New Actor needing guidance and advice

Sorry if this is a long one but I'm in a bit of a dilemma and need some help.

So just to walk you through my situation, I am 20 years old and have just finished a 3 year course in a non performance degree.

I have always wanted to be an actor, and have a decent amount of experience from when I was younger, mainly school productions and clubs e.t.c. With some film audition experience also that I was invited to.

In this last year I have started taking the steps towards following my dream, so I applied to 2 masters courses in acting (looking back I didn't have much hope without a previous degree in performance, but I thought why not), one at Lamda and one at Mountview. I did not receive a place on either, but have been invited to recalls for foundation courses at both. Lamda being a 6 month diploma and Mountview being their foundation course for stage and screen. Both of these require self funding, which is not ideal because it is very expensive (10k and 8k), and I would need to relocate to London on top of this.

My first question is, are these courses worth perusing, or are they just money making schemes. Do they gain you entry to spotlight for instance?
In both emails form the schools they say I show promise, and Mountview even offered me the recall for free, saying this is not offered to everyone. Are these comments genuine, or handed out to everyone?
Furthermore, is there any funding at all for these courses, I know they give out maybe one or two scholarships, how does this work and is there any other external funding which is realistic to receive.

I would also like to know then if it is not the move to attend a foundation course, what I should do.
I have already applied for around 10 commercials and short film roles on Mandy and wonder if this is the best way to start gaining experience, if drama school not an option.
As my own research has suggested to get as much work as possible, to then attract an agent and/or join spotlight with the credits.

I also do not have professional headshots or a performance reel seen as I am just in the early stages of my career, will this hinder me significantly for entry level jobs.

I know there is a lot of questions here, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes,
Marcus S

  • 6 days ago
  • 319
  • 4
Tony Packham

Hello there Marcus,

I honestly admire you for taking charge in wanting to conquer your dream in acting.
I’d say one of the best ways to get experience is to apply for as many student films or short films as you can, and possibly in your own time make little videos of yourself performing several different monologues that inspired you and/or ones that you can find online.

This is legit what I’ve been doing since day one, had no prior education in acting. I simply just hired an acting tutor, got professional headshots, made little videos of myself acting, applying to anything that catches my eye on Mandy, and also creating an Instagram account for your acting career cause you will get noticed on social media.

I have thought about going to acting school but like you I did look at the price tag and pull an “Oh jeez!” face towards it. So for now I personally am going to try my best to learn on the job, and if I get the funds I’ll go to an actual acting school.
Although there are plenty of acting workshops out there are affordable enough but depends on your budget.

Now there’s more than likely someone on here who’s far more qualified to answer your questions than I, but I figured I’d at least tell you what I personally have been doing in order to get out there.

Just keep applying, get some headshots, believe in yourself, be professional at all times, arrive on set on time or earlier, and absorb as much information as you can like a sponge.

I wish you all the luck in the world on your journey into the wonderful world of acting, and perhaps, who knows? Maybe we’ll be working together on a project sometime.

You never know, networking is a funny thing in this profession.

Take care bud!

  • 6 days ago
  • 1
Andrea Gould

Hi Marcus
Try joining some agencies. There are a lot of agencies for Supporting Artists that get you work which can give you lots of experience being on a film set.
Doing an accredited course at a Drama School will get you onto Spotlight, but it's not easy to afford that.
I echo what Tony says too.
Try to get some good headshots, they don't have to be very expensive.
Good luck!

  • 5 days ago
  • 2

Hi Marcus,

Welcome to the world of acting. Tony’s made some good points. However with my experience and some actors forget about this is talent aside. You need mental strength of steel. And I mean steel! As rejection is gonna happen a lot (I’ve been doing this 15 years I still hear the word no, and it still hurts sometimes)

Also along with acting courses look into business and marketing as you’re gonna need to hustle a lot. It’s about trying to get yourself top of the pile and promote yourself.

But best of luck with it :)

  • 1 day ago
  • 3
You must login as a candidate to participate in the forum.
Please note: Messages written in the forum do not represent the views of The Mandy Network, nor have they been vetted by The Mandy Network staff. If you read something which you believe to be offensive or defamatory, please contact us and we will take the appropriate action.