How to become an actor in 10 steps

Becoming an actor is possible!

Before I tell you anything else. Please understand age, background, or whatever it is you are thinking could be on your way. Is not a ”problem”.

Photo Property – Backstage

You can absolutely make it as long as you have a genuine passion for the craft.

I hope you get valuable insights as an actor within this blog.

And don’t forget to stay up-to-date with what Backstage has to say. It is the most nurturing, helpful, and full of opportunities website to accompany you in your process.

Trust me, there’s no actor who doesn’t follow them. Not only inside the US. But from wherever you are!

1. To Earn a Fancy Degree, or No Degree? That is The Question…

If you are very young and want to pursue higher education. That is admirable and completely beneficial.

For example, if you would later on pursue other career paths alongside. A Bachelor’s Degree can open more opportunities.

But for acting purposes, you really don’t have to. Especially, if there’s a financial obstacle or you simply want to try something else.

A casting director won’t ask for your background education. Or at least, not your formal education.

Hamlet Like picture showcasing how to become an actor.
Photo Property – Pexels

After being a theater, film, and voiceover actress since I was 11 years old. I can say that this process is extremely personal. There’s no career alike!

But if someone would ask me what to do. I would start by experimenting with different acting methods. It can be done with several acting coaches. And prices vary depending on who you hire.

Is highly beneficial to have an overview on what to do. Having other chance to find what works and doesn’t work for you.

Where could you possibly find acting coaches, then?

It could be as simple as following other actors on social media to ask them where do they go. Or, after attending some acting classes. It is possible you will be recommended to some.

But don’t sleep on sensitivity! This process is something utterly similar to identifying the right psychologist to go!

If exploring human psychology interests you. I recommend reading 12 Ways to Unveil Your Power of Feminine Energy.

Oh! And attend local theaters in your area. Once you do, you will know what I’m talking about.

Is completely true that you will earn a nearly magical experience, and potentially make some actor friends!

6 young girls performing in an apocalyptical theater play, example on how to become an actor.
Photo Property – Fabula

2. Your Acting CV Spot-On

As in any other career path. Actors need a CV to show their work!

There are 3 core materials that are a must to become one. No matter your level of experience, without them, is going to be very tough to stand out.

Don’t forget to have fun while building your portfolio. I’m sure you will keep learning new invaluable experiences, and this will become very natural to you.

Acting Resume

Just exactly like any other CV. Is important to keep it short, precise, and truly showcase relevant facts about you!


I would suggest incorporating your past education & trainings, experience, talents, and a unique fact about you.

  • Do you know any other language?
  • Know how to ride horses?
  • K-POP dance abilities?
Sample acting resume to learn how to become an actor


Your headshots are as important as your resume. Similar to models, actors need to showcase their looks. So casting directors know how you look like and cast you!

Is very important to maintain your headshots up-to-date. Imagine sending a photo of you with brown long hair, advertising it like that.

And when you show up for casting, you have blond and short hair.


Don’t give casting reasons not to consider you for this role or for a future one. They really want you to succeed!

Some thoughts & facts to consider:

Actress' headshot example on how to become an actor.
Photography by Alvaro Serrano
  • Invest in an actor’s headshot photographer. They know exactly what casting directors are looking for in your pictures. And will help you book more. Always aim for quality!
  • Keep your headshot’s best practices by following artists and actor’s marketers in the industry around social media.

And taking a brief look to casting agencies, so you have an overview on what album you should have.

  • Actor’s headshots are a core part of your brand. I personally hated when I realized I had to think about my acting career as a brand?


But it doesn’t have to! I’ll talk about this further in other steps here in the article.


Call it reel, show-reel, portfolio, video-book… The point is to showcase your acting skills!!

”I don’t have experience. How could I have a show-reel if I’ve never been an actor before? Help!”

Don’t stress, I’m here with ya! It happens to all of us and is completely understandable. But there are multiple things you can do to build it from scratch!

