Is becoming a performer right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
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How to become a Performer
Becoming a performer in the United States involves a combination of talent, dedication, training, and networking. Here are some details on how to pursue a career as a performer in the US:
- Develop Your Skills: Begin by honing your skills in the specific performing arts field you are interested in, whether it's acting, singing, dancing, or playing a musical instrument. Take classes, workshops, or seek private lessons to improve your technique, stage presence, and overall performance abilities. Join local theater groups, choirs, dance studios, or music ensembles to gain practical experience and build your portfolio.
- Pursue Formal Education: Consider enrolling in performing arts schools, colleges, or universities that offer programs and degrees in your chosen field. Formal education can provide comprehensive training, mentorship, and opportunities to collaborate with other aspiring performers. Performers generally need to audition in order to get into a Music, Acting, Theatre Arts, Dance, or Visual and Performing Arts degree program.
- Gain Performance Experience: Seek out opportunities to perform in various settings such as community theater productions, open mic nights, talent shows, or local gigs. Participate in auditions for school or community productions to gain valuable experience and build your resume. This will help you develop your confidence, stage presence, and showcase your talent to potential industry professionals.
- Build Your Professional Network: Networking is crucial in the performing arts industry. Attend industry events, workshops, and conventions to connect with fellow performers, directors, casting agents, and other professionals in the field. Utilize online platforms and social media to showcase your talent, connect with industry professionals, and stay updated on auditions and casting calls.
- Audition for Roles and Seek Representation: Auditions play a vital role in securing performance opportunities. Stay informed about auditions happening in your area or major cities and prepare your audition materials, including monologues, songs, or dance routines, depending on your field. Consider seeking representation from talent agents or managers who can help you navigate the industry, submit you for auditions, and negotiate contracts on your behalf.
- Embrace Continuous Learning and Growth: Never stop learning and improving your skills. Take part in workshops, masterclasses, and specialized training programs to enhance your craft and stay updated with industry trends. Attend industry conferences or join professional organizations relevant to your field to access resources, mentorship, and career development opportunities.
- Be Persistent and Resilient: The journey to becoming a successful performer can be challenging and competitive. Be prepared for rejection and setbacks along the way. Stay focused, persistent, and resilient in pursuing your passion. Maintain a positive attitude, seek constructive feedback, and use every experience, whether successful or not, as a learning opportunity to grow as a performer.
There are several helpful resources available for performers to support their careers and provide valuable information and opportunities. Here are some key resources:
- Actors' Equity Association (AEA): A labor union representing professional stage actors and stage managers. AEA provides resources, advocacy, and support for performers working in theater across the United States.
- Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA): A labor union representing performers in film, television, and radio. SAG-AFTRA provides resources, contract protections, and support for actors working in the entertainment industry.
- Dance/USA: A national service organization for professional dance, Dance/USA offers resources, networking opportunities, research, and advocacy for dancers and dance companies in the United States.
- National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS): An organization dedicated to promoting excellence in vocal education and singing. NATS offers resources, workshops, and networking opportunities for singers and voice teachers.
- American Federation of Musicians (AFM): A labor union representing professional musicians across various genres. AFM provides resources, contract assistance, and support for musicians working in the industry.
- Backstage: An online platform that provides casting notices, industry news, advice, and resources for actors, singers, and dancers seeking auditions and performance opportunities.
- The Actors Fund: A national human services organization that provides support and services to performing arts professionals. The Actors Fund offers resources related to healthcare, housing, financial assistance, and career development.
- Playbill: An online platform that provides news, casting notices, show listings, and information about Broadway and theater productions. Playbill is a valuable resource for actors and theater enthusiasts.
- Broadway World: An online platform that offers news, reviews, casting notices, and information about theater productions, both on and off Broadway. It provides resources and updates for performers and theater lovers.
- Local Arts Councils and Cultural Organizations: Many cities and regions have local arts councils or cultural organizations that offer resources, grants, workshops, and performance opportunities for artists and performers. These organizations can provide support specific to the local arts scene.