The answer is simple – formulate a good plan. Planning is key. Set your main goal and work towards achieving it. The road might or might not be easy. You will come across challenges on the way; several of which are addressed here.

Are you past the teenage period and are hitting 20 years? Are you an aspiring actor but don’t know where to start from? Is this whole situation beginning to worry you? If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you are in the right place. Well, for starters, there is no need to be worried. Many aspiring actors begin their careers in their early 20s. The quest is normally a confusing and intimidating one, but this is a sign of growth. I’ll share with you a few tips on how to get into acting at 20.

Going into my 20s, I was uncertain, trying to figure out what my relationship to acting is.

Gaby Hoffmann

Should I have started my career earlier?

Many actors wish that they could have begun their acting careers at 12 or 13 so that they can have enough experience at 20. Whereas this thinking is true, it doesn’t necessarily imply that your acting ability is gone at 20, or that there aren’t any new opportunities for actors at 20. On the contrary, you’re now grown and are sure of what you’re getting yourself into.

Read and study

Study, study, and study! That’s how you become familiar with the industry. Acting is a bit similar to studying for a degree. You need to get all the facts right, know the inside and outside of the industry, know how everything works, and familiarize yourself with some of the icons of the business. Reading books about the acting industry and talent agents will give you enough understanding and confidence in how to achieve your acting goals.

Reading acting books makes it easier for you to develop your own unique strategy based on your needs and personalities instead of relying on general ones you’ll find on websites. In addition, reading also gives you a wide range of knowledge and views from different aspects.

On top of books, it’s also good to take on acting or drama classes. You can never rely solely on books. When beginning your acting career, self-education is priceless. Learning does not only provide you with enough knowledge about the industry but also makes you more creative and expands your imagination.

Don’t act on impulse

One good thing with being 20 is that you’re now an adult and can differentiate between right and wrong. Beginning your acting career might be exciting and everything, but you have to take every step at a time. Don’t act on impulse. There are numerous cities around the world that have gone big with the theater, television and film industry. If you are based in these cities, this is a good head start. If not, do not fret about it. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to grow and get there. These cities include Los Angeles, London, and New York City, among others.

The good thing about having small acting theaters around your home area is that the probability of finding a job is high compared to big theatres. Big cities and theatres are not only competitive but also expensive. Beginning small will help you save money, learn more about the business, and explore local opportunities.

Do not move to a big city simply because you want to be an actor. Try not to act on impulse and make rushed and silly decisions. However, if you’re convinced about this and will actually be able to manage in such an environment for long, then there is no harm in doing so. However, facing less competition is a great way of starting out and building on your resume.

Train Locally

Proceeding on from the point above, your decisions and goals must be clearly thought of and not rushed. Acting isn’t a sprint; it is a marathon. People who rush to the acting industry end up burning out very fast and don’t achieve their goals. It isn’t a smart approach to the game. Nearly all cities have opportunities for actors. The less competitive market will give you a boost in your career, especially if you have no experience.

What are these opportunities for you to explore? The answer is basically everything and anything that the industry offers. Grasp any opportunity that you come across, wherever, and whenever. You could land gigs on amateur acting workshops, drama clubs, and community theatres, and so on.

If you live in a big city, expect more activities to happen around you. However, this comes with more competition. Nonetheless, do everything possible to get you up on your feet up and acting. Seek out auditions and jobs wherever you can. The whole point of all this is to build on your resume in every possible way. Be more than active! Land every project that comes along your way.

Perfect your special skills

One secret of acting is standing out. What are you bringing to the table that your competitor lacks? As much as acting should be your main priority, this doesn’t mean that you cannot learn any added skill. This is a secret that many actors are yet to figure out. With this, many people end up not landing gigs simply because they didn’t take time to learn a particular skill.

Learn something that will be helpful to the director in the line of production. These skills can range anywhere from playing musical instruments, swimming, driving, riding a unicycle, learning accents, and new languages to martial arts, juggling, sports, and magic, among other unique features. Don’t forget to add these skills to your resume and see how this can help you gain your acting experience. This doesn’t end here. Spend enough time to master these skills and perfect them. You don’t necessarily need to be a pro, but reach the level at which you can fake it to perfection. Don’t just know the basics. Be able to impress someone who is watching.

