– Can you see it? Boop Hello, Hollywood (upbeat music) So you wanna be an actor in Los Angeles and you don’t know where to begin, there are a couple steps that can help you find success I’m not gonna guarantee that these will get you success, but I’ll guarantee that it’ll definitely help, basically take you from just moving here to finding a place to live to getting set up with headshots, resumes, getting an agent and submitting yourself on roles and booking dream jobs Let’s get into it So number 10 One of the most important things if you’re gonna move to LA, you need to figure out your transportation situation An actor is gonna need to be able to move at a moment’s notice to whatever audition Most actors I know have a car, the actors I know that don’t have cars, Ubers get expensive, that’s all I know LA is a huge massive city If you are planning on not having a car, live close to public transit, there is a lot of public transit but it’s not as robust as like New York City or something like that If you have a car, be prepared to wait in some traffic, have some podcasts maybe at the ready If you’re moving to LA, the app waze is very helpful And also, you’re gonna wanna learn to read the parking signs, like really read them and know where and when you can park because look at this, look at this right there Okay, you see that? Do you see how many things? No stopping from 7 am to 9 am, 4 pm to 7 am, one hour parking from 9am to 4pm, tow away for vehicles over seven feet high or 22 feet long from 9am to 4pm If you do your homework, then you might actually be able to park in these places and not get a ticket There is no person I know who’s lived here for any length of time who hasn’t had a parking ticket So it’s kind of a rite of passage So now that you have your transportation all figured out, we can now move on to number nine deciding where to live Basically, you’re gonna have a lot of auditions taking place in this area So what I found is that when I lived over here, it really took a long time to get to an audition, say in Culver City, or something like that and especially taking the 10 freeway, you’re looking at two hours, maybe three hours total travel time for an audition that ends up taking 10 minutes What I found is that a lot of actors move to North Hollywood, or Koreatown, which is more down here So K Town, it’s a little cheaper but it’s still central, so again, North Hollywood and K Town I live in West Hollywood, which is like right around here-ish, close to Beverly Hills and I found that that is a great spot for auditions because again, it’s pretty centrally located but it also is hard to get to freeways Pretty much you can’t go wrong with anywhere that’s centrally located So again, like Los Feliz, Hollywood, Central LA, but even downtown can be tough A lot of people think that moving to downtown Los Angeles, it’s just gonna be easy, but in fact, honestly that can be kind of tough – [Lady] Everyone I know that has moved to downtown downtown has moved out of downtown as soon as their lease was up – So in review, anything in that circle is totally fair game I’m talking Burbank, Fairfax District, Mid- Wilshire, Los Feliz, Larchmont, Universal City, Studio City and anything else you can think of Also, it’s worth mentioning that real estate moves very fast in LA So if you find a place you like, put a deposit down and get in there Alright, so now that you’ve figured out where to live, we’re gonna move on to number eight, the stuff you need, required stuff You’re gonna need a headshot or resume and reels/demos if you wanna be an actor Your headshot is your calling card It is the thing that people will see and click on you for for roles, so you got to get it right Typically, headshots will cost you about $500 out here, but there are plenty of people willing to do it for less Also, keep in mind that retouching fees are not always included So be sure to ask your photographer before you shoot just how many photos you’re getting out of the shoot and what the going rate of their retouching fees are If you don’t want to get professional headshots, you can have a friend do it A solid photo view will work just fine but eventually, you will need to get a professional headshot So now I’m gonna give you some headshot tips Don’t wear anything too distracting, you want a couple different looks, so bring a couple different outfits Have a smiling one, have a more serious one and maybe even consider doing like a character shot if you are playing like Santa Claus or something, you’re gonna want a photo of you as Santa Claus And if you look like me, then you may want to consider doing like a body shot so people know what your body looks like

In other words, your photos are gonna look different from other people’s photos, I’m not gonna have the same headshot as Jack Black All right now onto your resume There are plenty of examples of actors resumes online, you can even use mine as a template Now, my resume has a couple things going on First, I’m saying exactly my union status up here, your height, your weight, what hair color you have, what I color you have, what kind of voice you might have, if you do any singing, and then immediately get into some of your best credits And if you don’t have a lot, again, I did not start with this many credits, it just kind of built up over time So wear it proudly, whatever you got, but just keep your resume to one page because a, no one wants to read a resume more than one page and b, you’re gonna be stapling it to the back of your head-shot, so it just flips over for easy, easy viewing So as for your reel, if you have no previous projects to pull footage from, then just shoot a scene with a buddy and put it on tape We just need to know what you look like and sound like on camera Nobody’s perfect in the beginning of their career and your reel will grow with your career So when you book and shoot a project, just make sure how you can pull that footage so that you can add it to your reel for later Don’t stress it too much about the reel but definitely get the headshot and resume that’s very important and you can’t move on to the next step If you don’t have your headshot and your