How to get noticed as an actor – 9 effective ways

How to Get Noticed As An Actor 1

Wouldn’t it be nice to get noticed as an actor while walking down the street or at a party?

Then a casting director or talent agent will put you on a project and voila! you’re a successful actor.

Unfortunately, a lot of actors get lured into acting by this myth that paints a very seducing and tantalizing picture about the acting industry.

Studies have shown that the reality is about 90% of actors are unemployed and only 2% of actors actually make a living out of acting.

A lot of actors like Brian Cranston, John Hamm, and Melissa McCarthy get noticed in their 30s and 40s, and they had been acting a long time before that.

This simply shows that to be noticed as an actor, and become a working actor is no easy feat, although it can be done.

All successful actors start out doing small supporting roles before getting noticed for lead roles which pave the way for the rest of their careers.

You have to get exposure first by doing small roles and slowly move up to bigger and more challenging roles.

Keep reading below to find out how to get noticed as an actor.

1. Get an agent

Handshake, Hands, Laptop, Monitor, Online, Digital

As an actor, one of the ways to get noticed by casting directors (CDs) is by having a great acting agent.

It’s not enough to just have an agent, however, you also need to develop a strong relationship with your agent.

This means you need to go to your acting agency and meet up with your agent at least once a year to discuss your plan.

You should talk about what kind of work you want to get and how they can assist you in your acting career.

The key to creating and maintaining a good relationship with your agent is to provide them with everything they need to represent you on time.

Keep your headshot, showreel, and acting resume up to date.

You should also send your agents self-tapes on a regular basis which gives them new material to show CDs.

It shows them that you are proactive which is a quality acting agent notice and appreciate.

Nailing your audition as an actor

As an actor nailing your auditions will get you noticed by your acting agent as well as CDs.

This usually means you should be:

  • Well prepared and show your acting range
  • Punctual
  • Able to take direction from CDs and deliver your lines differently with ease.
  • Professional
  • Courteous and thankful to the CDs for their time

Whenever an actor puts on a great audition performance, CDs will notice not only them but their acting agent as well.

This in turn will help your acting agent get more business.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

Acting agents always notice actors who:

  • Are hard-working with superb acting skills.
  • Train really hard by regularly taking classes and honing their craft.
  • Work on their own short films,web series or student films.
  • Constantly submit themselves.
  • Work hard to develop relationships with CDs.
  • Want an agent who will work with them as a partner.
  • Are available when agents have auditions for them.
  • Get new headshots when asked.
  • Have a good attitude.

2. Market yourself

As an actor, your unique brand is what will get you noticed and get you hired.

Your personal brand is made up of your unique looks, life experiences, and personality that you bring to the script or material.

It is also the image that your fans, CDs, producers, and other viewers see and associate with you.

In acting the word “brand” is sometimes seen as a word that gets thrown around a lot and serves no real purpose.

Just to be clear, when I’m talking about your acting brand, I’m talking about the essence or unique quality that you bring to a role or character.

It’s not the same as your acting type.

Think of some great actors like Tom Cruise, Leonardo Dicaprio, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright, Tina Fey, and Merryl Streep.

Think of the essence or personality each of them brings to a role. It could be a certain intensity, candor, wit or perspective. That’s what an actor’s brand is.

You need to portray your strengths and your unique characteristics to stand out and be noticed in this overcrowded industry.

It is therefore crucial that you identify your personal brand and make sure that all your marketing material like your headshots, resume, showreels, website, casting profiles, and social media align with your brand.

The key is to have people associate your name with your personal brand.

To do this, you need to project a consistent voice and appearance on all your marketing materials and online profiles.

A simple way to accomplish this is by using the same username, headshot/photo, color, and design themes on your website and social media profiles.


Michelle Borromeo Actor Headshots 30

Back in the days casting directors used to look at the big printed-out versions of headshots from actors.

Nowadays, they are scrolling and looking at the thumbnail size of your headshot on a computer or smartphone screen.

Therefore, you really need to make sure that your headshots look amazing at thumbnail size.

They should be clean, crisp, visually engaging, and have fantastic lighting.

This way from the hundreds of pages that CDs scroll through in a day, your headshot will jump out and catch their attention.

The best way to get a quality headshot is to get it done by a professional photographer who specializes in headshots.

Now, before you even think about getting your headshot you need to figure out your acting type.

You have to think of the types of roles that you often get submitted for or cast as.

Your headshots should then reflect your acting type as well as your brand as an actor.

