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Look for Opportunities Close to Home First

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Opportunities for budding actors are closer than you may think.  You don’t have to live in an entertainment hotspot – at least not initially – to get booked.  Look closer to home first and start building your resume.

One of the best ways to do this is to gather the contact information for businesses that hire character actors for birthday and corporate parties, and other special events.  You’ll find there are quite a few around, and this is a great way to get your feet wet.  Plus, if you’ve always wanted to be a Disney prince or princess, you have a good shot at living your fairytale.

You can also look for businesses that are hoping to keep marketing costs down by contracting local talent to do some ad work.  You might be featured in a television or radio commercial or be asked to promote the company at a live event.

There are plenty of opportunities to do promotional work at street fairs, concerts, and sporting events, as well as inside shopping malls and retail stores.  Companies are looking for talent willing to engage with customers, or potential customers, and promote their products.  

Promotional and brand ambassador positions tend to pay well and offer a fairly steady stream of work.  Jump online and look for groups on social media where these types of roles are posted.  Join and apply to as many as you’d like!

There are also often opportunities for free drop-in improv sessions at local theatre companies and you might find film students looking to fill roles for their thesis projects.  Students are often asked to put together a production prior to graduation and are eager to find local talent will to help.

You can also go on social media and search for productions looking for background talent.  This is a great way to get on set and learn the ropes.  You may or may not have lines, but you will be exposed to the inner workings of the entertainment world and gain experience either way.

Keep your eyes and ears open, and network as much as possible to land gigs close to home.  Remember, the first gig is the hardest to get.  But, once you’ve booked this, with each new opportunity, it’ll become easier and easier.  You’ll be able to start building marketing materials so you can eventually branch out and reach higher.  Focus on those stepping-stones, and, before you know it, you’ll be the next sought-after star!

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