And no, isn’t about you recording yourself. You could! But… Is better… Not… To…

Some facts to consider:

Showreel reference in orange for steps in how to become an actor.
Photo Property – Pexels
  • Quality over quantity. Try to incorporate YOUR BEST work as the first clip and if there’s some scenes from other projects that you are not so convinced of.

Then, is probably best to leave it off your reel. You will include more and more clips as you gain experience.

  • From 20secs to 1min max. After you included your absolute best work. Is time to discuss the durability.

Casting review hundreds of hundreds of demo-reels. Is ok to keep it relevant and short.

  • Creating it from scratch? As with headshots. Is best to hire a filmmaker or people in the industry. The most important part about your demo-reel is your acting.

But having a high quality script that suits your abilities best, and film-like clips are the best formulas to stand out.

  • Audition for student film schools shorts as an actor. So you can practice how is like to be on set, and potentially include those clips to your show-reel.
  • Tell random people and people from the industry to review your reel and provide feedback.

If you are comfortable doing it.

You can get great insights about your reel and your acting skills.

Congratulations on having all set up! Now is time to make sure to keep all your 3 core materials up-to-date. Have fun with it!

3. Audition/attend professional castings

If you are like me, and are starting out as a ”newbie”. You could probably feel as if you weren’t ”ready” to be in a real audition.

Simply go.

You will learn on the go.

Is the perfect chance to show casting your work.

70% of the role will be yours, simply because of YOU.

There’s no such thing as a bad actor. But a bad casting director.

Casting director Luci Lenox

4. Being an actor – Personal Brand

Do you remember that I said I would talk further about this through the article?

Well, now is the time.

Most actors I know, really hated when they figured out being an actor requires a certain level of marketing, entrepreneurship, and branding.

Personal Branding picture reference.
Photo Property – Pexels

We are simply wired differently! Just truly want to build our crafts and be happy!

But the truth is, that as long as you want to pursue this as a career and not just as a hobby. You will absolutely need to treat it as a business.

You are the face of the brand. And of course, the entertainment provider!

Some stuff to consider:

Isabella Cerullo watches a theater play in Teatro de Lope de Vega, Madrid.
Photo Property – Isabella Cerullo
  • I would not recommend branding yourself as the ”bad guy/girl”, ”people pleaser”, ”colorful”, or whatever label you think you need to be an actor.

You of course have a range. And absolutely ace some roles more than others. But you are you.

And no one does you better than you. Does that makes sense?

  • Obsess with the craft. The better you become, the better you will serve others in your market!
  • Set boundaries. I could write an entire article just about this. But I will tell you something: this is your business, your time, your art, and investment.

Don’t let anyone take advantage of that just because you have passion.

  • Thinking about building some Online presence?

Is not extremely required. Because we are not social media managers or content creators.

But having some presence online doesn’t hurt anybody. I recommend Heidi Dean – marketing4actors.

She is the absolute BEST and you can follow her on IG.

5. Always Make your bed after you wake up

There’s something, we actors, and artists in general tend to do…

And is, procrastinate.

A very brilliant artist once advised this on one of his lives on YouTube.

It couldn’t be truer because is impossible! There’s something specific about having a routine that can’t be debated.

Hippie vibes picture of a woman smoking, showcasing the misconception with the arts.
Photo Property – Cottonbro Studio

Artists don’t suffer of ”lack of inspiration” or ”hippie syndrome” as much as you might think.

We suffer from procrastination. And building a habit it’s what solves this issue.

Thank you, Aaron Blaise!! I hope you see this.

6. Is all about who you know

I wish this wasn’t the truth, but it is.

And now that we are in 2024. Is more than likely this will be staying for a long time.

But of course, this also can be loads of fun!

There’s just the right person to help out on this. And that would be Amy Jo Berman.

7. How to prepare our Self-Tapes for success

Straight to the point:

  • Blue/Green/Grey/White Background.
  • HORIZONTAL camera.
  • Light behind you.
  • Be careful of background noises and distracting things from your tape.
  • Don’t give casting reasons not to pay attention to your tape.
  • Record as much as you need.
  • Deliver on time.
  • Crush it, and have fun!