Acting resume

If you’re wondering how to get noticed as an actor and make your acting resume stand out from the thousands of generic ones that acting agents and CDs look at every day.

First of all,

your resume should follow the proper format and have the correct terminologies to be seen by CDs or agents.

If you have film credits, your roles should be either lead or supporting.

For Tv shows, your roles should be a season regular, a recurring character that shows up on several episodes or a guest star or a co-star who has a small line or two.

If you are a theatre actor, your roles should be the character names.

Acting Resume Tips

If you want your resume to be noticed it has to be branded or should portray your brand easily and clearly.

This simply means writing a concise sentence or two that describes your brand as well as your acting type.

Also, In your list of credits start with roles that align with your brand.

It’s also important to include the training or acting classes you have taken as an actor.

It helps CDs see if you have the skills for the role that they want. These include:

  • Scene study
  • On camera techniques
  • Audition techniques
  • Improvisation
  • Voice
  • Cold reading
  • Character development

You have to keep your acting resume current and updated at all times.

This is very important.

Make sure you update your hard copy resume as well as your soft copy resume in your casting profiles.


RememberWhen Movies Were a Reel Thing? :) -[ #FlickrFrida… | Flickr

Your showreel should focus on your performances, be short (1-2 minutes), and have great quality.

CDs want to see your face first when your demo reel starts and they want to see your best and most recent work right away.

It is also good practice to keep your comedy, dramatic, and commercials scenes on separate reels.

Your acting reel should serve as a solution to a CDs casting needs. This way you can give them what they want as quickly as possible.

Don’t forget to upload your showreel to your social media profiles, casting profiles as well as your website.


As an actor, your website is your most valuable marketing tool.

It is the hub for all your marketing materials.

These include your headshot, resume, showreels, and links to your social media and casting profiles.

In today’s world casting happens very fast and people often start looking at potential candidates online.

The first thing they do is to google your name.

A simple way to capitalize on this and get yourself noticed is to use your first and last name as the domain name for your website. Eg.

Thus, whenever someone looks you up on the web, the first thing they find will be your website with all your information on it.

Casting networks

Grain, Retro, Forties, Trepidation

As an actor whether you have an acting agent or not, you have to subscribe to and be active on casting websites.

This is a professional way through which you make yourself visible to the acting industry.

It’s an important step in getting noticed by CDs and acting agents.

Casting websites enable you to submit yourself to auditions for movies, tv shows, independent projects, and much more.

Just make sure that you have a great headshot, acting resume, and showreel to upload to these platforms after creating your profile.

How to get noticed on casting website ?

In order to get your submissions noticed and book more auditions, actors need to include demo reels and a slate shot with their submissions.

This is because when CDs are looking at submissions they give the first priority to such submissions.

Another excellent platform that will help you get noticed by industry professionals including CDs, producers, acting agents, and directors is IMDb pro.

IMDb lets you add as many as 100 pictures to your profile, so it is a great opportunity to upload some great headshots, on-set stills, and photos from projects that you have worked on.

You can also upload credits from your own resume as well as theatre credits if you have them.

In addition, you can also try these 2 ways to help you get noticed on IMDb :

  1. Whenever you add your acting agent or manager to your profile, you are automatically associated with them on the IMDb database. So anytime somebody searches for your agent/manager your name will be listed next to theirs.
  2. The “shared credits” tool also helps producers find your work through other actors that they are looking at.

Social media

Human, Google, Polaroid, Pinterest

Whenever considering an actor for a role,CDs and other professionals will look you up online starting with google and moving on to other social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, youtube, etc.

Your social media accounts should look professional and you should use the same headshot across all your social media accounts.

Your headshot should portray your acting type or what you often get cast as.

This will ensure that people looking at your social media will see a consistent brand and message about you.

The reality is that Casting Directors’ see you more online than they would ever see you in real life. As a result, actors need to have an active professional presence on social media.

Your reach as an actor is a valuable tool for promoting your brand, and nowadays your social media following also has a direct impact on your casting marketability for roles.

CDs are also paying more attention to an actor’s audience size and using it in making casting decisions.

