As a writer with over 11 years of professional experience, and over 16 years in the theatre/film world(s) with college degrees in both areas, I've read and studied countless articles and textbooks on how to be an actor. The aforementioned documents would offer similar pieces of advice, but one point that was confusing to me for a long time was how I should spend my hard-earned money and what I should spend it on.
Without beating around the bush, the answer to this question that actors often ask is a simple one: headshots, acting classes, and online submission portals. So, technically, you're paying for more than three things, though I promise that I'm not trying to be click bait-y with my title! It truly is fairly simple - I'll explain below:
I mentioned this in a previous post, and you will hear it time and time again as an actor: you. need. good. headshots. The key to getting a great headshot is finding a headshot photographer, i.e., one that specializes in actors' headshots! It sounds easier than it is. Our actors often use Jason Vail Photography in Atlanta, Michael Justice in Buckhead, or Mike Colletta. These photographers are, of course, all local to Atlanta and/or the surrounding area - and they know how to take actors' headshots! Make sure that you're bringing enough look options to your headshot appointment, and lean into whatever your brand is - are you a nerdy hipster? A conventionally attractive model-type? An alpha jock? Whatever your look, bring options! A good headshot photographer will know how to help you choose the best outfit for your photos.
#2. Acting Classes
I know what you're thinking: we were bound to suggest this. You would be correct - it certainly makes sense that we would promote our acting classes on our own blog! However, I will say this: wherever you take acting classes to truly hone your craft, whether at Studio27 or elsewhere, make sure you properly vet your teachers or coaches and the talent development studio itself by reading reviews and/or by asking around. Have your friends and family heard of the studio? What is the studio's reputation? Do your research before spending the dough. It is, however, imperative that you do eventually settle on a studio to call your acting home - constantly and consistently educating yourself is important in any field, and acting is no exception! You will need to find a training facility to match your needs and to help you focus on your goals.
#3. Industry Boards
In Atlanta, you will need to sign up for three main services: actors access, 800casting, and Casting Networks. They all cost money (you save money by paying an annual fee), but you may be able to work around some of those fees, if not all, if you already have an agent or manager. Some, if not all, also have a convenient month-to-month payment option! The great part about paying for the premium services, even if you don't have an agent or manager, is that you can self-submit on projects - and no one works harder for you than you (or at least, that's how it should be!).
What other acting services have you paid for that you found valuable? Let us know in the comments!