How to Get in Hollywood

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Getting in the Hollywood business can be tricky, but having a few gigs under your belt and putting together an impressive resume, complete with a head shot, is a great way to get a foot in the door. Break into showbiz with advice from a professional actor, voice-over artist, director and writer in this free video on acting.

Part of the Video Series: Acting Advice
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Richard Rifkin. We're here in Budapest, Hungary at the Merlin Theater and we're going to talk about how to get into the Hollywood business. OK, I'm a professional actor and I've been in the business for many, many years. I think I know how but really it's most important that you figure out how. Let's say you want to come to Hollywood and be an actor. You need experience, you need to have done some theater, television, possibly some motion pictures and get a resume together. What's a resume? Well it looks something like this and it tells about you, how to contact you, what films you've done, what experience you have, what extra activities you can do. You probably would need a head shot because the casting directors, people in Hollywood, have to know what you look like, what you can play, things like this. That's important, you'd have to get an agent. Find yourself an agent that can start to send you out on casting calls. You can find that in local papers or if you go to the Internet you can probably find a list of agents for any major city so do that for yourself. What if you're not exactly an actor but you can do great crazy voices? Well you could become a voice over actor and then you would need either well nowadays you'd probably need a CD, you wouldn't be using a tape anymore, but you have a tape or a CD with the voices you do. On mine I have things like commercials I've done, cartoon voices, character voices, so that can also be helpful to you and then there are agents just for that, voice over agents. So you can become a voice over actor. Now, if you have no experience really, there's still a chance for you. That is the role of the extra or also known as atmosphere. The background people, you can do that, it's not so difficult, it'd be just like me sitting here and the movie stars over here and I'm just sitting here watching in the cinema but everything else is happening with the people here. But you need people to fill up the cinema or a restaurant or a crowded scene outside. So extras you get to work long hours, little pay compared to the movie stars, but you still get to sort of rub elbows with the celebrities and you get to learn a lot. So if you want to be an actor, you're getting a lot of experience being on the set, being on location. So the extras is a good way to go. And they have extra unions and things like that in Los Angeles and New York and throughout the United States you can find things like this. So check out the extra situation if you're not ready to really go in there and be a professional actor. Anyway good luck on all this and hopefully we'll see you in the movies.


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