You learned a ton of great lessons in theater school, but not every program prepares you for the realities of this industry.
1. Audition for everything—even if you are not right for the part, it is good for the CD to see you. (Trust us, they do not appreciate that.)
2. You need to learn how to perform in 20 different genres of classical theater. (Nope. 90 percent of “classical theater” produced is just Shakespeare.)
3. You can play a large age range. (Wrong. If they want a 40-year-old, they will hire a 40 year old. They don’t need a 22-year-old who can grow a decent beard.)
4. It’s all about the craft. (Not really— it’s about the craft when you get the job, but booking the job is about the business.)
5. You need to run crew on your university’s shows so you understand how everything works. (Lies! Congratulations, you were free labor.)
6. You should dress for auditions like you would any other job interview. (Unless the role is for a businessman, you can always spot the fresh actors when they show up in a shirt and tie.)
7. You need 10 different monologues from five different genres. (It’s great to have a few different monologues, but if they want more, they will call you back and give you sides.)
8. You need to mail your headshot and résumé to every agent, manager, and CD. (Yup, and you should also buy a lotto ticket and try to catch a leprechaun.)
9. You have to wait tables so you are free for auditions. (There are so many other jobs to support yourself that don’t steal your soul.)
10. You can never drink the night before an audition. (Tell that to Blockheads.)
11. And then the lies by omission, like building a website, how to find an agent, how to take great headshot, how to put a reel together, actor taxes, etc. (You did learn how to act, just no one taught you how to be an actor.)
Feeling lost? Check out "9 Tips for Graduates Pursuing a Career in TV/Film."