Behind The Scenes notes from kimberly

So You Wanna Be An Actor: 6 Tips To Get Started

So-You-Wanna-Be-An-Actor-Kim You’ve dreamed of being in front of the camera from an early age, you’ve taken dance classes, you’ve performed in school plays.

Now, you’re contemplating what you want to do with your life, and acting just seems like it.

I’m going to be frank, acting is a very challenging profession to pursue. Yet, as challenging as it can be at times, the joy of acting and the reward of touching audiences is worth every hurdle.

Ultimately it’s something you do because you love to act, not for stardom and riches.

It’s a journey, complete with high moments, unsteady periods, moments of self-doubt, and then that big WIN when you find yourself an actual working actor.

The path toward your dreams is greater than you can even conceive.

Here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey.

6 Tips To Get Started In Acting

1. Perfect your “on-camera” look.

Getting used to the camera is one of the first steps toward becoming “photogenic.”

Figure out what angles work for your face, what expressions look good on camera, what happens to your face when you frown, and what kind of makeup is flattering for the screen.

Knowing this information about yourself will help you in an audition because you’ll already know what you look like from the camera’s perspective. Soon, you will be able to adjust your look to fit a particular role.


Set It Off (1996)

Also, understand that you don’t have to be a drop-dead gorgeous Victoria’s Secret model to be an actor. There are plenty of roles that require different kinds of looks and personalities.

What’s most important is your talent, personality, professionalism, and drive.

Need helping setting career goals? Find A Professional Mentor!

2. Consider a behind-the-scenes role to pay rent.

Rather than going into a field that is quick and accessible, such as hospitality, consider finding work within the industry. For instance, consider working as an assistant to a casting director, an art director, or writer.

Need help with money management? Check out The Finance Bar.


You’ll get first-hand tips from people within the business and you’ll start to get a feel for the industry.

Also, if you’re working in Hollywood, make sure to keep your “assistant hat” separate from your “actor hat.”

High-profile folks working in the industry are not going to feel sympathetic or interested in your work as an actor.

They’ll see you only as Danny, the assistant. That’s okay, because once they see you in a commercial or in a film, you’ll blow them away and gain their respect.

Read about Kimberly’s dreams and first experiences being a young woman with a dream to act here.

3. Study actor “brands”

If you look hard, you’ll begin to understand that actors have “brands” that propel their careers. Some are sultry and sexy, some are rebels, some are veterans.


A brand is always an authentic piece of a person’s character, but it’s the piece that is the most intriguing and is capitalized on. Think of one of your favorite actors and note down the first few characteristics that come to mind.

You’ve already begun to piece apart the actor’s brand. Study a variety of different actor brands, including lesser-known actors who work.

Understanding this will help you get a feel for what “sticks” in the industry and will help you develop your own authentic brand.

Check out 3 Lessons We’ve Learned From Iman.

4. Develop your spark.


Charisma is an essential aspect of becoming an entertainer. You have to be intriguing — not to yourself, but also to other people.

I recommend reading a book such as The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane.

She breaks down the fundamental aspects of charisma and explains how anyone can be seen as charismatic with a few simple changes in their body language.

At the same time, try not to come off as over-eager. Hollywood is filled with rather superficial and often snooty personalities.

Do your very best remain humble and interested in other people.

5. Know your stuff. Research top agents, managers, producers, and directors.

It’s important to know who the big-wigs are in the industry. There is always the potential that one day, you’ll be sitting next to someone big at a cafe or party in Los Angeles, and you’ll show respect where it is due. (Don’t hyperventilate if that happens, though! Just show respect.)

If you see a film that you really love, research the director, the producer, and the actors. Knowing this information will help direct your networking efforts. It will also help you identify your goals.

Check out these Tips on Becoming an Actor from a Hollywood Casting Director.


Actors like Dean Cain and Denzel Washington walk onto a set and greet everyone – cast or crew – by name and are interested in everyone equally. Look how far their caring personalities have taken them.

That said, always show respect and sincere interest in every single person you meet. I cannot stress the importance of having a reputation of being friendly, respectful, humble, and easy to work with.

Stories carry in Hollywood, so let your story be a positive one. Be kind and interested in the famous and non-famous alike. Everyone is still a person — they still deserve your respect.

