Wondering how to get into acting, or what exactly it takes? Here are three tips to keep in mind, from Tampa, FL teacher Matthew B…
You can be successful in the entertainment business if you are prepared and willing to work hard to achieve your goals. I have provided three simple strategies in this blog post to help you succeed in the business. Each strategy has a personal story from my own career that highlights how it has worked for me.
1. Be willing to try a job in your arts career field that you may not have considered. This may be done by seeking out a paid internship or seasonal opportunity.
Example: In 2007, I was looking for a summer stock opportunity to supplement my acting education at UW-Milwaukee. A professor brought a theatre education internship in Florida to my attention and thought that I might be interested based on my personality and personal discipline. I applied for and was offered an education internship with Florida Studio Theatre and my entire career path changed after that exciting summer. I never thought about theatre education as a career until I spent those three months in Sarasota. That job opened the door to many exciting jobs. I would have never been a member of the theatre faculty at the Patel Conservatory, an accredited performing arts school in Tampa, or toured the Midwest as a tour director with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre if I hadn’t jumped at the opportunity to be an education intern with FST.
2. Never give up! Don’t let rejection discourage you.
Example: In the second grade I was asked to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up for the spring choir concert and I immediately knew my answer. A clown with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I never gave up on that childhood dream and in November 2012, my dream came true! My dream came true after I attended three Ringling Bros. Clown auditions (2008, 2010, and 2012), many clown workshops and self-produced five original clown-theatre productions. I even took one of my productions to the New York Clown Theatre Festival. My dream came true after plenty of hard work and being rejected twice at auditions. I ended up touring as a clown and pre-show host with Ringling Bros. Circus for almost two years, only recently returning to Tampa to teach theatre again. Stay determined!
3. Broadway couldn’t survive without regional theatre.
Example: Think about how you became passionate about theatre or the performing arts. Chances are you went to several theatre summer camps, took a theatre class after school, performed in your high school’s musical, saw a play produced by a professional children’s theatre company or maybe even attended Shakespeare in the park during some point of your childhood. No one on this earth would have the desire to travel to New York to see CATS or WICKED if regional and community theatre didn’t exist because there would be no way to spark the passion to create or desire to see theatre in anyone as a child or young adult. I am proud to say that I love being a professional regional theatre actor. I have worked at great companies such as Orlando Rep, Skylight Music Theatre, American Stage, Broadway Dinner Theatre in the Dells, and Walt Disney World. Not once have I had to wait tables or wash dishes to make ends meet as an actor. Not everyone can be on Broadway, but being on Broadway doesn’t equal success.
Matthew B. teaches acting, speaking voice, stage performance, and more in Tampa, FL, as well as online. He has his BFA in Acting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Learn more about Matthew here!
Photo by Nic’s events