The Best Websites for Actors Just Getting Started

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There’s no doubt that new actors have a lot to learn about the industry! From putting together your first demo reel to learning how to self-tape, it can feel overwhelming at first. So we asked five industry professionals—an acting coach, a working actor, and more—for their thoughts on the best websites for new actors. These 13 online resources for actors and performers should help you navigate this challenging (and exciting!) business.

Wendy Braun, founder of ActorInspiration.com
Anthony Meindl’s YouTube page will uplift you, empower you, and inspire you. In a word: amazing. Please run from any websites, classes or teachers that undermine you, belittle you or shame you for being new. Don’t get sucked into fear-based marketing that’s always telling you what not to do. Rigid rules will stifle your creativity and keep you in your head. Find websites that connect you to your heart.

Heidi Dean, founder of Marketing 4 Actors

  • Advice and Inspiration: The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s YouTube channel has video seminars and interviews to help you with the business and craft of your acting career.
  • Acting Advice: Acting coach Philip Hernández’s blog for actors is a great resource for any actor starting out in the business.
  • Learning Lines: Rehearsal Pro helps you learn your lines and prep for auditions.
  • Actor Reels: Whether you need a self-tape audition or your reel edited, Actor Intro is a fantastic resource for new actors.
  • Insider Advice: Seeking practical audition advice from a trusted casting director? Check out Marci Liroff’s blog for actors.

Cathryn Hartt, founder of Hartt and Soul Studio
I am constantly answering questions for newbies about whether agents and acting offers are legitimate. So my first suggestion is to just Google the questionable name followed by the word “scam.”

Second, I suggest that you use the wonderful resource of our union, SAG-AFTRA. Their website is a great tool to find franchised agents and to check out questions and scams. They also have lots of wonderful tips and events.

Ben Whitehair, L.A.-based actor

  • SAG-AFTRA: On the SAG-AFTRA site, union members can track their residuals, pay their dues, or anyone can head over to the Production Center for information on union contracts, rates, etc. I also highly recommend checking out the SAG-AFTRA YouTube Page. Many of the events, panels, and discussions put on by SAG-AFTRA are videotaped and available to all on the YouTube page.
  • SAG-AFTRA Foundation: The SAG-AFTRA foundation is a remarkable resource for actors, especially union members. Available to everyone, though, is its video gallery which has a tremendous archive of interviews, panels, information sessions, and more.
  • NextGen Performers: NGP is a SAG-AFTRA committee committed to connect, energize, and engage young performers. They put on events, and are also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Inside Acting: Trevor and AJ hosted this podcast for many years, and have over 200 episodes with incredible information, interviews with every kind of person in the entertainment industry, and stories about their own personal journeys to success. 
  • Ms. In The Biz: This is a remarkable site full of blog posts from 250+ female bloggers in the entertainment industry, resources, events, and the like.
  • Mint: My favorite (free!) site for tracking my finances. User-friendly, simple, and easy to use. And did I mention it’s free?

Ryan R. Williams, on-camera coach & founder of Screen Actors System
The best one, present company excluded, would be the Internet Movie Script Database. This is a place where you can find scenes for class and read entire screenplays. Your sense of story and ability to perform text analysis on movie scripts will define you as a screen actor. How will you book if you are always lost on your audition sides? You won’t learn how to decode sides in gimmicky audition classes. You will develop an instinct for filmed stories by reading scripts all the time.

In this way you will become a dramatist actor who can truly fulfill your calling. Your role is that of assistant storyteller. Watching movies isn’t enough. You won’t have the luxury of seeing the finished productions of the film roles you originate. You should always be reading the entire script for the scenes you do in class. Let that grasp of the entire piece guide your decisions about the individual scene. Work the process the way a pro would. Best way to become one.

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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