How to Start Your Acting Career in a Pandemic

Author – McKenzie Jones

The need to self-isolate and socially distance during the pandemic has had many of us rethinking our career choices. If you are ready to make a career change or interested in trying something new, consider some of the tips below to get your acting career started so you’re ready to launch as the pandemic wanes.

Read for Audiobooks

Reading for audiobooks on freelancing sites like Fiverr is a great way to get started and start to build up the necessary gear to be a voice-over actor. Start by simply reading out loud, but do try to make it sound extemporaneous. To keep things clear, consider using a voice-to-text program that you can download to your phone so you can practice speaking clearly enough to be picked up by the voice-to-text reader. Those of us who love to read may read faster than is legible for audiobooks.

Do be aware that you will need privacy and a quiet spot to launch your audiobook narration career. You will also need a microphone that will protect against “pops” created by plosive consonants. Again, the freelancing sites may only pay enough to cover your gear, but you can build up skills and expertise until you can apply and audition for authors directly on other sites.

Audition for Voice-Overs

As you build confidence and experience as an audiobook reader, you may consider getting into commercials and other work. When planning for how to get into voice acting, understand that you don’t necessarily have to have a distinctive or unusual voice to find work.

Many commercial producers are looking for a voice that blends in, rather than stands out. Many women may find that using the lighter tones of their voice can help them find work as a child character in cartoons. Make audition recordings of different levels of excitement and a wide array of ranges.

Start a YouTube Channel

For live performers, the early days of the pandemic were very tough. You may have seen your current job and future gigs dry up quickly with no new dates in the future. Because many performers have additional work, you may have been able to keep enough money coming in to stay afloat, but you may have felt your performing skills drying up.

Starting a YouTube channel may be a wonderful outlet, especially if you have an interest in stand-up comedy or have been writing your plays and scripts. Again, your YouTube work may eventually take more gear than you currently have, but you can start this work with a phone and a tripod. Building up the monetization of your channel will take time, but as live gigs become possible, you could already have quite a following.

You can also use your YouTube channel to share other skills. For example, many in the performing world have an interest in

  • costuming
  • hats
  • wigs
  • makeup

Make and share videos of yourself and fellow actors in full costume, wigs, and makeup. If you have skills as a seamstress, be ready to document and share your tips.

Create Educational Videos

If you have training and skills as a dancer, you may use dance exercises to maintain strength and flexibility. Set up your phone and record the ballet exercises that you use to keep your spine supple. Many people have had to stop going to the gym over masking concerns. Your dance experience can create shareable videos for those working out at home and get your face and voice out to the public.

During your video, make sure you are doing a lot of talking. Get your voice out there as you do your workout and build a following. Post your resume and career goals; those looking for a quality workout are trying to improve themselves. As an actor looking for work, creating videos that show off your expertise as an athlete will increase your credibility and make it easier for you to find an agent.

Pandemic time doesn’t have to be downtime. You may be able to spend part of your non-performing time building your dance skills, studying languages and accents, or writing your screenplay. Starting your career during a pandemic will allow you to build your video and audio presentation skills until you can get on the stage.