So you want to start acting in Singapore but don’t know where to begin. I will outline a few things to consider in this article and how AADB can help get you on the way.
Acting in Singapore – is it viable?
This is always a difficult question to answer – many new actors ask if this is a viable career path. To be honest there are many actors in Singapore who make a fairly comfortable living and there are also many others who teach or do other side jobs to supplement their income. Because there is no set rate for the acting industry actors can get anywhere from $30 per day to $1500 per day. It also depends entirely on the type of job. A commercial can often pay a lot more than a tv serial.
How to get started in acting
The best way is to go to a full time course in acting. There are a couple of well known courses in Singapore – NAFA and Lasalle. These are FULL TIME so you do have to commit 3 years to the training but it’s well worth it if you really want to have longevity in your career. A doctor without training wouldn’t last a minute in a hospital – an actor without training may get away with natural talent for awhile but most will eventually fall out of the system. 3 years of full time training will really prepare you for anything the industry might ask of you and will give you the knowledge and skills to really stretch your talent.
A full time acting course is the best way to become the best actor you can be. If, however, you don’t have the time for that you may want to try a part time acting course. Centre Stage school of the arts offers courses for kids and adults – this may be a good place to start if you want to test the waters.
My advice is to do as many classes as you can – part time or full time. There is no replacement for training and practice. When you get a job you don’t want to be ill prepared – cause they won’t teach you on the job they just won’t hire you again.
What you need to be an actor
You need a few things to be a professional actor: photos, a showreel if possible and a place where people can find you. You can of course get an agent or manager – they will help find auditions for you, negotiate your contracts and collect money. They take a fee for this – sometimes up to 30%. Most actors in Singapore work FREELANCE – in other words they don’t have an agent or manager and do all the negotiating and find auditions themselves. The benefit of this is they get to keep all the money they earn. There are pluses and minuses to both ways of working.
Whether you have an agent or work freelance you will need professional photos or headshots. A headshot is similar to a passport photo – it’s a clean photo of your face with minimal make up. It can either be black and white or colour these days. You should get this professionally done as it’s your calling card. This is what will be the deciding factor between you getting a job or not – it’s equivalent to a CV in job interviews. Directors and producers will send your headshot to each other to decide whether you’re the right look for a particular job. You don’t want them sending an amateur photo of you taken in some restaurant – you need a good, professionally taken headshot from someone who understands what the industry needs. While you’re getting your headshot done – you should also get side profiles, half body shots and a full body shot as well. The industry needs to know what you look like from all angles. Yes, it seems like objectification but that’s the industry you’re signing up for! ; )
Everyone needs an online presence now – you have email and facebook so people can find you. AADB is a place where the industry can find you. No point just having your own website where the industry can only find you if they know your exact website url. You need to be where everyone is looking and working. All you need is a membership to AADB and a profile on AADB with your photos, a showreel if you have one and a basic CV of all the work you’ve done. Don’t worry – there is a NEWCOMER section for anyone just starting out. Once you’re on AADB you can be seen and found by hundreds of producers, directors and casting agents who use it daily. You can also submit yourself to any of the hundreds of auditions that are posted there every month. It’s easy to use and it’s convenient for the industry.
So, all you really need are a few photos and a membership to AADB and you can start auditioning! If you don’t know where to get photos just sign up to our ACTORS ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION & PHOTO PACKAGE which includes a studio shoot with a professional photographer and a 1 year membership to AADB. Alternatively, if you want to try AADB for 1 month free of charge just SIGN UP HERE under ACTORS / Voice Talent ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION. Thereafter it’s just $150 per year if you wish to stay on the site.