Actors start as an extra in a movie. There are opportunities for 'extras' in every kind of movie and the role of an extra does not require any special talent. Like you, there are thousands of extras who are hoping to make it big, so while the role may not call for any special talent, you have to distinguish yourself from the rest and hope to catch the director's eye. The experience will get you used to the atmosphere of a shooting site, the idiosyncrasies of the actors and other specialists involved - above all, it will open your eyes to all the grunt work that goes into making a film.
In the making of a film there are also more specialized jobs, like those of acting, directing, and even writing roles. These require some amount of professional training. A professional internship in the line will definitely give your career a boost. Then there are the slightly less important but no less crucial jobs, like the grips and assistants to the editors, of both writing and film.
Transition To Television
Move to the smaller screen of television and you have reality shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race. You have talent shows like American Idol, umpteen sports shows, chat shows, nature programs, fitness and development programs - limitless options that all find an audience somewhere. This really opens up the spectrum of opportunities to suit every inclination and talent - cheerleaders, announcers, newscasters, cameramen, and special effects professionals. Then come the oft-forgotten execs, the emcees, the paper-pushers, the makeup artists, the go-cart mechanics and caterers.
At the bottom of the chain of entertainment industry jobs lie jobs for amusement park attendants and entertainers and hotel and museum workers.
As tempting as all these options are, most careers start at the bottom of the ladder. They slowly, very slowly, build themselves up. There are millions of opportunities and tens of millions of people vying for those jobs, but at the top there are just a few names in lights. To make a successful career in the entertainment industry you need to focus clearly on your goal. More importantly, you need the grit and determination to get you there. Many strive for greatness, but only a few are chosen and only a few make it to the top
How does one get started?
The entertainment industry job boards are a good source. Many have a database of information and resources to help you define, determine, and decide what to go for. Some will require a couple of dollars, while others may offer a free trial period.
Union websites are another place where you might get help to get your step on the first rung of the ladder of success in the entertainment industry. You will certainly end up finding a huge or tiny - but important - position!
As tempting as a career in the entertainment industry may sound, you need to focus clearly on your goal. You need to develop a thick hide to protect yourself against rejection. You need to be prepared to put in innumerable hours of hard work. You should have an innate curiosity and always keep your eyes and ears open for any opportunity that may come. Most importantly, you need to hope that lady luck will shine down on you.
Helene Goldnadel is a life coach and a singing teacher who has empowered many lives. Helene talks about the power of self-confidence and how it has improved her student's lives. Focused on educational training for child actors and models throughout the greater Los Angeles area, Helene Goldnadel runs a talent school with a unique commitment to ensure bright, productive careers for her young students.