How To Break into Hollywood - 5 Tips for the Aspiring Actor

How To Break into Hollywood – 5 Tips for the Aspiring Actor

how do I make it in Hollywood I get this question a lot about how to get started how to be an actor or an actress how to make it a showbiz and how to break into Hollywood so I figured I'd do a quick video with just 5 tips based on my experience that should help get you started and the first one is that it's called showbiz for a reason it is a business and essentially you're becoming a business man or woman as an actor when you when you enter I mean I call myself an entrepreneur that's basically what you are it's a creative entrepreneurial endeavor and with that comes a lot of investment investment of time energy and money yes it's very costly and I'm not sure a lot of people realize that a lot of little fees here and there are a lot of things that you have to do to get started and to and to maintain it and it's a constant cost factor it's not just to get started but you know for example photographers you have to get the proper headshots you have to get photos you have to sign up on all these different casting websites and a lot of those involved fees you have to have the right wardrobe for all different kinds of characters there's there's a lot of there's a lot of costs involved and so I think that if you come at it on that mindset you'll be one step ahead of the game already you know that old paradigm of I'm going to go to who I wouldn't be discovered well that's basically like living out winning the lottery and if you look at the numbers for those who win the lottery that's about kind of the same thing for 99% of us whether everybody else you have to do it the real way the way that exists in reality and that is it's a long hard arduous road and you have to invent and you have to build up piece by piece and climb the rungs of a ladder just like you wouldn't a corporation get work on getting bigger and bigger and better bigger and better parts so that's number one also you should try to get representation once you've kind of once you've gotten going but I'll probably do another video on that because that's a whole other thing and that's kind of beyond the beginner level but another way you can get started out real quickly is by doing background work or being an extra you might have heard that and that's basically the human props that you see in TV shows or in movies and wherever they're filming they need extras so it's minimum wage basically but it's great because it gets you on the set and you could really learn how everything works on the set and get the feel of it so just don't do it too long but it's a great way to get started and to get a basic knowledge about how things work on the set and what are your what's expected of you professionally while you're on a set okay number two don't take it personal this is kind of bouncing off for number one in that you really have to separate who you are from who you are as the actor and about in other words I look at as Jamie McConnell is is a corporation so to speak is a separate entity from who I am in my heart and my soul and that really helps me keep keep things in perspective and and be objective with things because there's a lot of rejection that goes on this business and I know you've heard that but I don't know that you could really prepare for that there's more rejection than there is confirmation but as long as you know you went in and you did your best and you made a good impression that's all you can do there's so many reasons why you're not chosen you could be the wrong age it could be wrong height I mean it could be the wrong hair color you just never know I mean I've heard it before I think I've I've been told that you know you were one of the best auditions we had come in the room but I wasn't selected for this reason or another the reasons that were out of my control that's exactly what they are there are even got air control so you shouldn't let things that are out of your control affect you so it's a lot of you know background spiritual work that you have to need to keep yourself grounded keep yourself confident and bleeding yourself and just knowing that you're doing your best if this is something that you really want to do and you can refer to the last video I just did on self-confidence because that'll really help there okay number three don't get desperate you can smell desperation a mile away and it's not attractive and nobody likes it just maintain your boundaries I really can't excuse me try to always remember why you're doing this in the first place because once you start short-selling yourself and once you once you start crossing boundaries you're looking you're going to get from that is more shortcuts one shortcut leads to another shortcut the next thing you know you're doing things and you're not fulfilled at all so I mean for everybody those boundaries are different I'm just saying you know just just try to hold on to what it is that you really want out of this whole process and never lose focus on that okay number four don't look the Hollywood you can if you really really want to but it's not necessary these days okay Los Angeles is Los Angeles is still technically the headquarters the HQ of Hollywood but Hollywood has been significantly outsourced I'll give you an example I read in The Hollywood Reporter I think I've got the numbers right here and something like 27 out of 3 out of the 27 new shows filming this year are filmed in LA the rest of them 24 25 are filmed everywhere else across America and not in LA and that crazy so unless you're an a-lister working in the big studios because it's the same thing for movies there's a lot of independent films out there now on they're filmed all over the place and that's because of tax incentives mainly other states can really big tax incentives for productions to move and film there so I you know New Mexico is a big it's like a mini Hollywood New Orleans Louisiana has a great film industry but all over you can get started from anywhere go to your local Playhouse and get started you know just network wherever you are and get connected with the local creative community wherever you are now and get started now you don't have to try to wait till you can move to LA or or plan that move in fact I liken it to getting a degree you know I have a bachelor's degree I got it from the four-year university but but if I were to do it again and these days more and more people are getting smart and that what they do is they get the first 100 and 200 level courses they take at a community college where it's half the price and then they move to a university so it's kind of a same thing you know week Hollywood get your your base core credits get started get networking from wherever you are and then if you really want to make that move you can but the networking is crucial and with with social media and with um with the internet you know nowadays it's great because you can basically network worldwide I mean I'm talking with filmmakers and Mumbai and India in London and in Spain right now so if they really want you there's not a big difference from them flying you from LA or from Portland or from Ohio versus LA you know so so yeah just keep that in mind it's really not necessary to make that move if you can't do it right now but like I said if it's something you really want to do go for it okay number five keep your skills honed but you say but I'm a natural well great that's a good start I hope you're a natural but just like anything else I mean you know I used to study music I played a violin in the piano and I considered myself naturally gifted naturally talented but that doesn't mean I didn't practice every day same with dancing we rehearsed every week you know so it's the same thing with acting even if you have a core based talent which is great you should you really should have that if this is something you want to do you still have to elevate that and keep practicing and keep honing your skills through coaching's or acting classes doing plays you know that kind of thing and and another thing that will help you with as well is to you really want to be as professional as you can anytime you called in for an audition or called on the set you want to be ready you want to be Cavor already ready to go knowing what you're doing so alright those are my five quick quick tips for you of all the dreamers out there who are are thinking of this as a way to go and you want to enter this crazy showbiz game this whirlwind that we're on so wish you all the best and be brave and break a leg