resume, got all that? Good, ’cause you’re gonna need it for number seven, online profiles LA Casting, actors access, backstage, IMDbPro and Casting Frontier are websites that allow you to submit yourself on roles They also allow your agent to submit you on roles, so it is very, very important that you fill out your profiles completely so that the search filters will find roles fit just for you Once your online profiles are ready to go, check these websites every single day and read character breakdowns and submit yourself on roles I usually check the websites about three times a day on the weekdays and once over the weekend If I find something that suits me, I click and submit all of the relevant info Actors access is $68 a year, LA Casting is $149 a year, backstage is about $120 a year, IMDb Pro is 149 dollars a year, Casting Frontier is about $96 a year So you’re looking at almost $600 a year total for all your casting profiles Now, these are all premium accounts and you do not need all of them I found actually that most of my work has come from LA Casting and actors access So if you can only pay for two, I’d stick with those, and then eventually move into backstage and IMDb Pro eventually, that way you can control what your IMDB page looks like, which will eventually get more important as your IMDb starts filling up Alrighty, so, while we’re on the subject of online profiles, you need to get your social media, right That means making sure that it looks good and try to stay positive because I can absolutely guarantee that casting directors will be looking at your profiles and checking you out Sorry, I just did a turn ’cause Captain was peeing So you just wanna make sure that your get your online profiles, right ’cause I can personally guarantee you the casting directors will be checking out your Instagram, your Twitter, all that stuff So stay positive and if you have stuff like the fact that you voted, things like that, people love that So really take an effort to make it look good, it’s worth your time, I swear All right now that Captain’s walk is almost completed, we’ll move on to number six Auditions and self tapes So this is where it all happens, when everything’s all set up, and you’re submitting yourself on roles and now you have an audition Oh, my goodness, what are you gonna do? Well, good thing I’m here to tell you what to do Here we go So first things first, you have to make the time to read all of the material you are given an advance You don’t wanna be the guy who doesn’t understand the character or the tone of the show For example, if you’re given a script with an emotional monologue, your instinct might be to play it as real as possible But if it’s for a Disney show, then you’re gonna play it a whole lot differently than you would for like “Law and Order” and if you’re going in for a show that’s already streaming somewhere, just be sure to watch some episodes to get an idea of what the show is like It’s super helpful and I can guarantee you that the other people reading for that role have already done that as well All right for the actual audition itself, arrive no more than 10 minutes early When you enter the room, don’t shake the casting director’s hand Unless they extend their hand first, it’s just good practice, it’s professional Often before you read, the casting director will ask you if you have any questions, if you do shoot but just don’t waste time trying to impress them with a question Genuine and thoughtful questions regarding the script or the character are always appreciated And also be sure to ask about pronunciations too and not just names, if you’re confused about like hyphenation or if numbers are being read aloud or just, I don’t know like digits, just ask, have your script highlighted and printed single side for easy reading because double side just gets complicated Also, you should be off book or as close to off book as you can be, even if you have your lines memorized, always hold the script in your hand as you give your audition Having the script in your hand not only allows you to make some minor mistakes but it shows that you’re there to be worked with It’s way better than forgetting a line and having to pick your script up off the floor So just hold your script in your hand Please do that All that being said, Keep your head out of the script when you read and after you read if they give you a note for example, hey, the character’s

really struggling with this so let’s see a lot more of that struggle, then really take that note and pivot hard It’s a lot easier to have a cast director tone down your performance than it is for them to bring it out of you So, show them what you got and then if you need to pull it back, you totally can As for what to wear to an audition, you wanna look professional while fitting whatever role you’re going in for So do not wear a costume unless the audition specifically calls for it So if you’re going into audition for a doctor, wear a button down and some nice pants, do not wear a fake stethoscope and lab coat Please, above all these little tips and tricks that I’m trying to give you to audition well, the most important thing is just to be a human being I know it sounds weird, but sometimes you get in the room and you’ll get all clammed up and kind of nervous and you just need to relax and just be engaged and present in what’s going on the whole time, like anybody would in any place Just be yourself and let the performance shine through you Just remember that the people in the room want you to succeed and that you’ll get way better at auditioning by just doing it a lot We often say that if you’re coming to LA to be an actor, you’re actually coming to LA to be an auditioner You’re gonna audition hundreds of times, no joke, so don’t sweat it and just have fun Oh, and also, before I go any further, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t be made to feel unsafe in an audition, SAG-AFTRA, the performers union on screen and television and radio and all that stuff Recently banned auditions in private residences in order to protect actors and SAG-AFTRA guidelines actually allow you to bring a support peer should you have to