15 Tips for Starting an Acting Career Later in Life

Im a 44 year old who has ALWAYS wanted to be an actress but certain struggles (I was a single mom for many years and then my new marriage moved me out of the country) have prevented me from pursuing it. As soon as my daughter left the nest and found her own career, I knew it was my turn to follow my dream, but at age 44 (I actually younger though), some have told me that without experience like the rest of the actors in their 40s, I would not have much of a chance. I have taken acting classes and worked in short films and I WANT to stay positive but I wonder am I following a dream I am too late to follow?

15 tips to help you become an actor at 40 or older
  1. Take acting classes. …
  2. Get professional headshots. …
  3. Explore community theater opportunities. …
  4. Audition for roles. …
  5. Network with people in the acting business. …
  6. Establish an online presence. …
  7. Self-produce. …
  8. Perfect your monologues.

Advice To Anyone Starting A Career In Hollywood At Age 40 by Carole Kirschner

15 tips to help you become an actor at 40 or older

1. Take acting classes

To develop your acting skills, you can take classes and participate in acting workshops. Here are some examples of acting class subjects:

When youre training to become an actor, the quality of classes you take is an important element to helping you achieve roles and gain experience. Here are some attributes of high-quality acting classes:

2. Get professional headshots

Headshots are professional photos that show casting directors at auditions what you look like. Here are a few tips for acting headshots:

3. Explore community theater opportunities

When youre ready to start pursuing roles, you can research acting opportunities with your local community theater. Performing in community productions can help you establish your acting career. Community theater roles are usually unpaid opportunities that can allow you to gain valuable acting experience you can add to your resume when youre auditioning for larger roles.

4. Audition for roles

Once youve gained experience and improved your acting abilities, you can begin auditioning for roles. The more auditions you attend, the more experience youll have with the process of trying out for roles. This experience can give you the confidence to continue auditioning for acting jobs. Here are some examples of acting opportunities for beginning actors:

5. Network with people in the acting business

Building a professional network as you pursue an acting career can help you learn about audition opportunities and gain advice from actors with more experience. To build your professional network, you can make connections with actors in classes, workshops and acting jobs. Networking may also help you find an agent and find mentors in the acting business.

6. Establish an online presence

Another strategy you can use to build an acting career is to establish yourself online. Having an online presence can help casting directors learn more about you and contact you for roles. You can create a website that includes clips that showcase your acting abilities and detail your acting resume.

You can also create a social media presence. Social media can be a tool for networking and communication, as well as an opportunity to showcase your acting skills using self-produced videos.

7. Self-produce

Self-producing for an actor is funding your own productions. Here are a few benefits to self-producing work as a beginning actor:

8. Perfect your monologues

For some types of acting auditions, a casting director may ask you to perform a monologue. You can learn two monologues of different types (comedic and dramatic, for example) to show the scope of your acting abilities. Compelling monologues for auditions are short and demonstrate your strongest acting abilities.

9. Create a resume

When youre ready to audition for acting roles, you can create a resume that details your experience, abilities and training. Here are a few resume tips for actors:

10. Train locally

Rather than investing in a move to a city with more opportunities, you can build your acting skills with opportunities in or near your local community. Beyond benefit of the cost savings, this can also help you remain energized as you pursue an acting career. You can research local clubs and organizations or volunteer to act in student films at a local college or university to pursue local acting opportunities.

11. Pursue behind-the-scenes opportunities

When youre searching for acting roles, you can also consider pursuing behind-the-scenes roles in productions. This can help you understand the behind-the-scenes work in commercials, plays, shows and movies. It can also help you network with other actors and learn about auditions. Here are a few examples of behind-the-scenes roles you can pursue:

12. Market yourself

Another strategy for becoming an actor later in your life is to market yourself. You can use your online presence, social media and networking skills to establish yourself in your chosen industry. You can also ensure your film and television roles appear in online databases for actors and productions. This can help casting directors find you and confirm your experience.

13. Develop your special skills

Special skills in acting are abilities other than acting that can help you find more specialized acting jobs. Actors list their special skills on their resumes to help them compete against others for parts. Here are a few examples of special skills for actors:

14. Learn acting vocabulary

Just as you might learn the vocabulary marketing professionals use if you work in marketing, so you can learn the vocabulary that actors use. Learning common vocabulary of stage and film productions can help you maintain professionalism and learn more about acting. To learn more about actors vocabularies, you can read books and perform research online.

15. Get an agent

After youve gained acting experience, you can pursue a relationship with an agent, who can help you find more acting opportunities. Here are tips for newer actors who are searching for an agent:

The job outlook for actors

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.


Can you become an actor in your 40s?

Is it possible to get into acting at 30, 40, even 50 years old? For many now-famous actors, the answer is a resounding “yes.” There are plenty of real-life actors who started their careers late, including Jane Lynch and Alan Rickman.

How do I start acting with no experience?

With experience and acting chops, there are still plenty of opportunities in theater, TV, film, and commercials for the older actor.” In other words, there’s no age limit.

What age do most successful actors start?

How to get started as an actor with no experience
  1. Don’t move yet. …
  2. Take acting classes. …
  3. Further your formal education. …
  4. Join a local theater. …
  5. Learn about the industry. …
  6. Build your resume. …
  7. Take a professional headshot. …
  8. Create a demo reel.

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