Who are Kimberly’s favorite leading men? Find out here!

6. Identify your goals and start training.

There are numerous types of actors: comedians, dramatic actors, dancers.

Different kinds of roles require different kinds of skills.

For instance, a dramatic actor requires flexibility, range, depth, and camera presence. On the other hand, a comedian requires a fine-tuned understanding of timing, charisma, a sharp wit, jokes, and routines already prepared and ready to use on cue.

Understand what your goals are and then develop the necessary skills to reach those goals.

Just be sure to Write Your Own Definition For Authentic Success.


That said, goals are tenuous. While having your own hit TV show in the next five years might or might not happen, it does give you a sense of direction.

And if in the next five years you are on television, you are paying your bills, and you are satisfied with life, then you’ve hit your goal: becoming an actor.

Being an actor is always a matter of endurance and faith.
So stay positive, believe in yourself, and go claim your dreams! I wish you lots of luck!!


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  • Reply
    November 7, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Sustain the remarkable work !! Lovin’ it!

  • Reply
    Niya Densmore
    September 14, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Hi Kimberly elise, You are a wonderful actress. Thank you for helping us inspiring actors

  • Reply
    Cynthia Harris
    September 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Hello Kimberly, you are an amazing actress. My entire family admires you work. Thank you for all the great tips. I am going to pass your site as well as your tips to my son who is a theatre student at sfasu. It will truly be a blessing to him. Keep sharing your knowledge.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I hope that everyone who wants to be an actors dreams come true ALL of them leaving none untouched. Dreams give meaning and purpose to life!

  • Reply
    Abike O. Washington
    August 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Kimberly,

    Watching you on film is an education in itself. When I saw you in The Manchurian Candidate and Denzel Washington, had just found out about who you really where and he choked you, the emotinal intensity and true reponding actions of someone being chocked, I thought to myself this girl is on fire. And that’s the kind of actress I strive to be. Thank you so much for the info, be blessed. Hope to work with you soon!

    Love Ya!

  • Reply
    Abike O. Washington
    August 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Hi Ms. Elise. Lady Bug. Watching you in movies is a great education alone. That movie with you and Denzel, in the scene where he chokes you, if you did not bring the realness of that moment. And that’s your quality. I hope to work with you soon. Love Ya!

  • Reply
    Francis Polo
    August 3, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for the post Kimberly. You are my favorite actress, You probably don’t remember, but I met you a few years ago in studio city and you were so nice to me and my cousin. Keep up the good work, you are truly an inspiration to a lot more people than you know.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Miss Elise: I so admire your work. You have many different on camera looks; sophisticated rich wife, around the way girl, militant., abuse victim, First Lady and so on I always wanted to act professionally however my stage has become the classroom now. Thank you for your tips about behind the scenes. I wont count it out all together….

  • Reply
    August 3, 2014 at 7:13 am

    You are an amazing insightful woman thank you for those tips. My cousin is in film school and I always wanted to be an actor but was so scared to pursue it… But my cousin on the other hand wants to be an actor also and wants to be a film director and she is pursuing it and I’m so proud of her she is living both of our dreams and I will give her this website so she can prepare herself a lot better! Thank you once again. Smiles!

  • Reply
    Daniel Felipe
    August 3, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I just want to say that the advice you are giving is so fur filling and it gives me drive, to believe and work hard at the craft so that I may reach my true potential. ……
    Thank you Kim 🙂

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you so much, these tips are incredibly valuable! I appreciate that you take such time and care with your messages, website and sharing your career.

    God Bless

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for ur inspiration words I always wanted to be an actor but dont know where to start u might not see this but thanks again .I love T.V. n always want to be on there

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Thanks so much for sharing! ! I’ve been procrastinating for the longest time and this wonderful message to your fans is confirmation to never give up and conquer your d reams by these key points no matter the circumstances. Acting is my passion and my goal is to go after it starting now.

  • Reply
    Lamar Richardson
    August 2, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Thank you so much for this, Ms. Elise! I’m on this faith journey to become an established actor, and your tips will help a great deal. I appreciate you taking the time to invest in us with your encouraging, practical words. God bless!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 6:43 am

    WoW…….I love the points you mentioned. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 3:50 am

    I want to thank God for sending you with the information that I needed to start my career as an actor and film writer. thank you once again for sharing this with your fans. May the lord continue to bless you.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2014 at 2:01 am

    Thank you for the 6 tips to become an actor.

