How to Make an Acting Portfolio With No Experience

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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.



  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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