Tips for the New Actor in LA by a New Actor in LA

I originally created this post 1.5 years ago as a "cheat sheet" to the business side of acting. Some things have changed (Goodbye SAG, AFTRA, hello SAG-AFTRA!), but a lot of my advice is still applicable to the acting machine that is Hollywood. I've re-posted this (slightly edited) article for you, the new actor in LA, by me, the still new actor in LA.

Tips for the New Actor in LA | imshayshay.blogspot.com
Image Credit: dsearls on Flickr

A lot of the acting information I've come across is tailored to more established actors and the information is often overwhelming. What about us new guys, the ones that know nothing and need help getting started so we don't a) waste our time  b) make fools of ourselves?* If one of my acting buddies moves out here and asks me "Shay, how do I navigate this business?" how would I respond? I'd likely talk at them for an hour or, perhaps, I could just write them a cheat sheet.

(*If you're brand new, and super green when it comes to this business, I highly recommend you read my "How to Become an Actor in LA" article, then come back here one for more specific advice.)

If you're still reading this, you're either a curious information seeker, considering becoming an actor or already decided to go for it. I say to the latter group: Congratulations on taking a risk. Regardless of what happens for you, remember that who on God's green earth has achieved major success without taking risks? At the same time, you need to be realistic: you've chosen one of the hardest fields to break into. If you’re like me, it wasn’t really a choice. As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like acting found me, not the other way around. I moved to Southern California and started making a go at it about 6 months 2 years ago. I’m still green (yes still green after 2 years), but I have learned a lot about the industry since I started. I decided I’d share it with you, my 2.5 readers, in 20 easy to understand points:

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