    I love your work.
    You are awesome! Thanks again!

    Bobby Glover

  • Reply
    Talent Manager
    August 2, 2014 at 12:40 am

    #5 is #1 on my list!
    In my experience, it is very frustrating trying to work with talent who are so absorbed in themselves and their talent that they have no industry knowledge nor open mind to key people in the industry. Talents miss out on so many opportunities this way. Opportunity could be all around you, but you’ll never know if you don’t know who Mr. or Miss Opportunity is.
    Thanks for the list Miss Elise! I’m sure you’ll help many aspiring actors.

  • Reply
    Ellom Didi
    August 2, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Hi Nicole
    I was blessed to have met you in ghana , had your autograph and the opportunity to watch you act on set of “TTB” and the ultimate opportunity / priceless moment to watch you eat that evening when your kids had just arrived from the U.S to join you.
    The tears in your eyes had explained how much you missed them and hoped they were ok. *Priceless*
    I’m pursuing my education in professional acting now and I look forward to sharing a scene with you someday. You’re so reserved, calm and peaceful ! Such an inspiration! Bless You and Love

  • Reply
    Kenneth Gilmore
    August 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Thank you very much for the information on becoming an actor.
    I’m willing to do what it takes.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Inspiring. Thanks for the info!

  • Reply
    Mandy Reynolds
    August 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this for us future actors and actresses. Very informative and motivational.

  • Reply
    Elois Waters
    August 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    K. Elsie.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. Your gift is beautiful.
    I have been able to be in about 8 community plays and I’m betrayed strong and the bad girl. Can I change this image. I also sing and dance but I don’t want to be seen as the bad girl.

  • Reply
    Elois Waters
    August 1, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    K. Elsie,

    I want you to know I love watching you as an artist! You are truly awesome on screen. I really love how you can play anyone and everyone. Again you are awesome! Please continue what you’re doing and for you to share of your gift is beautiful.
    I would like to thank you for your inside knowledge and experience. I have had the privilege to perform in about 8 community plays and the characters I have betrayed are strong looking women that is not always the good girl. Although I’m a christian and I love the art of acting, I get concerned that people will think of me as a hard person but it also makes me think what am I really showing others. I’m a little woman in statue but in soul and body language I believe I’m the opposite. Do you think I can change how people see me?…oh also, I am a dancer and singer. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    gerald cloyd
    August 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I’m trying to become an actor ..hello at me.

  • Reply
    Camille Howard
    August 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you so much for the info very informative and I am starting out late in life but I believe in my dreams!

  • Reply
    Khomotso Lebelo
    August 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Thank you for the tips .you inspire me & I’m a big fan . you inspire me. Hoping to meet you one day. I’m in South Africa . hoping you enjoyed your visit to SA

  • Reply
    Tammy Williams
    August 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I’ve done some acting as far as being a extra a couple of times,I’ve taking acting classes,I am now doing plays,I love your work,tell me how would I go about seeking an agent?

  • Reply
    stacey pauli
    August 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Hello Kimberly, thank you so much for sharing these tips with us your fans! I am a born Nigeruan who studied fine and theater arts but has never had the opportunity to use my skills. I am not giving up but circumstances has denied me of my life long dream. I live in switzerland now but was in the US for 5 years, but still, I wasn’t able to reach my goal. I am not giving up, I am encouraged by your movies most of it and as well as the one you did in Ghana! (Ties that bind). Please would you be willing to help a yearning person like me and make my dream come true? Please this is not about the fame or money I was never given the opportunity. …. 🙁
    yours sincerely
    Stacey E. Pauli

  • Reply
    August 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I love to see you act you are wonderful. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Ashley Stuckey
    August 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. I’ve done research to fulfill my dreams I now just have to get up the nerve to move forward. This was my confirmation to do so. You mentioned to study the industry and not only are you who I study but I also study Mr Denzel Washington as well. Not because you both are successful at what you do but because you both are humble. Which you have also mentioned. Again thank you and may God continue to bless you!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing, it was both simple and informative! Would this advice apply also to someone interested in a career in film writing?

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