So, The Oscars have passed once again for another year and you no longer have a job. Whilst some people get away with making mistakes involving the announcement of academy award winners in front of a worldwide audience of billions, you unfortunately got fired the last time you made a colossal mistake at work. Being in possession of the wrong envelope is fine if you’re a movie star, but not so fine if the envelope you are caught with belongs to one of your colleagues and has been hidden in your desk drawer for a fortnight.
As a result of your workplace infraction therefore, you are now unfortunately unemployed and as you contemplate your next move you’ll need to consider what career options are open to you.
Have you ever considered becoming a movie star?
The acting skills you employed in your employment tribunal may stand you in good stead for a life on the red carpet.
If pretending to be someone you’re not and crying on cue comes as naturally to you as making a sex tape does to Hulk Hogan, then becoming a movie star might be just the career change you’ve been looking for.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:
1. Get some acting experience
Local theatre productions are a great way for you to gather acting experience. You’ll start to learn the ins and outs of how productions are put together and you should use the opportunity to get to know people in the industry. Be mindful that it’s still early days however, and there’ll be a long way to go after appearing in the Pucklechurch-on-the-Marsh village hall production of Aladdin before your name is up in lights.
2. Get a performing arts degree
Did Ice Cube ever study acting at university? Probably not. There are lots of Hollywood actors that didn’t go to college and also plenty who did but ended up studying something completely random like Viticulture and Oneology. The point is, with no previous theatrical experience you’ll need all the help you can get. Signing up to a decent drama school won’t hurt you on your quest for an incorrectly announced Oscar – your other alternative is to form a gangster rap group called NWA as that is also recognised as a viable route into movies.
3. Do as much extra work as you can
No, not extra work as in do more – although you should be doing as much acting practice as you physically can. We mean you should try to get yourself some work as an extra. These are the people in films with no speaking lines that hang around in the background and make pub scenes appear authentic. Whilst you won’t win an Oscar for being an extra, you may get something interesting to put on your CV.
(Legal Disclaimer: Darcus White once appeared as an extra in the hit TV show Cold Feet but unfortunately didn’t become a movie star and most definitely didn’t win an Oscar – but don’t let that put you off).
4. Have a look for an open casting call
There may be opportunities for you to attend open casting calls local to where you are based. Try to get to as many of these auditions as possible and always give it your best shot. There’ll be lots of rejection but it’ll be nothing compared to winning an Oscar and then realising you haven’t actually won anything at all. If the aforementioned scenario should occur you’ll at least be well prepared.
5. Move to L.A.
If you really want to hit the big time in Hollywood, you’ll have to consider moving to Los Angeles at some point. Most of the big budget movies are made there and it’s where the industry hob-nobs and gets all its deals done. It’s also worth going to L.A. if you’ve told all your mates you’re going to make it in the movie business as you can take selfies in front of the Hollywood sign to convince everyone that follows you on Instagram that you’re actually getting somewhere.
6. Get into the industry
Sometimes you have to enter through the stage door entrance round the back of the theatre, as it were. A common strategy for those seeking global domination in their given field is to start at the bottom and work their way up – the bottom sometimes being a job that is completely unrelated to your end goal. Ask around the film production companies and see If they need someone to clear up Wesley Snipes’ tax demands that are stuffed down the back of a sofa in his trailer on set.
7. Put together your resume
The first thing casting directors and agents will look at is your resume, so it needs to contain lots of details about the productions you have been in and a quality photo head shot. You’ll also need to include your particulars like hair and eye colour, height and any unique skills you may have that will make you stand out from the rest of the pack. (NB ‘Does a mean Chewbacca impression,’ will not be sufficient to get you $20 million a movie).
8. Hook up with an agent
The only way you’re really going to get auditions for movie roles is if you get yourself an agent. The main ways to do this are by either getting lucky and being noticed, ‘on the road,’ or by sending a decent resume in to an agency.
9. Network and audition as if your life depends on it
………because to a large extent it does – at least in an acting sense anyway. Remember it’s not always what you know but who, so you’d be well advised not to turn down any invitations to tinsel town dinner parties.
10. Win an Oscar
As with many things in life, it’s sometimes about being in the right place at the right time no matter how good you think you are. The main thing is to work as hard as you can so that you put yourself in the position to get lucky. Just make sure you check the envelope beforehand if you’re called on to announce an Oscar winner at the Academy Awards!