From Hobby Actor to Professional: Here's 5 Tips to Help you Get There

From Hobby Actor to Professional: 5 Tips to Help you Get There

From Hobby Actor to Professional: Here’s 5 Tips to Help you Get There

So many people begin their love of the industry thru school or community theatre and it just blossoms from there… but making the jump from hobbyist to professional is not an easy step for many actors. Enjoy these 5 helpful tips when making the leap into paid performance opportunities as an actor.



The work of an actor is NEVER done. You need to constantly expand your skills and practice what you have learned time and time again. A series of community theatre or school productions does not equivalent real training with experienced educators. Find a teacher who is passionate about the craft that challenges you to be better. And don’t be the best person in your acting class… aggressive learning and training doesn’t happen when things are easy. Allow yourself to be in a classroom where it feels HARD!



Professional actors spend hours each day working on moving their career forward. I suggest protecting hours each day to do this. During this time, you should be researching industry trends, opportunities, potential partners, learning new materials, marketing yourself, tending to emails and more. You need to be an expert in what types of opportunities are out there for you, who you need to know to get them, and how to start building those relationships. This requires a daily commitment.



In order to be seen as a professional and get paid for your work, you’ll need to get REALLY picky on what work you decide to do for free. You can’t expect others to value your work if you don’t. Giving things away constantly does not create a sense of value. I’ve seen this be a hard step for actors– but it is very important. Only take on free projects that could have MAJOR impact on your career thru connections or big resume credits— and even then— be really really picky. Do you need another role like this on your resume? Or does your resume already show you can do that type of part? Will the time you put in be worth what YOU receive for doing the project? Draw a line for yourself and hold yourself to valuing your contributions and performances. If YOU don’t do this for yourself, NO ONE ELSE WILL.



Maybe your sister-in-law is a good photographer and does a fabulous job at your family photos– but that doesn’t always make her a good choice for a headshot photographer. It is very worthwhile to select a photographer who is experienced in this area. Notable headshot photographers have an understanding of what types of shots help actors get work and how to creatively obtain an organic shot from you. You should have a photographer who understands characters and storytelling so they can help you achieve pictures that clearly broadcast the emotions of the most common characters you can play. Headshot photographers also know the difference between a good picture of you and a good HEADSHOT of you. Just because a picture is flattering doesn’t make it a good headshot. You need to look just like you on a good day– not an over airbrushed magazine cover model.



There are tons of information on how to go about the path of becoming a working actor and it can feel overwhelming at times. I strongly suggest that all actors find a mentor in the business; someone who is working professionally who has learned the ropes and can help you avoid mistakes and missteps along the way. As you go about your journey you’ll have questions about unions, contracts, pay rates and representation. It is enormously helpful to have a go-to person (or people) to help you learn professional protocols and standards along the way.


Looking for more help getting started along your career path from hobby actor to professional actor? Actors Connection is here to help you access the training and information you need to get to the next level. Sign-up here for a completely FREE program consultation to learn more about what we suggest as your personal next steps.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and learn how to take yourself from from hobby actor to professional, by watching our InterAct Q&A Webinars series with industry professionals. 

10 Ways to Prepare for Online Acting Classes

10 Ways to Prepare for Online Acting Classes

That brat Covid-19 is still throwing a wrench in your plans so you’ve decided to embrace learning more about your craft online.  That is GREAT!  Using this time to your advantage is one of the smartest things you can be doing as an actor right now!

As you prepare to put your best keystroke forward, here are a few tips to ensure that you have a smooth online acting experience.

  1. Determine what you want to focus on.  

There are a TON of offerings out there and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the numerous options.  BEFORE you go looking for opportunities, make a clear list on the skills and abilities you really want to learn.  Think about pre-covid and where you felt stuck and where you know you need to grow your confidence.  Focus on finding classes that suit those specific needs FIRST.  Not sure if the class is right for you?  Contact them and ask!

  1. Select an appropriate educator for your goals.

Just like there are many classes, there are many educators… and not all teachers are created equal.  Do your research on your school/educator before you determine they are a good fit for you.  Having a teacher that both challenges you and helps you to feel safe in your learning environment is KEY.  Look for testimonials or ask to speak to a former student.  This will help you zoom in on which educators are the best fit for you, your current needs and your learning style.

  1. Double check that you can protect that class time.

This may sound silly, but it is surprising how many people forget this step!  When selecting a class, double check your schedule so you are certain the program works for you.  If you are constantly having to miss sessions, leave early or arrive late, you will be missing out on important training that you have ALREADY PAID FOR!  There are so many options available now, there is no need to force a class into your schedule that doesn’t work.  You won’t be able to perform your best if you are constantly stressed about the time.