How to get noticed as an actor on Social Media

  • Create an album called headshots on your Facebook page and post your headshots there.
  • Upload acting clips, show reel, and footage from projects to your Facebook and Youtube pages. If you have any special skills like speaking a foreign language or playing a musical instrument, make sure to put up footage of that as well.
  • Through Social media you don’t have to wait for industry leaders/professionals to approach you, you have direct access to them with the benefit of not taking too much of their time.
  • Follow CDs, agents, producers, writes, and others on twitter and engage with them. You can use hashtags to find conversations that you find compelling and interesting.
  • Participate in tweeting and retweeting on posts by sharing your own insights and perspectives. Establish and maintain professional relationships this way. Always be polite and use proper etiquette.
  • If you come across an opportunity to audition for a project make sure to reach out by email or other formal channels. Don’t ask or message CDs or other professionals in the acting industry for a role or audition through social media.
  • Add your headshots, resume, and showreel to your Linkedin profile and network with other professionals in the acting industry.
  • Collaborate with other actors using social media and create your own work such as web series, short films, comedy sketches and upload them to youtube and vimeo. This will help you get exposure and get noticed.
  • Social media is also a great resource for staying in the loop for industry news, casting calls, and audition and acting advice.

3. How to get noticed as an actor by Networking

Social Media, Connections, Networking

Networking events give you the opportunity to meet with professionals like directors, producers, screenwriters, fellow actors, and more.

One of the most effective ways to get noticed and book auditions or get involved in projects is by getting referrals and recommendations from the right people.

To be clear, networking can never substitute excellent acting which means constantly learning and honing the craft.

However, through networking and knowing the right people you will often find hidden opportunities that you would have otherwise missed out on.

If you went to acting school it makes sense to connect with your classmates, school alumni, and professors.

You can also check entertainment sites or social media postings for any acting-related events happening in your area.

Another networking tip is to try to attend events like advanced movie screenings where the cast will attend and answer questions.

Set up google alerts for people you want to meet and go to events where they are speaking or attending and engage with them.

Connect with a select number of people at the event whom you think is important to move your career forward.

You want to focus on quality, not quantity.

How to prepare for the event ?

Prepare a 1-minute elevator pitch about yourself and have a business card to offer.

Keep your pitch memorable so people will keep you in mind for acting projects.

Make sure to include your headshots on your business cards so people can remember you easily.

Rushing To Elevator Icons - Download Free Vector Icons | Noun Project

Work with other actors, directors, or producers on passion projects. You won’t make money but you get to showcase your skills, build relationships and land future projects.

Remember that the most interesting people are those interested in other people.

So be genuinely interested in the people you network with.

Research as much as possible about the people you want to meet at the event.

You can start with IMDB and Google to gather information.

This will make your conversations interesting and fun.

When networking, you should always provide value or service to others first and don’t expect anything in return.

Always think of ways to help your contacts and make sure to focus on the relationship itself and not what you can get from it.

If you can bring value to them they will probably return the favor down the road.

After making a connection, develop and maintain the relationship by going for coffee or lunch with them occasionally and using social media to keep in touch.

Networking is not only about getting acting gigs.

You’ll also learn from the experiences of other people about the industry – who to trust, who to stay away from, people to work with, companies to avoid,etc…

Where to network

Feedback, Confirming, Businessmen, Group
  • Acting classes and workshops
  • Auditions and casting calls
  • Find events on facebook groups, alumni groups
  • Sag foundation
  • Acting and auditioning at the theatre
  • Actor’s network
  • JHRTS(Junior Hollywood Radio and Television Society)
  • The screenplay lab
  • Women in film
  • Film Independent
  • Film festivals
  • Q&As and panels
  • Charity events

4. Auditions

When it comes to auditioning it’s important to develop the right perspective.

Don’t look at an audition or approach it as a job interview because it puts you in a position of wanting or needing a job.

The thing is, when you put yourself in a position of need or want, you end up giving up power and control over to the people hiring you.

Nobody wants to hire people who need a job but rather people who are confident in what they are saying and doing.

So whenever you approach an audition think of it as you giving the CDs and producers something that they want.

It may be a solution to their problem.

To be clear you are not being self-aggrandizing but rather coming from a place of silent confidence in your abilities and what you have to offer.

Giving is an empowering perspective and you retain power and control of your performance and situation.

This still means you have to work your butt off, but then you don’t stay attached to the result or outcome.

Do your best acting at an audition and then move on.

This perspective will help you act confidently and you are more likely to be noticed when you perform with this type of energy.

Important points to keep in mind when you are auditioning:

  • Be really good at your craft
  • Constantly train
  • Have a thorough understanding of the script, character and show
  • Be open, accessible, vulnerable or in other words be yourself
  • Really understand yourself and where you are in your craft so you are auditioning for appropriate projects where you are able to book them and you are very good at it.
  • You can then move on to different projects that stretch you a bit

5. Short films and student films

Man, Gun, Military, Army, Soldier, War

Student films are a great way to get experience acting on-set, working with a script, and working with other actors, producers, and directors.

