Getting into acting school with no experience is getting tougher and tougher. Especially, when you want to get into the country’s top acting school, you need to have some acting experience behind you to crack the acting school auditions.
The best possible way to get into acting school with no experience is to prepare for the audition well and present the best case possible of you as an actor.
Here I am going to provide you with the best possible tips and tools to do that. If you follow these directions well you might probably give yourself a chance.
How To Get Into Acting School With No Experience In 5 Steps?
I have divided the process into 5 steps so that you can follow it. The steps include collecting all the necessary information about the acting school admission and also preparing for the audition.
1. Admission Requirement
To get into acting school, you need to qualify as per the school’s admission requirement. You must understand, not each school or studio has the same requirement.
Some schools require you to have theater experience and some seek demo reels.
Since you have no experience, you must rule out those acting schools that ask for the theater experience. Even if you are a good actor, you won’t qualify for them unless and until you spend a few years gaining theater experience.
I suggest making a list of all the acting schools that you believe are good for you. And one by one go through their admission requirements and process.
Sort out only those schools that accept students with no acting experience.
Now, you have a list of schools that you can apply to but also look at what are other requirements for those schools.
A most common requirement for all acting schools is that they ask for an acting portfolio. That is our next step.
2. Preparing Portfolio
When you apply to an acting school, you need to attach a portfolio that shows your acting skills, who you are, and your other talents.
You would say, without experience, how you are going to have a portfolio. Well, to make a portfolio you don’t need any experience.
Also, you need to understand what to include in a portfolio with no experience in acting.
A Portfolio needs to include:
The first thing you need is a resume. A resume tells the acting school panel who you are, where you come from, and what’s your background.
With a resume, they want to know you as a person. You don’t have to include anything about acting. If you have some experience in acting, you should add it but for you, it is not necessary.
Even if you have no acting experience in real production, you can make your own demo reel. You can compile several audition clips or practice scenes to showcase your acting skills.
Also, I would suggest shooting different scenes with help of a professional director or any friend who is good with a camera. Get it edited to make it a good-looking compilation of scenes so that panel understands what is the range of your acting.
In addition to the demo reel, headshots are required for the acting school. It helps the panel understand what you look like. You don’t need to have a fancy headshot but use a good camera and take a close-up of your face.
A headshot should show what you look like in real life. So, don’t use too much makeup. If you want to learn more about getting a headshot, just look at this post about headshots.
An introduction video is like a video resume but you don’t have to go into detail. The length of the introduction video has to be around 30-35 seconds not more than that.
You can use your phone to make this video and just include your name, age, height, and a little description of where you come from. That’s it.
An Audition Clip as Per Acting School
In addition to these four things, some acting schools will ask for an audition clip. They will use this clip to shortlist actors for the next round of admission.
This is your chance to show what you are made up of.
Prepare an audition as per the guidelines provided by the acting school. Sometimes the acting school will provide the script. And if not they will provide specific directions for the audition.
Just follow that requirement, choose an audition script, prepare it and shoot it.
3. Audition Requirement
We have already talked about the audition clips as part of the portfolio. But sometimes there are several rounds. They call applicants for the live audition after going through the portfolio. A live audition is completely different from the audition clip.
With videos, you can do retakes and record the best performance but with a live audition, you get one only shot.
You will have to give your best in one take. But the good thing is most of the schools provide the audition script in advance so that you can prepare for it.
So please look at the audition requirements of each acting school and prepare according to them.
4. Preparing For The Audition
I have dedicated these steps specifically for preparation. I know, since you are not an experienced actor you might not have a process for the preparation.
Here I am giving you an outline of the process that you can follow. If you want to go deep I suggest you go to our post that teaches how to prepare for the acting audition.
The first step is to dissect the script. Read the script carefully several times to understand what your character is. Don’t worry about remembering the lines. Focus on characterization first.
When you have a good understanding of the script, start characterization. Since you are new to acting I suggest using my 100 questions to build a character worksheet. It is a printable worksheet that has 100 questions.
Try to answer each question as your character. Remember there is no right answer, just try to answer the questions based on your understanding of the script and the character.
If you don’t have an answer to any question, try to invent stuff. Since most of the schools provide a half-page script which is either monologue or scene, you will have to invent a lot of stuff about your character.
The best is to play with it, as there is nothing right or wrong.
The good thing about this worksheet is it gives all the necessary ingredients to build a living and breathing character.
You will have a good idea about how the character walks, how he or she talks, and how he or she behaves with other characters in the story.
Once you have good knowledge of it, you can start practicing the characterization.
I suggest beginning with physicality. Start walking as a character and try to do small tasks like drinking coffee as the character.
Once you have practiced the physicality, you can begin with the speech. Please don’t do the dialogues yet. Just try to speak about anything as a character. Talk to your friends as a character so that you are comfortable with the speech pattern of your character.
Now you have all the instruments ready you can begin with the lines. For the first few instances, keep the script with you and try to read the lines as characters. This is to avoid fumbles.
As you practice, you will learn the lines with ease and then you can go for the full-fledged performance without the script.
This is what the process looks like for me. If you want, you can change it as per your convenience.
5. Preparing For The Interview
One more thing that you will have to prepare for is the interview. Most of the good acting schools do have interview rounds. They want to test your intellectual ability as well.
For an actor, how they perceive or interpret the script is an important part of creativity.
You should be able to see the underlying meaning behind the scene or lines that you speak.
If the panel is able to see the unique view that you have about the script, they will definitely see the potential actor in you.
So while preparing, try to perceive the meaning behind the scripts and lines that have been used in the audition script. You must have your unique opinion about the story as well as the character that you are playing as an actor.
If you follow these steps, you will give yourself the best chance of being selected in an acting school with no experience in acting but if you don’t get selected, don’t be disheartened. You can use that year to gain experience as an actor by joining local or community theater. Once you gain a couple of years of experience you can try again for the acting school of your choice. The good thing about this profession is it doesn’t have any age limit, you can keep trying to be an actor till you have the will.