  1. Find a quiet place with good internet connection to take class.

I know… easier said than done… we’re working on building our career before we can afford our mansions with our spacious self-tape studios!  I get it– and depending on your living situation, you may need to get creative.  Test drive a few spots in your house to see where your wireless internet may be the strongest.  If you don’t have a pop-up background you can use, choose a space that has a simple clear wall so all the focus can be on you.  Give any roommates/family members a proper heads up that you are setting aside time to be in class so you can curb interruptions before they start.

  1. Check sound quality on your device.

Make sure you know how to use the microphone settings on your devices.  A teacher can’t bring you to the next level if they can’t hear you!  Many phones and laptops have great built-in abilities, but if you need a cleaner sound, think about getting an additional mic to plug into your set-up.  Not sure what your sound is like?  Hop on a zoom with a friend, record it, and play it back for yourself.  We’ll talk more about practice sessions later in this list.

  1. Optimize your lighting to look your best.

Consider investing in a ring light to help you achieve a well lit look no matter where you are in your house.  Getting one where you can control color and intensity is especially helpful.  Don’t have a ring light?  No problem.  Use strategically placed lamps to be sure you can be seen clearly without any weird shadows on your face or in the background.

  1. Practice using the platform class takes place on.

This will also help with your sound and lighting tests.  Hop on the learning platform in advance if you can.  Do a practice round with your scene and get used to understanding what it means to be in frame using your device.  Don’t have access to that platform?  Practice on zoom!  If you can record your practice session, I strongly suggest you do that so you can play back your scene and get a sense of any adjustments you need to keep in mind before you get into your classroom setting.  This is particularly important when you are taking class with VIP industry guests.  Even in a learning environment, you always want to come across as prepared and professional.  This business is all about relationships, and you want your new educational relationships to remember you as your best self.

  1. Write down any questions you want answered for the session so you don’t forget.

“Does anyone have any questions?” should seldomly be answered by the sound of crickets.  If you knew it all, you wouldn’t have needed to be in a class to begin with!  Think in advance about questions you hope to get answered in your online session and write them down.  Have them at the ready so you can be sure to squeeze out every bit of learning you can in every experience you invest in.

  1. Review class descriptions and prepare any requested materials.

Classes may require different prep work or homework.  Make sure you 100% understand any work you need to prepare for each session.  If you aren’t sure, ASK.  Proper preparation is KEY when getting the proper training from your learning experiences.  Don’t skip this step or do it halfway.  This isn’t 6th grade social studies homework.  This is your CAREER.

  1. Have a notebook handy.

If you have found a class perfect for your needs and your level, you will be experiencing lightbulbs of learning and little eurekas.  Don’t assume you will remember everything.  Take EXCELLENT notes during every class so you can refer back whenever you need to.  Each class you take should build upon your skillset, so you need to keep everything you learned in your brain so you can continue to climb higher, instead of being stuck in the loop of reviewal.  Keeping notes and regularly reviewing them is a great way to do that!  It’s also a very helpful tip to make sure your training is efficient and effective moving forward.


I hope this list will help you as you prepare to bring your best self to your online sessions this Fall.  Here at Actors Connection, we are always excited to help you make the right decisions for your training.  If you’re not sure about how to choose the best classes and online experiences for your needs right now, click here for a completely free program consultation or email us any time at

Check out Our InterAct Webinars available on YouTube to Help You Prepare for Online Zoom Acting Classes.
online acting school

Take Acting Classes Online!

2020 has been a wild, wild rollercoaster of a year. Actors Connection has had to change with the current times and as an online acting school offers a wide variety of classes, intensives and seminars for actors of all levels.

Our online Zoom acting classes are being held Monday through Saturday with both day and evening programming.

In addition to our paid online acting classes, Actors Connection also offers on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm our FREE AT THREE series with top agents, casting directors and industry professionals from across the country. It’s totally free to attend these 1 hour Q&A sessions where you’ll learn about each guest, receive invaluable information and inside tips on the entertainment industry.

All actors who are new to Actors Connection should attend one of our complimentary New Actor Orientations to find out how to best utilize our services for your own acting career.

You’ll gain lots of information and advice on how to get started with us plus discounts and other special offers just for attending.

As an online acting school, Actors Connection provides acting classes that offer training in a wide variety of areas including: Film, Television, Theater, On-Camera Commercials, Voice Overs, TV Hosting and Commercial Print.

All classes are in a group format and vary in price. Our industry networking seminars start with a group Q&A and then you’ll meet with each guest one on one in the order of registration.

You’ll find the training you receive with our top industry professionals will definitely help you to improve both your acting technique as well as your online auditions and in studio auditions.

We also offer acting classes for children as well as our annual Kids and Teens Performing Arts Summer Camp.

Ready to get started, check out our online acting classes here.

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