How Do I… Start An Acting Career?

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME, EMT
Founder & Executive Director, Break Diving, Inc.

ACTING CREDENTIALS: Monroe is a SAG/AFTRA/Equity actor, a NY entertainment attorney, the producer/co-director/co-star/co-writer of the feature film, “You Can’t Kill Stephen King” that sold at Cannes in over 15 territories, the best-selling author of “The Theatrical Juggernaut – The Psyche of the Star”, and a motivational speaker at places like Screen Actors Guild in NY, Writer’s Guild, Drama Book Shop, and more.)  Dr. Mann also wrote his 220-page PhD dissertation on the decision making processes of successful entertainers.

Hi All!

There are only two ways you can become an actor:

  1. Go on an audition and get cast in someone else’s play, film, show, or production.  This is how most people start off, because it’s easy, doesn’t require a lot of ‘thinking’ and you can get started almost immediately.
  2. Produce your own play, film, show, or production and… cast yourself.  This is what many people end up doing once they realize that you have far more control over your career if you are a producing-actor.  In other words, in the long run, your odds of success are probably greater if you self produce.  But… it takes a lot more work.

So that’s how acting careers are born.  That’s it!  Just two ways.  And you have to choose one, or both.

That being said, I have always believed that success as an actor is not about talent.  To me, talent is assumed, or in fact, irrelevant.  What truly matter is:

  1. Attitude

  2. Business Sense

Think of how many crappy actors who are making millions.  What about singers who are top on the charts, but when they perform live, are cringe-worthy.  Clearly, they did not succeed due to their talent.  They succeeded because of their attitude and business sense.

In other words: They didn’t give up.  They ignored all the critics.  They didn’t give themselves a timeline for success.  They pushed forward when society was telling them to quit.  In other words, their attitude was better than their competition.

Further, unlike most of their competition, they treated their career like the business it is, and learned about finance, marketing, sales, networking, advertising, strategy, vision, accounting, and the list goes on.  Successful actors don’t bank on chance–they approach their career seriously, and thus are far more likely to succeed.

If your plan is to go on auditions, here is your crash course:

Step 1: HEADSHOT. Get an 8x 10 headshot.  This is your calling card.  Make sure it’s professional, and make sure there are no distracting backgrounds or shadows.

Step 2: RESUME. Write up a resume.  Put it on the back of your headshot.  Make sure you cut the sides to match.  Do NOT put your home address on your resume.  Make sure you have at least 25 headshots and resumes, printed out and assembled, ready to go at all times.

Step 3: WEBSITE. Get a digital version of your headshot and resume, and create a website to promote yourself.  The best URL will be either a) your stage name, or b) a catchy name that reminds people of you and your acting services.  Embed an email list signup form so you can start collecting email addresses from your fans.

Step 4: AUDITIONS. Find where auditions are happening in your area.  The easiest way is usually  Find your closest big city, then click on ‘gigs’.  Warning: showbiz is filled with horrible people.  Always be wary of going on ANY audition by yourself unless you are sure it is safe and legit.  Make sure the meeting is at a public place.  Do not EVER go to someone’s home or apartment for an audition–EVER!

Step 5. ACT!  I mean it.  Act, as in, get off your ass and DO IT.  So many people talk talk talk about wanting to become an actor.  I tell them what to do, and they nod their head, smile, and then… don’t do it.

Do you want to become an actor?  Then become an actor already!  I just told you what to do.  So do it!


P.S. Want more acting career knowledge?!  The next step is to enroll in our self-study course, “Break Diving 101” followed by “Acting 101” in the Break Diving self-study classroom!  You can get a free preview before you get started.  If you’d like to get even more specific details about these five steps, and also learn more about how to produce your own projects, please enroll today.  Note: please first complete the FREE course Break Diving 101 before you enroll in Acting 101.

Take our free Break Diving 101 course at

Sign up for one of our FREE live online classes at

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4 Replies to “How Do I… Start An Acting Career?”

  1. Hey, I just found your website in the WordPress reader, and I’m so glad I did! I really love acting and spend a lot of time reading articles like yours, and this post is really informative. Also, I find your writing style to be really simple and persuasive, hooking us readers till the end.
    Keep up the great work!

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