Here are 8 ways to kick-start your acting career. Whether you are just getting started or just in a rut, use these simple tips to get things moving!

Take A New Acting Class

If you’ve been sitting in the same class for six years this is long overdue. Even if you haven’t, if your career is stalled or you’re just starting out then a great class is mandatory. And don’t just try a new teacher. Try a type of class you’ve never been in before. There are great classes in Script Analysis, Voice, Commercial Auditioning, Movement, etc. And if you’ve trained in one technique, consider an entirely different one. Have you studied Alexander, Suzuki, Meisner?

Try a Bold New Look

Don’t do the Mohawk thing or something that will make you almost impossible to cast. Go for a different look that your friends will notice. That means it is dramatic, which is just what we’re looking for. You will successfully shake things up and also show casting another side of your look. Plan this one to coincide with my idea about new headshots.

Shoot a Movie

It’s never been easier to shoot a short. Break out your smart phone and film a little movie. It doesn’t have to be Citizen Kane. It doesn’t even have to be great if it’s your first try. Create some demo reel footage for yourself and put it everywhere. You get a credit as well and a little buzz; a lot if it’s a good end result. You never know.

New Representation

Easier said than done, right? But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Do a mailing. You have nothing to lose. Don’t rely on emails. Okay to start with emails. Mail people hard copies, too. Drop your submissions off in person if possible. Think outside the box on this one. A new rep is probably the best possible way to kickstart things in your acting life so give this one plenty of consideration.

New Job

Often, it’s the wrong survival job that gets in the way of an actor’s success. Your job has to allow for maximum flexibility before you are getting lots of auditions. If you wait for those auditions to make yourself available, then you will most likely miss enough auditions to prevent you from making progress as an actor.

There’s a reason so many actors wait tables and tend bar. You don’t have to do either of these things, but if you opt for something else, it must allow you the same degree of flexibility. It is nice to make plenty of money. If that money prevents you from becoming a working actor then that ends up being your priority and perhaps your dream wasn’t exactly what you thought it was.

New Headshots

This one almost always pumps some energy into your acting career. Do the research. Seek out a dozen potential photographers and pick one. Always choose from a process of elimination. Don’t just shoot with anyone your best friend recommends.

And once you have the shot that you love you are going to want to plaster it all over the place! Hit every social media platform. Send out post cards to offices that know you. Do a mass email to basically everyone on your contact list. It wouldn’t hurt to update the resume to coincide with this as well, so you are sure everyone is getting the latest information about you.

New Networking Approach

So many actors admit that this is the one area that needs a big change. You have to dedicate some time every month to networking and if you aren’t doing this, I can guarantee this is a big part of the problem. If you are new to this, create great networking habits from the start so you avoid bad habits.

Set a goal of meeting at least one new industry member every month. You can hit film festivals, workshops, seminars or showcases. If you live near a big market these people are all over the place. You may not know them now, but if you get out there you can meet so many it will definitely change your career.

Break Up Your Current Routine

Mix it all up. Take all of the things on this list and anything else you can think of and switch it up from top to bottom. New habits will inevitably lead to new results. Your comfort zone may be what’s holding you back. You may be too comfortable.

You can use these 8 ideas as a starting point and make up more of your own. Whatever you do, get out of your comfort zone and keep trying new things.

Mark Sikes began his casting career in 1992 for Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Corman. In the past 25 years, he has cast over 100 films as well as television series, commercials and web series. He has cast projects for Tobe Hooper and Luke Greenfield and many others. In the past few years Mark has also produced four feature films.

Based in Los Angeles, Mark has cast films for many markets including the United Kingdom, Peru, the Philippines and Russia. Domestically, he has cast films that shot all over the country in Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Virginia and multiple projects in Colorado.

He currently teaches three weekly on-camera, audition technique classes in West Los Angeles.  Follow Mark on Twitter @castnguy.