How To Get In The Movies
So you want to be a movie star? You don’t know how to start a career as a professional actor. The movie business, unlike many other types of business isn’t just cut and dried. People end up in the movie business in many different ways. Following are a few examples of how people ended up in the movies and a plan to how you might end up in the business too.
One of the things that are most required for anybody to be a movie star is that they have to be famous. They have to be easily recognizable by many people in the industrialized World. Many think that ‘when’ you become a movie star, that’s when you get famous but that is not correct.
This isn’t the case for a ‘actor’. Many actors are in the movies but they’re not the ‘movie stars’. People notice the movie stars but may not recognize the subordinate actors and they rarely recognize the ‘extras’ or the people who make up crowds, background people, etc.
Another misconception is that to be a big movie star one must be a great actor. This could not be further from the truth. Some movie stars are excellent actors and some are very poor actors. Some subordinate actors are great actors, often much better than the ‘stars’ yet they are subordinate.
So, some people became movie stars just because we recognize them. Jon Bon Jovi of the famous rock band Bon Jovi got into the movies, in part, because many people recognize him (not that he hasn’t worked very hard to achieve that goal). Arnold Schwarzenegger became a movie star because he was Mr. Olympia (a major body building competition) five times running; 1971–1974; and won many other body building and weight lifting competitions. He was famous. We may also conclude that due to his massive muscle structure, he was also uniquely suited to play certain starring roles such as Conan the Barbarian as well as many others.
Famous musicans and models frequently end up in the movie business. Ashton Kutcher was a model in New York, Paris and Milan. He modeled in numerous Calvin Klein ads and eventually did a Pizza Hut commercial.
Sometimes actors go directly into a starring role with their first job as an actor. Reese Witherspoon and a few friends went to a casting call for a movie, The Man in the Moon in 1991. They were hoping to get lucky and maybe land a bit part in the movie. Reese instead was cast in the starring female role as Dani Trant, a 14 year old who falls in love with her 17 year old neighbor. Reese, being beautiful and obviously very talented and sweet as a teddy bear, went pretty much directly to stardom from there. Owen Wilson’s first job as an actor was as Dignan in Wes Anderson’s film Bottle Rocket. After a few supporting roles Owen’s charisma, natural talent and charm became apparent. It wasn’t long before we all knew his name and could recognize his face.
If you want to get into the movies, the trick really is to ‘be there’. Find yourself in a position where the decision makers recognize and like you. Volunteer for one or more of the many ‘free’ jobs that become available at the beginning of a movie project. Of course the problem with that is, you will be spending your time doing work that you won’t get paid for. Money is one of the greatest deterrents for anybody wanting to get into the movie business.
First, move to a place where movies are made, like Hollywood, CA. Thousands of people move there every year hoping to become a movie star. So, your competition is fierce but if you don’t get to where the movies are made, you can’t become a movie star. Volunteer for free jobs in the movie business that are close to the people who decide who the actors are. You won’t get paid and you’ll probably need a good hemorrhoid treatment for all the stress but if you want to be a star, it’ll be worth it. Be willing to do anything they need done. Be willing to work, free of charge for as many as 16 hours a day without complaining. Consider this school. You won’t be apt to find a university that will pay you to go to school unless you’re a great athlete or something like that.
Once you’re ‘in’, working for free, spend as much effort as you can establishing relationships with the people in the business who count. Be sure that they recognize your face and they’re glad to see you (maybe because they can always count on your help).
Go to auditions. Forget worrying about whether or not you’ll get a role. Most of the time, at first, almost all the time, you won’t. Just keep going to auditions and try to get any role you can. Consider it school.
By all means go to acting school if you can and read books. Take courses like innovation training so you become aware of the mindset that makes people successful in general.
The down side is, you could very well do everything you need to do, as best you can, working for free for even years, and never break into the movie business. Luck has a lot to do with success. However, you cannot get lucky and find yourself the right person, in the right place, at the right time unless you are. If you’re waiting on tables in Oklahoma your chances of breaking into the movies are near non-existant.