If you’re considering a career in film and have always wanted to be an actor, we’ve compiled 8 things you need to know. Acting does not just involve acting in a part and getting paid. There are a lot of things that go into becoming a good actor. Actors need to read scripts and meet with agents and other professionals before accepting a role, they need to do thorough research into their character’s personal traits and circumstances in order to portray the characters more authentically to an audience.

One of the most important things is to take acting classes and if you’re stumped about where to begin then we encourage you to join the SA Film Academy. The SA FILM Academy is an accredited, non-profit, human capital development facilitator and training provider. The SA FILM Academy offers a coordinated skills & entrepreneurial development industry platform as a vital bridge between education and employment. Interns are trained and exposed to real work environments via remunerated, in-service training and `learning-by-doing’ on local and international productions and in production companies. The SA FILM Academy programme is open to South African youth (18 – 35). For more information visit http://www.safilmacademy.org/apply-now/.

Nailing down the audition process is equally important. Before you begin, create a solid portfolio and invest in taking professional headshots. Headshots are your best branding and marketing tool and is the key toward getting noticed for the audition. It’s the first thing talent agents and casting directors will look at. You should also audition for as many roles as possible so that you become comfortable with the entire auditioning process. It also helps when casting agents start to recognize your portfolio and watch how determined you are. This is a tough industry to crack, so it may take a while before you land a role; don’t let rejection deter you from applying for the next one. Ask for feedback and critic and use that to improve the next audition.

Don’t be afraid to take on smaller roles to help you build your resume, even if they don’t pay much. Short films and student films are great places to start if you have limited experience. You may even be tempted to act for free just to build up your portfolio.

Another tip is to upskill. Practice on your accents and multiple language skills. Many international film producers shoot their movies and series in South Africa and a very attractive candidate will be required to speak in various accents. The most popular accents to master is American and British.

Lastly, you should consider working with an agent. We understand how difficult finding reputable agents may be. We encourage you to do some research on other actors that you resonate with and find out who their agents are.