How to Make an Acting Portfolio With No Experience

Even household-name superstars had to get their first acting job to gain experience. While casting directors may prefer that you have experience, putting together a concise acting portfolio with a quality head shot can go a long way to landing you your first job as an actor. Getting your first break may take a while, but having an impressive acting portfolio -- even without any experience -- will help you break into the industry.


    • 1

      Select a readable font size. Anything less than 10 point will leave the reader squinting, whether it is being reviewed at a sunny outside location or in a dark theater.

    • 2

      Create an email address specifically for your acting career. The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts recommends that you have you use your full name, such as

    • 3

      Limit your cover letter to one page. Casting directors are busy people and they don't have the time -- neither will they make the effort -- to wade through five pages of material.

    • 4

      Be honest about your lack of experience, but stress that you are eager to learn. List the classes you have taken and any experience you have with amateur productions.

    • 5

      Indicate -- in a sincere tone -- that you are interested in acting as a career. Mention that you are willing to do walk-ons and bit parts to gain acting experience.

    • 6

      Spend the time and money to get a good head shot. Do your research and find a good profile photographer. Choose a photograph that is natural-looking and reflects you and your character, as you want to make a good first impression.

    • 7

      Print your acting resume -- even if it is just the classes you've taken -- on the back of your head-shot. One without the other -- and if you clip or staple them together they may get separated -- is useless. This is the format that casting directors prefer.

    • 8

      Enclose your acting portfolio in an easy-to-open envelope that is big enough so it doesn't have to be folded, as you don't want your head shot damaged. Rather than licking the envelope, secure it with a small piece of tape.

    • 9

      Be proactive and set up a simple web site. You can also add additional information, photographs and videos to your acting portfolio there. Mention the website in the cover letter, and a casting director may check it out if she is interested in you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Another idea for an e-mail address is to link it to your website -- -- so that if you change servers you still have the same address.
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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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