How to Become an Actor or Actress in Australia
Have you always considered an acting career in the performing arts industry, or have looked up to characters such as Wolverine? With the right professional training, acting classes, discipline, adding to your acting resume, and relentless determination, living out your dream as an actor in Australia is possible.
Is it hard to become an actor or actress in Australia?
Although some people have natural-born talent, acting skills usually need to be sharpened over time. If you’re wondering if it’s difficult to become an actor or actress in Australia, ideally, previous experience is favoured for any role.
What should I prepare for before starting my acting career?
If you want to become an actor, how should you prepare for your career? Firstly, you’ll want to be familiar with how the industry works. Be up to date on the latest projects or production companies in your area, trends, and what’s popular!
Consider creating your work. Think about content creators on TickTock or YouTube who make short, entertaining videos. This is a great way to succeed in making a portfolio for casting directors. You can also star in small productions alongside directors, or piece together a short film for fun. Be as creative as you’d like!
Have a good support system. An acting studio, along with friends, family, or other aspiring actors. Having a network of people who understand and support your passion for the performing arts will benefit your journey in the field.
Sketching out a budget plan. Becoming an actor takes a lot of dedication and finances, so consider the costs for photography, videography, hiring agents, and the overall expenses for training, such as acting workshops. The last thing you want is to have debt!
Where should I acquire formal training?
There are many formal courses available if you’re eager to start improving your acting skills, but you want the best of the best when it comes to training.
The National Institute of Dramatic Art is Australia’s most popular school for television, film, and screen acting, as well as the Victoria College of the Arts. Likewise, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth is a reputable, well-known institution as Hugh Jackman attended there. Both of these institutions offer auditions throughout the year. Acting studios like The Actors Pulse have become increasingly popular in the last decade and have had equally good results.
Vocational education such as three-year undergraduate programs at a university is another great option. Programs such as a Bachelor of Creative Arts, which can give you a foundational knowledge of performance skills, and screen performance, can offer internships at theatre companies, and many more job opportunities.
Image source: House of Wellness
What promotional materials do I need?
Professional actors always begin with a collection of materials to market themselves to casting directors, and the quality of these can determine whether casting calls will be interested in you. So, what do you need?
Professional headshots. Hire an experienced photographer and start capturing photos of your face, as these are what agents and casting directors will be looking at.
A solid CV. If you have any unique skills, formal training, or any acting experience, this needs to be noted down clearly and concisely. Keep this contained on an A4 page and put down what makes you different!
A showreel. Have you ever recorded yourself acting out a dramatic scene? The showreel needs 3 minutes of content explaining who you are as an actor and what you can bring to the table.
Do I need an agent?
Yes, most actors will need an agent to secure acting roles in the performing arts. Agents have great success and relationships with a casting director, can negotiate acting contracts on your behalf, and can overall assist you in landing that dream opportunity.
What skills do I need to become an actor?
Acting requires someone to be multi-skilled in many areas, and it’s more than just previous acting experience.
Understand story, building characters, and memorising lines. Reading scripts for stage or television shows is essential for acting work.
Being physically fit for stage work. As you’ll be working for many hours for performances, having good stamina is critical.
Having good communication skills. In this industry, knowing how to speak clearly and with emotion for an audience will determine whether they connect to you or not.
Being creative. You need to be able to work with other creative people, try new ideas, and be open to other perspectives in this field.
Being persistent. Patience and determination – especially in the early stages – are what will propel most actors in the right direction.
How do you get into TV acting?
Do you admire actors such as Nicole Kidman or Mel Gibson? If you want to become a TV actor, you’ll want to find an agent who can source auditions for television companies, broadcasting corporations, advertising agencies, or television shows. Don’t be disheartened if you’re starting as a movie extra or background actor; this is still useful for building an acting portfolio!
How much are actors paid in Australia?
An actor in Australia can earn an average of $70, 608 per year, however, the overall amount depends on real-life experience, where you’re located, the budget of the production company, and qualifications.
At The Actors Pulse, we can offer you premium online or in-person interactive classes, giving you the skill set you’ll need to pursue your passion for acting.
Billy Milionis is one of the few Australians to have ever studied under the legendary master teacher, the late Sanford Meisner. Billy has also studied story structure and scene analysis techniques with John Truby and later at UCLA. He has also spent several years doing improvisation in Hollywood with the L.A. Connection. In addition, he trained in the technique of Stella Adler, Practical Aesthetics and Lee Strasberg’s method.