Acting is one of the most glamorous and coveted jobs in the world, and Nigeria has a whole movie industry that is known far beyond its borders. That is why every year there are thousands of hopefuls who want to make it big in Nollywood. Here is a step-by-step guide on becoming a Nollywood actor or actress.
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1. Make sure you have what it takes
Acting is not just fun and games as it may look to a bystander. It’s a serious, sometimes gruelling job that will require you make some sacrifices and possess the qualities required to become a great actor. Besides an acting talent and an ability to act naturally in front of the camera, you will also need to be able to work long hours, have enough self-confidence to not be intimidated by the directors or more famous actors, and get ready for possible rejections that are bound to happen.
2. Get the necessary training
Even if you believe you have a God-given acting talent, completing additional training is essential for understanding how the film industry works. Besides acting classes, you can also check out YouTube tutorials, tips from established actors, or try to find a behind-the-scenes job on a movie set to understand the mechanics of shooting a film and what this process typically involves.
3. Create an acting portfolio
A few years ago, an actor’s portfolio was expected to be a folder that contained portrait shots of the actor in different outfits and makeup to showcase their range. Today, however, your portfolio can be fully digital and contain not only photos, but also short video clips of yourself reading monologues or recreating scenes from famous movies to show yourself in action.
4. Sign up with an agency
Joining an acting agency and getting yourself an agent is not a mandatory step on your way to becoming a Nollywood actor, but it can help you make it big with less effort. An agent will represent you in the acting industry, find suitable roles, negotiate with the producers, and work to get you better work conditions. Of course, these services come at a price, but in most cases, it’s totally worth it.
You don’t need to be a famous actor to realize that in 2020, it’s all about a personal brand that is presented on your social media. For an aspiring Nollywood actor, an Instagram and Facebook presence is a must. You can also add LinkedIn and YouTube profiles to the mix. Make sure your image is consistent on all platforms and don’t share anything on your social media profiles that you wouldn’t want a potential movie director or producer to see.
6. Be proactive in your search of parts
It doesn’t matter if you are representing yourself or working with an acting agent – the best film roles need to be chased. You need to make a list of directors, producers, casting directors, and writers, follow them on social media, and watch out for any announcements of open auditions. You can also reach out to them online with your acting portfolio to see whether any role is available to you in their next project.
7. Start with small parts
With a few lucky exceptions, no famous actor started his career with main or major supporting roles. As a beginner, you will be lucky to get minor supporting or even background roles. However, if you showcase your talent despite how small the role may be, demonstrate an outstanding work ethic, and use your time on the set to build some valuable connections in the film industry, you will soon be getting bigger and better-paying acting gigs.
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