34 thoughts on “How To Break into Hollywood – 5 Tips for the Aspiring Actor

  1. I am not looking to make it in Hollywood at all but your videos is truthful, honest and your tips can be applied to all other kinds of business pursuits and job searches for instance. Also, you have a very calming voice; no loud, frantic music. Very nice video indeed. xxx

  2. To Sofia Hernandez: I'm 22 and I am from the Philippines. I also feel the same way. I've always wanted to become an actress ever since I existed in this world. I have a degree in communication coz I thought that earning this career will get me to the world I've always wanted. Graduating from college, I was so frustrated to realize that jobs on TV are not that easy as I expected. Competition is very tough and here in my country, if you want to be discovered immediately, having a beautiful face is your number one necessity to stardom. Worse is, Philippines was colonized by Western countries like USA and SPAIN so the mainstream is looking for half-blooded Filipinos who are Western looking. Asian beauty is also a bit of a trend because Korean and Japanese dramas are famous here so if you're someone who has slanted eyes and has a white complexion, if you look Chinese/Japanese or Korean, you will get more chances of getting discovered. Although, there are still successful  talented actors who are not handsome and pretty, most of them are veterans and pioneers, our media of today's generation continue to change as the years go by and they always look for what's trendy which negatively affects the quality of shows they produce because they only focus on beauty not REAL TALENT.

    Those never-ending stories didn't stop me from getting what I want. I studied, observed and asked myself several times if I will still pursue it or not and my answer is YES. Thanks to my habit of reading American blogs. They taught me to think outside the box that following the standards of my country, the things I see in my culture and in my society can be improved because that is what ART is all about. ACTING IS ART and in ART, we can break the rules. I continued researching. I watched movies and attend some acting workshops. I took advantage of my voice and communication skills. I tried three full-time jobs, saved money and enrolled in a prestigious theatre company here in my country. My study there was priceless. The experience was really awesome that I got to meet TRUE ARTISTS and NOT COMMERCIAL ARTISTS. They changed the way I think about acting. They taught me about the huge difference between acting on TV, film, and theatre. Most of us fall in this same misconception that acting will make us FAMOUS. If you really like to pursue it, you have to think twice and you really have to study the craft over and over again. It is not about looking beautiful or getting all the attention of the fans. All of us our unique in our own ways and we have "this" something inside that we have to discover which can help us become true ARTISTS…

  3. Thank you this helped 😁 i used to live n LA and now i am living in Argentina and want to go study acting clases at a University.. I guess it might be easier here! You are really pretty btw!