meet in a private residence Non-union auditions do not have to adhere to any of these SAG guidelines and therefore can’t grant any sort of protection but regardless, you should never be made to feel unsafe, in an audition, union or non-union I’ve had one audition in which I was sexually harassed Nothing crazy happened, luckily, but it does happen So just know what’s being asked of you and what’s appropriate all right? Because again, you shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable, even if the subject matter is crazy, no one should be able to make you feel uncomfortable and it does happen So, protect yourself and bring a buddy if you think that it’s an unsafe location, or if you just have a weird gut feeling, just do that Alright, enough of that Let’s move on to self tapes You do not need a lot of money to make a good self tape I mean, my original self tape setup was like a coat rack from Amazon, my iPhone and an iPhone tripod I used natural sunlight or just a white light bulb in one of those Target Medusa lamps that like every dorm room had in college, so believe me, it wasn’t exactly like, super professional stuff, but I still made some pretty great self tapes that I’m very proud of and that helped me get into some rooms Since then, I have made some improvements These lights are on Amazon and they’re really cheap and effective I highly recommend them And then I actually ended up using an actual tripod with my iPhone tripod And I started using out this Amazon one initially but it was pretty flimsy and not tall enough so, if you do get a cheaper one, just make sure that it’s tall enough to have the camera at your eye-line because of all those issues with my initial one, I upgraded to a manfrotto tripod that I really like The lights, the camera and the tripod I used are all linked below but you can really do fine with just natural light and your phone The other thing that you will need for a self tape is you need a reader, you need someone to help you Be really nice to your reader because self tapes take time, like buy him lunch or something it’s just a good thing to do Have the reader just off camera, don’t look straight at the camera and be well lit using white lights, not yellow lights, yellow lights, they look weird, so, white lights are some of those like little, I’ll show them on the screen Yeah, that’s the best way to do it Also, when you frame yourself tape, don’t cut yourself off at the joints You wanna frame yourself from mid belly to a couple inches above your head sound doesn’t have to be perfect but you shouldn’t have anything in the background that could be distracting Alrighty, so here is actually where I film my self-tapes We’re a little messy right now so, forgive me Yeah, so here’s the lights that I mentioned before I also, I occasionally, Andy and I use a diva ring light, which is super helpful and it looks very good I’ll also put that in the in the description below You wanna try to get the self tape in as quickly as possible while still putting out a professional product The due date is the last possible moment that you should turn in yourself tape But yeah, so I’m well lit, I got a plain background, got my tripod and I’m ready to go Oftentimes, self tapes will ask for a slate, and a slate looks something like this Hello, my name is Will Westwater and I am reading for the role of Timothy I stand at about five 11 and a half, six feet with shoes on and I’m based out of Los Angeles, California and I’m represented by Carrie Macy talent agency And I’m SAG-AFTRA Right, that’s everything Your slate is where you state your name, height, location and any other relevant contact or union info and slates are done directly to camera Now that your self tape is done, you wanna get some editing software to put it all together Use the Adobe Suite but I also am making YouTube videos

So that’s a little different, probably a little bit more than you need If you have onboard video editing software, I’m sure you can put together a self tape If you have Final Cut, iMovie, just go with that, it’s totally fine, you do not need top of the line editing software to put together a self tape I like to throw in relevant info before and after the scenes But just don’t waste their time with transitions or anything like that Because then it shows that you’re putting way more time into the back end of the self tape rather than the part that we all care about, which is your performance Also, the final tip is that casting directors may ask for all sorts of stuff out of your self tape What I’m giving you is the standard If they want something different, they’ll specify Alrighty, so I realized I just gave you guys a lot of information so I’m just gonna put it on the screen real quick so you can take a screenshot or something like that, there you go and also I’ll have all of this information in a Google Doc below that you can download or share around, do whatever you want with But anyway, enough of that, let’s move on to number five, getting an agent so actually, you don’t need an agent when you first start out It does definitely help but I wouldn’t stress it too much in the beginning It’ll come along when you’re further along in your career You can self submit on so many roles nowadays that you can find plenty of work, especially if you’re non-union At some point you will want or need an agent because agents can submit you on projects that you can’t submit yourself for, and they take 10% of what they get you that’s their fee for doing their job A full list of SAG franchise agents can be found on SAG’s website and this is the place to go to start your agent search Seriously, if SAG says it’s good to go, if they’re good reps, that’s totally fine 10% is the normal take and don’t accept anybody who would take more than 10% from the jobs they get you I found my rep on SAG’s website and I did some research and I made cold calls It’s how you do it Before you make those calls, be sure to have your headshot and your resume and your online profiles as filled out, as complete, as well done as they can be Your reel and your demo, if you have it, bring that along too The more you have, the better you’ll look to an