theater acting

How to Reach for Acting Roles That Are Right for You


Actors actually have a great deal of agency when it comes to how they set goals, choose auditions, and decide whether or not to commit to projects. If you’re a burgeoning professional actor, it may feel confusing to decide which direction to go in terms of how your pursue your work opportunities or commit your time.

One way of making auditions easier on yourself is to spend some time before you even submit for auditions in deciding what kind of acting roles you feel would be the right fit, and why. Think beyond your dream role to the kinds of productions you’d like to be a part of, the kinds of teams you’d like to work with, and the kinds of scripts that set you on fire. Once you have this mental picture, it may feel easier to make decisions about how to invest your time and energy when pursuing work as an actor.

To help you focus your time and energy, we’ve compiled some questions to ask yourself about your professional goals. While often the primary challenge is simply to book work, sometimes actors find themselves overwhelmed with audition submissions, or in the dilemma of choosing between jobs, or wondering whether they should turn down a role. Some actors even find themselves in the enviable position of having one or more projects to consider.

Whatever your dilemma, the following can help you sort through your goals when it comes to your acting roles.

Which roles make the most of you and which roles can you make the most of?


One of the most important things to understand as an actor is the unique set of traits you bring to the table. , which can have a direct effect on your marketability. While these traits  may not always reflect your full goals and your full range as a performer, knowing a bit about type can help you focus your job search and understand the most effective ways to present yourself to casting directors, agents, and producers. An exploration of your comedy chops or something as simple as “type” can be powerful tool when used with expertise, precision, and strategy.

Think of Goldie Hawn working with the “dumb blonde” trope to build an incredibly rich career, eventually using her success to break barriers and create her own work. Do you make a good dumb jock or are you more of a funny best friend? Are you comfortable as the hot blonde or are you a perfect fit for the role of nerdy guy or girl? Know your strengths, know your industry, and play to those strengths.

The good news is that with experience, you’ll eventually have more range to play various types. To learn more about finding your type, see our piece on how to find your type as an actor.

Is the role exciting to you?

When starting off, you’ll probably be willing to take on any acting gig that’s right for you just to get experience under your belt. However, one way of keeping yourself motivated as an actor is by joining projects that you actually think you’ll love.

If comedy is your thing, look for acting roles in this category that allow you to demonstrate your passion for making people laugh. Find a role you’re so enthused about that you can’t stop talking about the film or play when talking to others.

How is the pay?


Money can be an ugly word when your love of acting alone is the reason you chose this career path. But as many struggling professionals will tell you, being an actor comes with its own set of economic challenges. Not everyone out there is making millions per movie.

The best thing you can do is figure out a budget for your life as an actor. There’s nothing wrong with rejecting a role if the pay means you’ll starve to death and miss paying rent. With good planning, you can figure out a budget so you know which roles will work for your plan and which will leave you stressing.

Is the script any good?

Like we’ve mentioned, it can be tempting jumping into any role just for the cash or experience. But if the project ends up panned for reasons outside of your acting skills, it can be a devastating blow.

One way to avoid this is by learning how to study a script in order to determine if the film or play is going to be a stinker. Actors reject roles all the time after analyzing the script and deciding it isn’t the right choice for their time and effort.

Is the role something you want to be known for?


Being typecast can be a nightmare for some people, but only if you’re repeatedly getting offered acting roles that you’re not happy with. If your dream is to be a leading man or lady, it can be a bummer always playing a supporting character. If you already find yourself in this position, here are several tips to help you recover.

Is it an acting role you’ll learn from?

The fact is, most of the best actors and actresses of our time went to some form of acting school. It’s there that you’re given the tools and resources needed to decide if you really have what it takes to act for a living. Seeking out specialized training, such a the Acting for Film programs at NYFA, can also help you stand out from the crowd when hunting for a role, especially if you invest in advanced training to further sharpen your skills.

