13 Jun, 2015 5 Tips to Maintaining Your Integrity as an Actor
Are you wanting to get into show business but not lower your morals in the process? It’s possible to keep your integrity while working as an actor.
“It’s a crime for God’s performers to keep their talent under cover. We are supposed to be illuminating God to all the people who have not met him and we cannot do that under the roof of a church,” exclaimed a woman from the AMTC video below.
THIS is why I chose to move to LA at the age of 20 and pursue an acting career. To share Christ with others who don’t know him while doing something I loved. LA was my mission field.
Over the years while speaking, I can’t tell you how many people ran up to me to ask the all familiar question, “How can I get into show business?” There are many ways a person can start working in the entertainment industry and there are no special formulas. However, I share how I got started in hopes that more people would follow their dreams.
So if you’re a person who is considering working in the entertainment business or currently are, here are five steps you can take to become an actor while maintaining your integrity.
- Connect with a talent agency. There are various talent agencies that will teach you how to audition, enhance your acting skills and help you create and develop your portfolio. You need to make sure this agency has a great rating with the Better Business Bureau. Many scams exist. Actors, Models & Talent for Christ (AMTC) does all of this and more. They are holding auditions country-wide starting this week and I highly suggest you check out their site and go to one of their casting calls to see if the entertainment business is for you. Pick quality projects to work on, because I believe once you do a role that isn’t what you want to portray you can easily be type-casted. You do not want this!
Check out this AMTC audition video below.
- Get educated. The more classes you can take regarding the profession you want to pursue, the better. Knowledge is power. When I moved to Hollywood right after my 20th birthday, I had no clue what I was doing at first, but I knew God sent me. I started film school at California State University – Los Angeles and started taking communication classes, radio broadcasting, editing, history of film and television, dance, drama, a news reporting class and acted in various student films just in the first year of crossing the California state line.
- Join these unions. You want to join the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA). I joined both after receiving my third SAG voucher while being featured on the TV show Boy Meets World soon after I moved to LA. Check out their websites to find out what you need to do to join these two organizations. Being a member will connect you to thousands of qualified producers, agents and fellow actors, who can help you and hire you for major TV shows, motion pictures, commercials, music videos, etc.
- Get a coach. It is imperative that you find a great acting coach to help you hone your craft. Someone who teaches you acting techniques that will enhance your unique characteristics and help you become believable on stage. The hardest thing for me to do while in acting class was to portray that I was depressed or in severe distress in some of the scenes. My coach suggested that I pretend that someone died to get the result I needed. My acting coach was Julie Ariola and she was fabulous! Jeremy Renner was taking classes from her at the very same time I was! Sometimes I wonder what would have happened, had I not moved from LA.
- Know your boundaries. Know exactly what you will and will not do in your career. For me, I chose to never do nudity, bikini shoots, anything porn related, sex outside of marriage scenes, etc. I did do drugs in one flick but the result was that I got help with my addiction. No glamorization was given. People say it’s just acting, but my conviction was that I never wanted to portray something I didn’t believe in. Period. God opened up many doors for me in the acting business and it fires me up when I hear people tell me that they want to experience the same thing. Many people told me they want to be a positive role model in Hollywood. I say, GO FOR IT! I will do a follow up post on the various organizations you can join to help connect you with people who produce quality projects you will want to be a part of.
I’m so encouraged by the emails that I receive informing me that someone took my message to heart, enrolled in the classes I suggested and even moved to Hollywood or New York City to produce quality content in our very influential media world. We need more movies like the Blind Side, Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo, Despicable Me 2. If we can get more positive messages pumped out through these channels, I sincerely believe our society would continuously improve.
Now go out there and create a movie I can take my kids to see!
Question: What other tips would be helpful for someone pursuing the entertainment industry? Share your answer by clicking here.