Acting : Where do I even start? by Bridgette Tomashewski

Bridgette Tomashewski

Where do I even start?

I am very new to all of this and unfortunately being new comes with lack of experience and opportunities. Where do I even start to look and become considered for projects. I don't have the ideal look, body, etc and I can't help but feel a little lost a lot of the time. Help anyone?

Bridgette Tomashewski

I have been >.<! And I've written to a good handful of them haha, but I haven't been a part of anything much and I feel like they're looking for people with some kind of experience aside from acting classes. But thank you Timothy, I'll keep trying.

Suzanne Sadler

Continue to study. Take classes. Invest in good headshots. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is! Trust me. Don't pay anyone to audition. Audition for local theatre productions. Acting is a profession that welcomes and needs all types of people. Watch people and their movements. You can learn a lot and incorporate into your roles. All best!

Bridgette Tomashewski

Thank you Timothy and thank you Suzanne. Will do. And Suzanne you said good headshots, I just got the ones I have up done and they're not super professional or probably anywhere near that, but would like to know if they're okay for me as a beginner? What's your opinion on them?

Bill Kautz

A head-shot is your "business card" and creates that first impression. Take a look at this:

Bill Kautz

It takes too long to load on here. Copy and paste in your browser instead.

Bridgette Tomashewski

That is actually pretty insane wow, a lot of what was done in my photos was lighting and makeup/hair. I have been basically told look how you would in your every day life and how you would walk into an audition, in your headshot. Thanks for sending the video Bill.

Bill Kautz

Basically, yes, for your head-shot, only the make-up has to be perfect and your hair just right. The lighting is almost always "flat," so that's no big deal - main, fill, hair, BG. Your portfolio is different and your chance to show what you look like in different locations, doing different things, with different hair and make-up, to show "emotion," like smiling, serious, fear, determination, etc., as if they're stills taken on a movie set perhaps. A casting director (or talent agent) will of course know what look he's looking for, so why not give him selections?

Simon © Simon

Reel, Reel, Reel..

Bo Keister

The one and only place to start is TRAINING. Headshots, reels, auditions, etc. are all well and good, but if you aren't prepared, then none of those matter. With you being close to LA, find a coach and train consistently! Week in, week out! Through that, you will find that they, as well as your classmates, can guide you through the rest of the minefield.

Omar Scott Benjamin

Head shots has to look like you. Be careful with over air brushing...etc. Casting Directors get pissed when the actor arrive to the audition and don't look like their head shots. Head shots should capture your essence, it should say something about you, it's not all about how pretty you are. No credits? That's fine, we all start from zero. Focus on training. It shows progress and you get to learn what your "type" is. You can start looking for projects on various casting websites. Keep your options open but stick to around 3 or 4 of them for easy manageability.

Sasha Marina

Where are you located?

Jess Joy

Definitely keep up with the training, and continue auditioning and submitting to projects, especially non union stuff like student films to help build up your resume. Network and if you can find like minded people in your classes and wherever else you're training and acting, try to get them together to make your own stuff! Keep keep keep auditioning- you're going to submit to a lot of stuff and audition for a lot of stuff that you're not going to get or hear back from, but whether or not you believe it's about your lack of credits, there's no way for you to REALLY know why- the real answer could be as silly as the guy they already cast is shorter than you- so just keep on going. Most importantly, throw out any ideas of not being an "ideal" look or body type. There are so many different types of projects and roles and so many different types of actors out there, and you don't have to be a certain kind of look or type to be successful at what you do. It's more about figuring out what you're good at and how people read you and then going for the roles that you're RIGHT for. Embrace yourself as you are, know that how you look and what you have to offer is unique and sets you apart from others, and know that you don't have to change anything about yourself to get to where you want- just do your best to put in the work! The above advice is all good too. Hope this helps!

Ozzie Stewart

You start with belief in yourself, irregardless of what you consider as ideal. Study the characters in different movies. Arm yourself with industry papers and magazines to get to know the business end, then try for some non-union stuff via websites such as: + + student films, so that you learn your way around the set and the camera, as well as get into classes for both commercials (brings in the short term money) and acting. Now lean forward ;-)

Jahmilla Jackson

Network...look into PAing on gigs if you're not cast in them. The more you know the more you grow.

Bridgette Tomashewski

Thank you very much for all the advice, I'm taking it and going to put it all to work. I really appreciate you guys taking the time to answer my questions and helping me push aside my doubts.

Tiffany Marie Wilson

First off ... there is no "Ideal look." Actors are real people .. and hey .. we all look different. So do yourself a favor and stop worrying about your looks! You actually have a very castable look! Get in acting classes ...asap. Get on set ... you will meet people there.... and ...get in class...yes I said it again :)

Bridgette Tomashewski

Haha, I'll try not to worry about that so much. And do you really think so? Lol thank you :). And as for my acting classes, they're continuing for sure and as for getting on set, that's what I'm still working on. Thank you for the advice Tiffany :).

Richard Gustason

I think you have a great look. With that out of the way I'm new to this too. And feeling a little lost doing something new is normal. And doing what Tiffany said will help. I'm looking at acting classes myself here and looking for work at the same time so I can build my resume. That really all we can do in the beginning. So like you I'm new to this. It'll be fine.

Michael Lockett

One important lesson that a Hollywood exec told me is that everyone in your field of choice was where you are at one point. Believe in yourself and keep mastering your craft while working every angle to get experience. Breaks don't happen they are created by the work you put in.

Jahmilla Jackson

Love that Lockett "Breaks don't happen they are created by the work you put in."

Tara Imani

Bridgette, go to a modeling agency and get a portfolio of pictures together. Hire an outstanding agent. Avoid gimmicky offers (like the radio announcements for parents to bring their kids to an audition "for a chance to work with Disney Stars"-- these are bogus and just money-making schemes. Take voice-over lessons-- Google voice over coaches in your area; pay for a demo tape of your voice. And make a professional demo video (reel as it's called on Stage 32) and post it here. Lastly, follow the blogs on this website and read the book "Good in a Room" on how to communicate and promote yourself in the showbiz industry. Best of luck to you! ~Tara

Bo Keister

"go to a modeling agency and get a portfolio of pictures together. Hire an outstanding agent" Not to be a jerk, but this is NOT how it works. However, you're right about the radio parts.

Tiffany Marie Wilson

Bo- I was thinking the same thing. Not how it works at all. And you don't just hire an agent. You submit to agencies and if they need your look on their roster They will set up a meeting.

Bo Keister

Exactly, Tiffany. Beginners, please, start with training under a reputable, well-known (if in NYC or LA) coach. That is, by far, a more important first step. The rest will come in time. If you start submitting to agencies with little to no training, and just a few extras credits on your resume, you're hopes are going to get crushed, quickly. I realize Tara meant well in her comments, but incorrect information is more harm than good.

Cory Wess

Get some nice headshots and continue your classes. Look on craigslist for students and other amateurs making films. Also look up short film contests ( is a good one), and connect with them about being available for acting. You don't need to look like a 24 yr blond bombshell. There are all kinds of fat, bald, weird looking people on tv and in movies (Kramer, Costanza). Just be honest with your pictures, have an awesome attitude, don't put up with bad behavior, and you'll pick up good films to get experience with.

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