Special skills aren’t the main attraction or focal point of your resume. That is why they are found at the bottom part of your resume. However, you never know where your luck lies. These skills might be your answer call to landing a gig in a big production.

Work on marketing

When you are beginning out your acting career, not many people (if no one) actually knows you. Moreover, most of your time will be spent on applying for gigs. With this, I’m positive that you’ll have extra time on your hands. Use this time wisely to boost and market yourself. Branding and marketing are very important, and we cannot tire of emphasizing this.

Marketing and branding might not do a lot for you when you’re starting out, but you will find yourself way ahead of others in time. Most actors fail to do so and later find themselves in very tight positions. How do you market yourself? You might ask. There are a few key things that you can focus on.

  1. Marketing and branding might not do a lot for you when you’re starting out, but you will find yourself way ahead of others in time. Most actors fail to do so and later find themselves in very tight positions. How do you market yourself? You might ask. There are a few key things that you can focus on.
  2. Create and update your social media profiles. These include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, among other platforms out there.
  3. Be active on these social media platforms, as well as your website. Communicate and interact with people as you share things with them.
  4. Be active on these social media platforms, as well as your website. Communicate and interact with people as you share things with them.

Meet new actors, producers, and directors and interact with them. Connect with them, and maybe you can start working on projects together. If you try hard, you might land professionals. Getting to know such people is hard, so if you land one or two, save their contacts and try to grab their attention.

Most professionals love talking about how they started out their careers and giving advice to newbies. Use all this information to your advantage.

Accept criticism and rejection

If you cannot take criticism and rejection, then you might as well forget about acting. Rejection is part of the acting business. It actually makes up a big part of the industry. Rejection applies to all freelancing jobs- acting, dancing, writing, and dancing, among others. Most actors don’t expect this turn of event when the reality is that everyone gets rejected.

Whereas rejection might not be normal in the everyday walk of life, you have to accept it in acting. It is never personal, and so you shouldn’t take it to heart. Moreover, being rejected doesn’t imply that you’re a bad actor. It simply means that the specific job post isn’t suited to your set of skills.

Put yourself in the shoes of the director. If you were hiring for an acting job position with 50 slots, then 100 actors showed up, would you hire all of them? Definitely not- even if they were all good. You need to pick out the best from the list. No one loves getting rejected, but the nature of acting business makes it a norm of life.

The point that I’m trying to drive home is that you should be ready to accept rejection in every job post that you apply for. Be comfortable with getting rejected. I know it sounds weird, but that’s how it is. It isn’t easy, but it will save you lots of internal battles and put you on the right path.

Be patient and consistent

The points that I’ve given above will get you into the right path of acting. In a year or so, you’ll be ahead of the game and making big strides. Many actors don’t have the patience to wait this long and will have opted out and ventured into something else.

If you are serious about your career and take into consideration all of the above-mentioned points, the process will take a year or two. It is a long process; that’s why I said acting is a marathon and not a sprint. There is no need to hurry. Instead, enjoy the entire process and learn from each point. Focus on your goal and always looks towards the future.

The important thing to note is that as time goes by, you get a deeper understanding of how the industry works. You will be developing your foundation and building on it. So it is important that you be patient. You will not see any results at first.

With that said, here is a summary of the seven points that you need to keep in mind on how to get into acting at 20:

  1. Read and study. Get to know everything about the industry. Just like a degree, a little knowledge goes a long way.
  2. Don’t act on impulse. All the excitement shouldn’t be a reason for you to make rushed and silly decisions.
  3. Train Locally. This will help you avoid competition and land as many gigs as possible.
  4. Perfect your special skills. Acquire something that will make you stand out from your competition.
  5. Work on marketing. It might not make sense at first but will prove worth it with time.
  6. Accept criticism and rejection. It is never personal, but the nature of the industry. Being rejected doesn’t mean that you are a bad actor.
  7. Be patient and consistent. Acting isn’t a sprint, not a marathon. Be consistent and don’t give up. Enjoy the ride and wait for the tunnel at the end of the road.

Actors Takeaway:
how to get into acting at 20

Becoming an actor at 20 is not impossible, but neither is it easy. It requires investment in terms of hard work, time, and even money. All the above points will go a long way to ensure that you have an easy time and stay ahead of the competition at all times.

There will be no reward for you at first, but don’t lose hope. Stick to whatever you’re doing and wait for the result. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.