How to Become an Actor in Atlanta

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Tired of being lost among the throngs of New York and Los Angeles actors? Consider relocating to Georgia, where the weather’s hot and the excitement of working with major studios, peachy-keen agents, and risk-taking theater companies will put your ambitions on boil. Here’s a breakdown of how to get into acting in Atlanta.

How to start acting in Atlanta

The path to becoming an actor in Atlanta is similar to breaking into the biz in NYC or L.A., but with a unique Southern spin. To start your journey:

Familiarize yourself with the local scene

The Atlanta acting community “is populated by some seriously fierce talent, and there’s a deep sense of pride in the town, in the South, and in the work of our fellow artists,” says Susan Booth, executive artistic director at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. 

Train

Sign up for acting classes to refine your skill set, meet other people in the industry, and increase your marketability. Some of the best acting classes in Atlanta are offered by:

  • Alliance Theatre
  • The Actor’s Scene
  • The Basement Theatre
  • Catapult Acting Studios
  • Celebrity Actors Studio
  • Dad’s Garage
  • Good Acting Studio
  • Lighthouse Acting Studio
  • Nick Conti’s Professional Actor’s Studio
  • Pinch ’N’ Ouch Theatre

Prepare your materials

Your headshot, acting résumé, and demo reel will help you stand out to casting directors in Atlanta such as:

  • Feldstein | Paris Casting
  • Erica S. Bream
  • Tammy Smith Casting
  • Casting GA
  • arvold.
  • Central Casting Georgia
  • Hylton Casting
  • Big Picture Casting
  • Extras Casting Atlanta

Network with fellow actors

Build a network of like-minded peers by joining in-person and virtual groups such as:

  • Acting Atlanta Meetup
  • Atlanta Acting
  • Atlanta Professional Actors
  • The Working Actor Group Atlanta

Atlanta’s acting scene is a world built on connections, and getting in means showing your face—from volunteering at a theater and introducing yourself to faculty members, to attending unified auditions or apprentice programs and offering to do readings. And being in the community is the lifeblood of the scene here, both in terms of getting and keeping work.

“It seems to me that a lot of actors work at a lot of different theaters, and we all support each other,” says longtime Atlanta resident and working actor Joe Knezevich. “Whenever I go to a place like L.A. or New York and do some auditioning for a little while, I’m always amazed at how cutthroat it is. I even see people trying to psych each other out in the waiting room.”

Knezevich admits there’s sound reasoning for the aggression: “Those actors have been trained over weeks and months and years to even get in a room to audition, that it’s life or death every single time.” So it makes life in a place where acting work is plentiful, relative to the talent pool, all the more appealing.

Submit to auditions and casting calls

Use our Atlanta casting call database to find opportunities for gigs. Keep auditioning and land roles to improve your résumé and reel.

Sign with an agent

Submit to SAG-AFTRA-franchised agencies in the ATL such as:

  • Houghton Talent
  • J Pervis Talent Agency
  • People Store
  • Atlanta Models & Talent
  • BMG Talent
  • Central Casting Georgia

Even though you can sign with an out-of-town agent, your best bet is keeping it local. An Atlanta-based agent will be able to help you navigate the nuances of making it in the Big Peach. 

Be prepared to take risks

Georgia’s tax incentives for film and TV production companies make it a highly desirable place to film—and all the easier for the aspiring actor to break into the biz. These funds open the doors for cutting-edge and daring productions that are necessary to push art forward. It’s a luxury many studios and theaters today do not have, and it’s partly what keeps new actors coming—and those like Knezevich, originally from Florida, staying.

“I love being able to see a theater, a smaller theater, take a risk and totally fail and know that they’re going to be able to come back and do that next show—they’re going to be OK,” he says. “Because you’ve got to take big risks in the arts.”

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Briana Rodriguez
Briana is the Editor-in-Chief at Backstage. She oversees editorial operations and covers all things film and television. She's interested in stories about the creative process as experienced by women, people of color, and other marginalized communities. You can find her on Twitter @brirodriguez and on Instagram @thebrianarodriguez
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