Unlike professional productions, you have more opportunities to learn, ask questions, and experiment with your acting like performing roles out of your acting type.

Student films and short films are also an excellent method to keep working on and honing your acting skills during times that you are not working or auditioning.

They also offer an opportunity to network with other actors and industry professionals and start getting noticed.

Furthermore, short films and student films are likely to be seen by people in the acting industry.

This makes them an important medium to showcase your skills and abilities and increase your visibility.

Note: It’s crucial to know when to work on student films and short films and when to stop doing them. They’re great to do early in your career or if you are in between jobs, but you should eventually focus on working on professional productions as you progress in your acting career.

6. Be confident

Cat, Mirror, Lion, Reflection

Actors who ace their auditions and land roles on projects have a certain confidence and composure about them. They are not apologetic and they don’t project a sense of neediness.

Overall their performances come off as natural and they are present and engaged in every moment of their acting.

Confidence is a vital part of a good performance which in turn is the key to getting noticed and getting more opportunities to work and develop your career.

To be a confident actor you have to take regular acting classes, train your voice and body, read and watch plays, and constantly work on your acting skills.

The better you get at acting and the more experience you have you inevitably become more confident as an actor.

In what way can you develop your confidence in acting?

  • Prepare to the best of your abilities for auditions or performances
  • Study with professional acting teachers and coaches
  • Take improv classes

7. Bold performances

African Art, Creativity, Colorful, Bold

In most cases, directors want to work with actors who make interesting choices because these are the things that will pop on camera.

A director will always remember and notice an actor who brings a unique perspective or interpretation to a role.

In the acting industry, the small percentage of actors who regularly book jobs realize that committing to strong choices is essential to getting jobs.

Making strong choices involves the ability to shift and change interpretations at a moments notice.

You have to be able to put your personal preferences aside and be willing to pursue the choices that are truthful and believable.

This also means that it is crucial to explore different and unique choices when you are analyzing your script and preparing for an audition or performance.

You should also stretch your imagination to make unconventional yet still truthful choices that will transform your performances into palpable events that embody real-life moments.

This is how you stand out from the thousands of actors vying for the same role and land the gig.

Margot Robbie on how she won the role in “The Wolf of Wall Street”:

“So I walk up really close to his face and then I’m like, ‘Maybe I should kiss him. When else am I ever going to get a chance to kiss Leo DiCaprio, ever?’ But another part of my brain clicks and I just go, ‘Whack!’ I hit him in the face. And then I scream, ‘F— you!’ And that’s not in the script at all. The room just went dead silent and I froze.”

8. Take acting classes

Man In Plaid Shirt Writing On A Paper

Acting classes help you learn new concepts ,reinforce your acting foundations and techniques to help improve your acting game.

Classes like acting technique, voice coaching, and improv, enable you to become a well-rounded and confident actor.

Getting coaching with auditioning techniques from experienced actors who have landed numerous roles will also help you identify and correct your mistakes and weak points.

Acting classes also help you become more confident in your acting skills by giving you ample opportunities to perform in front of your class.

Another reason why you should take an acting class is because it constantly stretches your comfort zone and breaks down your inhibitions, and molds you into a skilled and self-assured actor that will stand out from the competition.

9. How to get noticed as an actor by Creating your own projects

Film Crew, Shooting Film, Movie

Writing, acting, and shooting your own projects is a great way to get yourself noticed.

Not only does it showcase your acting talent, but it also displays your originality and creative eye as an overall storyteller.

If you’re trying to get yourself known as an actor, make sure to put yourself as the lead of your own projects.

Don’t forget to mention your projects on your resume!

By creating your own projects, you create your own opportunities to move your career ahead.

A great example of an actor who has been highly proactive in making her own work and achieved tremendous success is Tina Fey.

She has worked as an actor, comedian, writer, and producer in countless successful projects.

This is what she said about actors creating their own projects:

“If you’re an actor and you don’t get cast in stuff a lot, then put together a show or hold play-reading nights at your apartment. Make your own opportunities.”


All successful actors start out doing small supporting roles before getting noticed for lead roles which pave the way for the rest of their careers.

You need to portray your strengths and your unique characteristics to stand out and be noticed in this overcrowded industry.

Leave a comment with your opinion or any questions you may have below…

Scroll to Top