agent While your agent does work for you, you still have to make an effort to show that you’re someone worth their time So, put in the effort, get a good agent, get jobs Alrighty, number four, joining a union So SAG-AFTRA is the TV and film Union for actors and Equity is the Union for stage performing actors If your goal is to be on the silver screen or anything on Netflix, Hulu, etc, you’re gonna need to be in a union I wouldn’t worry about it too much to start, but I would start saving for becoming a union actor if you can So before I start talking about how to join the union, I wanna go over some real quick pros and cons of being a SAG actor So in the pros column, we have union protections This includes residuals and labor laws that must be followed Also, if you make enough as an actor in a year, then you get health care and you can be a part of the SAG health care plan, and you’re taking more seriously as an actor Also, there are free classes and workshops and get togethers for SAG members So, it’s being an in union, just like any other labor union, except in this union, you get free screeners of movies that are still in theaters, so, that’s kind of fun So now on to the cons, it is a $ 3,000 initial buy in, and there are yearly dues based on how much you make There is financing available, but that’s a lot of money and it’s not really easy So again, start saving now The biggest downside to being in the union is that you can no longer do non-union scripted work, and that is a big bummer The good news is, you’ll join the union when you’re ready, because you’ll have to if you book enough union jobs, so don’t stress it Here’s how to become a member of SAG Number one, the first thing you can do is be a principle player in a union production Number two, you can do a ton of extra work, all those people in the background You get three of those, you get to join the union You can also be a member in good standing of one of the other performers unions, you’re allowed to work on two union jobs before having to join the union immediately on your third job Most people join after their second union job After you’ve done one union job, you are known as a Taft Hartley candidate or SAG eligible it means that you’re on the fence and you have your foot in the water Actually SAG eligible, if you are SAG eligible, stay right there because then you can do as much non-union work as you want, and still have the legitimacy of knowing that someone was out there who hired you for a union production and that’s great, it does lend you some credibility You will eventually have to join the union if you do enough union jobs So squirrel away that money, save it like your nuts in winter, because I’m telling you, you’re gonna need it when you book another SAG job, and you have to join the union All right, number three, take classes Yes, even you need to classes Not only are classes are a great way to continue to hone your craft, but you can meet a lot of people so you expand your network Also, classes are a great way to show that you’re taking an active role in your career It shows that you care, and people like seeing that on your resume Some recommended classes include UCB for improv and The Imagined Life, for just good old fashioned acting, the basics of booking for commercial acting and the Voicecaster in Burbank for voiceover training There are plenty of other classes is all over town

and plenty of capable teachers In fact, if someone tells you that they have the one secret to being an actor, they’re probably selling you snake oil There are plenty of other classes all over town and plenty of capable teachers So, find one that works, ask around and expand your network, expand your mind and get better at your craft, you need to do that So, go do it Alrighty, number two, you need a job headshots, gasoline, classes and online profiles cost money and chances are that you may not break even off acting alone for your first couple of years So plan accordingly and be smart with your money You wanna have a side hustle If the thought of working in a restaurant makes you miserable, then there are plenty of other production jobs in LA, be a production assistant or work at a casting office But whatever you do, try and make it something that you like because you’re probably gonna be doing this a whole lot more than you will be actually working as an actor The most important thing is living and practicing your craft and you don’t need to break the bank to do that So be smart about your money and if you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke” by Suze Orman It’s easily digestible and smart Actor or not, you could use this seriously Alright, number one, probably one of the most important things Make your own stuff and hustle, hustle, hustle You’re not gonna get where you wanna go by sitting on your ass waiting for the phone to ring You want to host a show, that’s great Start making your own shows and keep at it, you wanna do comedy, go to open mics, making your own content will give you some semblance of control in this crazy world while honing skills that you need to be in charge of your career There are over a million people on LA Casting and they are all hungry to work Your hustle has to set you apart from the other actors The last thing I’ll leave you with is that you are getting into one of the hardest career paths in the world So stay the course and know that it takes just time There is no substitution for getting out there and auditioning constantly while making your own stuff You have to put yourself out there over and over again but it’s an actor’s job to be vulnerable and open So run to it (calm guitar music) You just have to be patient, just have to take time A lot of its luck, a lot of it’s setting up luck for yourself You never know what each week is gonna bring for you in this town and that’s just part of what’s amazing about it I never have any idea of what’s gonna happen next So, pretty cool Anyway, well, now I have 30 minutes to get back to my car before parking, before I get a ticket, so, I’m gonna go do that But thanks again for watching It’s 11:51, so I’m good, I’m not gonna get a ticket, I read the signs