How to Start a Career in Acting & Modeling

This article is a guest submission from writer Kelly Brooke

how to start a career in acting

You may never become the next Matt Damon, but if you have a passion for a acting here’s how to follow that dream

So, you want to be an actor or a model. You think you have the looks, the presence and the charisma to make it, and make it big.

You like the limelight and the glamour, and the lure of fame and fortune really calls to you. You can inhabit a character like it was made to order or haute couture that was made to order.

If you’re one of the chosen ones, a career in acting & modeling can be extremely exciting and challenging. And, if you’re allergic to attention, but still adore showbiz, there’s plenty for you to do on smaller scales and in the background.

Career in Acting

A career in acting has never been easier to obtain, mostly because there is so much room for independent media creators to experiment, where talented newcomers can really show off their chops in challenging roles.

Acting is more than just about the silver screen.

Your career can lead you to the stage, TV, commercials, web-based productions – the possibilities are endless.

However, it is rare that a newcomer is immediately able to support themselves. Unless you have a trust fund, or an especially supportive family, you will probably have to work another job as you begin to pursue your acting career.

Degrees aren’t a requirement when it comes to careers in acting.

What directors and hiring managers are looking for is mostly experience, talent, and a fitness for the role in question. However, a degree comes in handy as a backup plan, and there are several film and theatre degrees that are available in both performance and liberal arts streams.

Your degree program, or any other acting classes you can take, can equip you with vital skills that you can put to good effect, such as – improvisation, stage acting, musical theatre, voice training, stagecraft, body language, and more. Any assignments you undertake or performances you deliver as part of college can go right into your portfolio.

You can also use your college years to participate in college productions and take advantage of alumni to develop contacts. Also, the uncertainty inherent to an acting career means that you must have a degree to help you fall back on, in case this doesn’t pan out as you planned.

Personal characteristics for someone wanting to pursue a career in acting include, of course, that thespic acumen, physical presence, stamina, a willingness to burn the candle at both ends, memorization skills, speech skills, and drive.

Career in Modeling

Modeling, unlike acting, generally tends to be open to people with a very narrow range of looks.

The first thing you need to keep in mind when trying to pursue a career in any kind of showbiz, but modeling in particular, is that you have to prepare yourself for a mediocre career, or even outright failure.

how to start a modeling career

Think you have what it takes to make it as a runway model?

This does not mean that you expect failure. You merely have to accept that failure is a high probability event in this field and that it is as likely to happen to you as to anybody else, even with a lot of hard work and drive.

A career as a fashion model can be extremely demanding, and you have to commit yourself to maintaining a look to become and stay successful.

Modeling careers come in several shapes and forms. Runway models, for instance, have very different careers from those who work in advertising and promotion. All of them require you to meet conventional standards of good looks, a solid public presence, and a lot of stamina, endurance and self- control.

Careers include TV commercials, product modeling, photographic modeling, and runway modeling. None of these require you to have degrees. Again, most media-related careers require people with talent, passion and experience. Nobody is looking for degrees.

However, as with acting, a bachelor’s degree can enhance your perception of the field, and give you something to fall back on. There are no degrees specific to modeling, but you can opt to study fashion design or merchandising. Reliability, tenacity and the ability to take orders are some of the most valuable requirements for a career in modeling.

It is extremely important that you focus on getting a good portfolio made.

A professional portfolio that shows that you understand your look, and that you get what the profession is all about, can be all that stands between a successful career and agents tossing your portfolio out the window. The last thing you want to do is put picture that are generically good looking. Agents get thousands of such portfolios every day. They need more. They need to know that you understand what they’re trying to do there.

Careers in acting and modeling can be highly rewarding is pursued with the right amount of dedication, and a practical mindset.

You must, however, be aware of the pitfalls.

Photo credit: thought for the day via photopin (license)

photo credit: img_0004 via photopin (license)

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.


  1. Connie Mehra says:

    I have always dreamed of acting. That’s all I have ever done. Just dream. I tried to pursue it once, and I got cold feet. I’m way older now, but if I had the chance I would jump in with both feet now. I’m Latina and smart and can cry at a moment’s notice. How can I get started?

    Thank you.
    Connie Mehra


  2. wow, I would love become Modeling careers.

  3. Id love to start modeling please send me info on how to do this

  4. sarthik jha says:

    i love acting how i get a carrier in acting

  5. McKenzie says:

    I love entertainment I love being me! I love putting a smile on everyone’s face with my attitude, my jokes, my acting or positivity. I never think about the money it could bring, only about having fun. I’m a business women and I enjoy that so much but I’m miss the entertainment part in life!

  6. I have been dreaming of being a actress and model since I started high school now I just want to start it as a career

  7. What college should I go to for acting and modeling careers ??

  8. I’ve always wanted to become an actor/ model. I feel as if I’m able to persue a career as so. I haven’t taken any classes, yet I am still young and have my life still ahead of me. I am a dancer and musician, still in school. If anyone can help me start that would be great.

  9. Manuela says:

    Hello my name is manuela Williams
    I’ve wanted to join modeling and acting since I’ve been a young girl. It’s what I really want to do In life. Not only I love to get all pretty I love the pictures, modeling and show be fu my and act. I’m looking forward of meeting with some one to talk more about my career in modeling and acting. Contact me at anytime through phone or email. Thank you so much!