8. Becoming an actor demands to deal with rejection 24/7

I know this can be a little overwhelming. And I know is really tough out there.

But this is who you are. And you have decided to pursue your passion.

Rejection isn’t about you, personally.

This is about casting choosing the best and perfect match for the role. Just like dating!

Things to consider:

Picture of a woman with an X sign in her hand showcasing rejection.
Photo Property – Pexels
  • Prioritize your mental health while you adapt to this. Is a natural part of being an actor, and as much as it could be frustrating and sometimes very hurtful.

You will eventually make friends with this. Attend Yoga classes, therapy, or rely on trustworthy friends to talk about this if needed.

  • I recommend not ruminating on the ”whys”. I know this one is easier said than done.

But remember, this is not about you as a person or something you did. Is about casting needs.

  • Casting wants you to SUCEED! I used to have a biased perspective to casting.

As if it was a terrible thing, and unfair to actors.

But that was simply because I didn’t know this was an excellent opportunity to show my work.

And casting directors are also working. They need to find their talents ASAP. They are passionate about what they do.

And they absolutely want you to be the one.

9. If you want to become an actor because you secretly want to be famous. I have nothing to offer you here

Really, all I’m sharing if for the braves and the bold!

This isn’t a joke, and it’s everything but fancy. Just take a look to this low budget film. It was an absolutely refreshing experience, by the way.

Being an actor is the most rewarding, nurturing, and fulfilling job in the world. But is probably the toughest career out there.

I could lie to you and simply tell fairytales but I prefer to be transparent.

You could consider:

Isabella and Ana Maria. Two actresses acting in a low budget film to showcase this career isn't fancy.
Photo Property – Isabella Cerullo
  • Exploring what kind of actor you would like to be.
  • Take several different classes.
  • Build a network.
  • Observe people, draw, write, read – read – read!
  • Enjoy the process.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself. But build a coherent vision of who you want to become.
  • Really, even the most ”famous” actor in Hollywood isn’t there for fame and attention.
  • Passion – Passion – Passion.

10. Exploring other career paths alongside

Hey! This isn’t cheating!

You can pursue your biggest dreams while sustaining yourself.

I wish I knew this when I graduated from High School. I was so into my acting career, that I decided to become one and go all-in. And I don’t regret that.

But I do regret not thinking about my mental health.

And I would say something that some of my friends, which did they same as I did. Don’t like to hear.

make up artist' kit reference as an alternative career path.
Photo Property – Pinterest

You don’t have to suffer, live in the streets, go bankrupt. Simply because you are an actor. You DO NOT gain any more points for having a hard time!

Isabella Cerullo’s phrase – A struggling actor and writer of this article.

If you haven’t done it yet, can, and want to explore other areas. Please do!

Make yourself and your process easier. Or, smoother.

Positive takeaways about this:

Take it easy phrase from Pexels showcasing looking to make our lives easier.
Photo Property – Pexels
  • If you explode other areas. You will earn new skills that you could monetize and sustain your acting business and goals.
  • You could potentially gain confidence by performing in other jobs.
  • Everything and every situation you experience. Is a treasure to your acting endeavors.
  • Accomplish other goals alongside.

It embarrassedly took me around 3-4 years to figure out I had a massive interest for marketing, content creation & editing, journalism, audiovisual technicalities…

And when I audition, and build my acting career. I see how those new skills add to my goals.

I understood I’m not my career. But a person!

Bonus: Once an actor, always an actor

After the Pandemic, we understood life can be very unpredictable.

Don’t ever let anyone or anything make you think you failed if you had to ”quit” for a while.

You can’t change who you are. And your unique self is the biggest treasure the industry could enjoy having.

Do what you have to do.

Leave, come back, re-plan, procrastinate, be serious, invest…

You can still succeed.

If you want to feel a sense of community, ask questions, or know further about this topic. You could subscribe to my Substack Newsletter. Which is 100% FREE.

Emma Stone winning an Oscar. Showcasing is possible to succeed.
Photo Property – Pinterest