and professional. 

You’re going to have to put yourself out there, so make sure you’re going to as many auditions as possible. As mentioned before, you’re not going to be cast in the lead role in a blockbuster movie. You’re going to be cast in smaller roles that need to be filled. Network as best you can and make sure you nail the audition. You will be around a lot of younger actors, but your older actor success depends on getting along with people of any age.

Most of the time, you’re not going to get a callback. This doesn’t mean you blew it or that you’re not good enough. It just means that the director or casting director didn’t feel the need to see you again.

Be Confident in Your Life Skills

You’ve got the skills to act and you’ve built up a solid foundation of skills to build your career. Now, you need to be sure that you’re ready to take on this career and all of its challenges. You’re going to be put in a position where you have to interact with people and you’ll have to be confident in how you handle those interactions.  Older actor success stories comes from having an advantage of knowing life skills that younger people.

You’ll have to be able to navigate Hollywood’s culture and the people in it. You need to be confident that you know what you’re getting into and you’re ready to take on the challenges that come with this career.

Take Acting Classes for Actors

Taking acting classes on top of building a foundation of skills and auditions is a great way to speed up the process of becoming a working actor.  You might be reminded that older actor success is all about what you do to get more exposure and learning more technique.

It’s going to cost you some money, but it’s a good investment for your career. You can go to a community college or a university and find an inexpensive class that teaches you the basics. 

Alternatively, you can also look for a more expensive class, one that is taught by a Hollywood entertainer, that will give you more one-on-one attention. Taking a class gives you the chance to practice on real people and really get a feel for what it’s like to be an actor in a real-life situation. It’s also a great way to meet new people and network with potential colleagues.

Get Out and Audition…Again

You’ve built up your skills, you’ve been to a few auditions and you’re wondering what next. Well, the bottom-line is you don’t have a job yet, so you need to keep auditioning. This is one of the most important things an actor must do to prepare yourself. Plus, an agent needs to see your skills on camera.

Get an Agent

You’ve built up your skills and are ready to start auditioning. You’ve been to a few auditions and you’ve gotten some callbacks. Now, you want to take it to the next step and find an agent. This is the person who will represent you and find you work. You might look locally to where you live, but it’s important to look at the Entertainment meccas. Agents and coaches in New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles will have their finger on the pulse of the business. The older actor success stories often come from finding the perfect roles, just like an agent would!

When you’re ready to get an agent, you want to make sure you’re ready to deal with some rejection. A lot of agents get tons of requests from aspiring actors and they only choose the actors who they feel are the most promising. You can find the best agents in your area and start attending auditions. After you’ve booked a few roles, you can send them your headshot and resume to let them know you’re ready to be represented.

Think About Your Audition Techniques

You’ve built up your skills, you’ve been to a few auditions and you’ve gotten a good representation. Now, you need to think about what your audition techniques are going to be. 

How are you going to walk in the room? What are you going to say? How are you going to deliver that line? These are all things you should be thinking about when you go to an audition. Are you ready for the challenges of a Los Angeles audition?

You don’t have to have everything figured out. All you need to do is be ready to walk in there and give it your best shot. You can go in there without a plan and see what happens. At the end of the day, you’re the only person who knows how you want to come across.

Keep Trying

You’ve built up your skills, but you have not gotten as far as you want.. Now, you just need to keep trying. Keep going to auditions and keep putting yourself out there. Keep asking agents to consider you as a client. Don’t look at yourself as another actor, make yourself an older actor success story by continuing your journey. You’re never going to get anywhere if you sit back and do nothing. You’ve got to be proactive and go after what you want. You can’t control whether or not you get the part, but you can control how hard you try.


If you want to become a working actor, you’ve got to start somewhere. Older acting success is all about your personal confidence. The first step is deciding if this is something you really want to do. If the answer is yes, you need to start building a solid foundation of skills to succeed. After that, it’s just a matter of putting in the work and hoping for the best. You might not get that blockbuster movie, but you could get a small part in a lesser-known film.

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