But just like any college degree or program, school is not the same as the real world. Only by being involved in real world projects  can you get a taste of what acting is truly about. We suggest targeting roles that will contribute to your growth as an actor. This can include working with experienced actors and directors, or it can simply be a project that’s unique and will force you to try new things.

What are your professional goals as an actor? What kind of acting roles do you aspire to? Let us know in the comments below!

Apples And Angels: Acting In New York VS Acting In Los Angeles

Acting in New York vs Los Angeles

New York City and Los Angeles couldn’t be more different in terms of location and culture, but one thing they have is a thriving entertainment industry. Every year, thousands upon thousands of wannabe actors flock to the Big Apple and the City of Angels with dreams of fame and fortune. But too often actors move to a new market and find that they do not fit. So, how does an actor decide where to pursue their dreams? With a little planning and research the two major American entertainment hubs can be better understood and aspiring actors can make the right choice for them.

The City That Never Sleeps

Broadway is the one thing that comes to mind when actor’s think of New York City, and the pursuit of a theater career is the number one reason that an actor should move to New York. There are currently 40 theaters operating on Broadway alone, with hundreds more off Broadway and in neighboring boroughs.

Beyond the plentiful opportunities in theater, NYC has grown into a substantial TV market with 20+ TV shows filmed in the city. One important note about the shows filming in New York is that they tend to be dramas, think Boardwalk Empire or Law and Order: SVU. This is where knowing your type before a move is important. If you are a sitcom actor, maybe New York is not the best place to move.

Climate and culture is equally as important to consider as acting opportunities because to be successful, an actor must be comfortable with their surroundings. New York has a climate that varies widely from hot and humid summers to frigid cold winters. Besides the drastic climate, rent prices in the city should be considered. According to Rent Jungle, a one bedroom apartment in New York averages over $3,000 per month.

On the plus side, New York has some of the finest training for actors such as The New York Film Academy, The Actor’s Studio, and New York University. In addition, the compact nature of the city means that actors can walk or ride public transport to most auditions and meetings.

Why New York:

  • Incredible Theater
  • TV Dramas
  • Awesome Schools like New York Film Academy
  • No Car required
  • East coast vibe
  • Cooler climate


On one hand you have beaches and sunshine, on the other you have smog and traffic. Undoubtedly, Los Angles is the epicenter of the world for television and film production. All the major studios and networks (Universal, Disney, Paramount, Fox, etc.) are located in the sprawling city. Which brings up a major cultural difference, in LA a working actor has to own a car.

Personal transportation is also important when it comes to audition because, in contrast to New York, LA has dozens of casting directors scattered all over the hills and valleys. Of course, outside of film and television, LA does have a large theater community as well. Los Angles theater is respected and innovative, but understandably will always operate in the shadow of Hollywood.

For practical consideration, Rent Jungle lists the average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in LA at $2,000, significantly cheaper than New York. Also, the difference in climate is obvious. Los Angles has a relatively stable, Mediterranean climate with temperatures in the 70’s year-round.

Finally, although LA has a more laid back atmosphere, it still offers plenty of fine training grounds.

Why Los Angeles:

  • Unrivaled Film and Television
  • Film training and NYFA Campus
  • Warm weather
  • More relaxed lifestyle
  • Sitcoms!

The New Guys

Outside of the traditional two entertainment giants, smaller cities around the country are making a name for themselves in film and theater. Atlanta, Austin, Portland, Miami, and New Orleans all offer film incentive programs that are drawing large Hollywood productions. Recent films and TV shows that have shot in these cities include BallersWild, 21 Jump Street, and The Walking Dead.

Impressively, smaller markets offer advantages of their own. For instance, SAG-AFTRA cards are easier to earn, there is less competition for roles, and the cost of living is much lower. If New York and LA aren’t right for you at the moment, consider the other locales that might be more feasible.

New York City and Los Angeles, California will always reign supreme as the dream destinations for actors. However, acting opportunities exist all around the country, so all actors can pursue their careers with gusto no matter where they live. Perhaps someday, after careful consideration and planning, your Hollywood or Broadway dreams will become reality.

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