  4. Hello :-). I really enjoyed your sincere encouragement. I subscribed. I also think you are beautiful. Keep up. Don't give up. Your like me. WE BELIEVE. WE CAN. WE WILL. SEND ME A RESPONSE. WE WILL NETWORK. IN HOPES, VALENTINO 🙂

  5. hi! 🙂 you're great, both actress and person because is awesome to post things like this 🙂 i'm 22 and i'm starting to take drama lessons , i'm from Costa Rica and I'll graduate from civil engineering soon, like in a year, the thing is, i've never pursue acting because my family is so "realistic" and in this country is even more difficult!! so, i took all my dreams and put in a basket literally… but the last few months something has changed in me and i want to pursue acting, like: FOR REAL , but also i know that ii've to finish my current studies, but i've been serching for some drama lessons and stuff like that to practice, i know i 've kind of a facility for acting but at times i'm afraid i'm too old for pursuing it?

    Well…i don't know, the thing is i know i'm "kind of natural", i don't know if it is because i'm a very sensitive and perceptive person (i read something like that a while ago, about how that traits where useful for a carrer like that) , well i've been reading books, about the method, the meisner technique, etc to prepare myself more, and i'm trying to find out about comercial castings or stuff like that and then when i had more experience, to move to the U.S, maybe working as engineering first until i get into castings….i don't know, is it too stupid? i believed in myself most of the time but i feel like alone in this, do you know what i mean? so it kind of… mmm get me thinking: should i really do this? should i think and plan all this?

    Is it too imposible to break in to acting, hollywood, etc, after the age of 22 or more?

    Thanks for your time really :)

  6. Hi. I'm 15 and live in Michigan! I watched your video and it really did help but how do I get noticed? And is "The Studios @ Michigan" a legitimate acting company? THANKS! 🙂

  7. I'm movin to L.A. next month, I wish I'd seen your video first. Ive been on sets and have a lot of experience so I definitely understand the business side of it all. Any agencies u recommend upon my arrival? Thanks!! So much for your quick response and advice

  8. Good for you Gabriel! Did you watch the video? Like I said in the video, and in an answer to another viewer with a similar question – my advice would be to get started from wherever you are! No need to relocate to NYC or LA in the beginning. Especially LA. Hollywood has been SIGNIFICANTLY outsourced! There's not a lot of filming that goes on there….it's not like it used to be. So yes, get into theatre and small webisodes or indie production where you live first. Break a leg!

  9. Hi Jamie, I've taken acting classes for 3 semesters and I'm taking one next semester. I really have a lot of passion for acting. What is your first advice on how to get into big business. I'm graduating now, do you advice me to go on with local theatres? Maybe in California or New York?

  10. That depends on your belief system. The "lead" actress is usually the model type, but the "character" actors who are the quirky, "interesting" looking ones, have so many more parts available and get much more work if they're good!

  11. Well obviously it also involves luck, divine intervention, or whatever you want to call it. Dustin Hoffman also didn't "make it" until he was in his mid 30s either. I'm just trying to give tips for people who really want to try, and how to get started. It takes a LOT of perseverance & tenacity & a STRONG desire, that's for sure!

  12. Then how do people like channing tatum and other actors who are so big make it without any acting experience and other people have been acting their whole life sometimes never make a single cut in anything, Robin Williams didn't make anything big until he was in his 30's

  13. Well, like I said in the video, get started from wherever you are! You want to build your skills and try to get noticed. Also sign up on all the acting casting sites that you can – national and LA. Search google, you'll find plenty. Casting Frontiere is one, LA Casting, Actors Access, etc. Break a leg! 🙂

  14. Straight forward and honest from someone who has walked the walk. Great points on the role of social media and not having to move to Hollywood to network. Those fee's can really put a dent in ur pocket too:) Hollywood Blvd. has turned into a carnival like atmosphere with street performers and sideshows. The fresh air of Oregon agrees with you. All the best.

  15. Won't ask you to dance any more Jamie since that seemed to annoy you the last time I mentioned it but you certainly can… You're a very talented Lady… 🙂 Blessings always… CV…

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