Whichever stage of life you might be in, from being school age to having decades of life experience behind you, if you’ve had the dream of getting into theatre, the present moment is always the right time to give it a go. If you’re thinking about it, don’t worry too much, as everyone who has ever been on stage had a first time up there.
How does one do it though? When it seems like everyone else has experience already, being a first-timer can feel daunting. Fear not, for there’s help here in explaining how to make a place for yourself, all without pulling your hair out.
Think About What You Want
You’re thinking that you’ve already done that, and what you want is to be getting started in theatre. The thought needs to go beyond that for things to get started. Spend some time thinking about what you want out of the experience. Do you have a set career already or are you hoping to do this professionally?
If this is just something you want to experience locally, there’s nothing wrong with that and participating in a local production will absolutely make your life more culturally rich.
Others are going to only see theatre, local or the likes of broadway, as a means to fame. If that’s sounding like you, be prepared for all the work, sweat, passion and luck needed to make it among the stars.
Get Yourself Ready
Think about what makes an actor an actor and what they might have learned before ever stepping onto the stage. If you aren’t well-versed in some of the most famous works, that might be a good way to build an initial foundation. Outside of plays, getting familiar with a few acting theory books is a sure way to impress once you are finally in an audition.
Outside of your own research, taking acting classes can open up more doors than you might expect. While one might see this as a wedge between where they are and where they want to be (the stage), plenty of actors for hire have taken classes as the start of their careers and as a way to brush up their skills and to stay sharp between plays and auditions.
Don’t Underestimate Connections
This applies to many aspects of life and it’s exceptionally true with theatre. If you are taking local classes, one of the most important takeaways can be the relationships you’ll build in the classroom. Having others, the teacher and fellow students alike, see what you are capable of might be the very thing that makes you get a call out of the blue for a role a colleague thinks you’ll just be perfect to play.
The same goes for anyone who is a regular at the local theatre companies. If you’ve found yourself in the audience time and time again, maybe stick around after the show and introduce yourself. The best place to start is often the smallest. If you think you aren’t quite ready for the stage, offer to help with whatever they might need and you’ll make yourself known for when the time comes.