I know that being an extra or ‘supporting artist’ isn’t considered real acting by most, and to be honest a lot of the time it isn’t.
Nevertheless, I really want to act some more but I’ve lost my confidence. I did acting in school and was told I was good (I achieved As, so I can’t have been awful!) but then I went to uni and wimped out of auditioning for their plays.
Four years later, and I’ve sort of built up the courage to go for it again. I did a student film whilst doing my undergrad degree, but I’ve still never seen the finished product which is infuriating because I need some showreel material.
I also did a paid extras gig (found through the uni drama society facebook page) where I got £50 for being a crowd-member at a rock gig. It was my first paid acting job and I loved it! From then on, I’ve been trying to find extras agencies in order to get more work.
I created a profile on StarNow, a site which I would definitely recommend. In order to get decent jobs you do have to pay, but it’s not much (£30 for six months or something) and I got another paid acting job (another £50, this time for an Injury Lawyers 4 U commercial).
With 2 paid roles under my belt, and a couple of amateur/unpaid productions, I went seeking an agency. There’s no way I have enough experience for a proper acting agency, but I do have enough for an extras agency (to be fair, most don’t require any experience!) so I looked on starnow at their listings specifically for agencies.
I actually found two; Lemon Casting in Manchester, and MadDog Casting in London and Wales/Midlands.
I’m having a bit of a dilemma at the moment, because Lemon Casting want me to come in and have some photos so I can get on their books, but they charge £40 for that. It’s really not much compared to other scammy agencies but it’s still way more than I can afford. MadDog have allowed me to apply but they only accept people twice a year, so I’m not actually on their books but they do still send me castings. I’d like to go with them if I can, but they’re not based where I live, so in some ways I think Lemon would be better.
Basically, I don’t know what to do. All I do know is that I love acting, I want more experience and confidence, and eventually I want paid speaking roles. I don’t know the best way to go about it. This is a tricky business!