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Top 10 ways to jumpstart your stalled acting career

May 16, 2014

Ever felt like your career was stalled? Who hasn’t?

I was exhausted after The King’s Whore closed, and for the first time ever, took a couple of months to rest without focusing on my acting career. Well, if by “rest” you mean, train for and run the New York Marathon 😉

Seriously, though, I took a break for a month or two from EPAs and emailing my headshot multiple times a day and all of those other “hustle” things that we normally do. And then it was Christmas. And New Year. And before I knew it, I was feeling pretty stalled.

Luckily, I’ve been back on track lately and all about the hustle. And I can’t wait to see things start paying off! In the meantime, I’ve put together a list of the 10 ways to jumpstart your stalled acting career. Here are my favorite ways to be productive and to get inspired to action!


  1. Attend an EPA. No lie, EPAs can be exhausting when you do them day in and day out. And sometimes they’re frustrating when you don’t see results from them right away. But there’s no denying the positive effect of getting in front of a casting professional you’d like to build a long-term relationship with. And nothing beats the high of performing like a pro for two glorious minutes of monologue-ing!
  2. Produce a short film. Self-producing is incredibly rewarding and can open unexpected doors, not to mention create relationships with working industry pros. Short films are relatively inexpensive to produce, and can be a great first self-producing endeavor!
  3. Go see a really great Off-Broadway show. Sometimes all you need is to see other artists doing fabulous work to inspire you to get your butt in gear to do your own. Check out for great Off-Broadway ticket deals!
  4. Ask someone you admire to have coffee. Who’s that friend or acquaintance who really inspires you? Do you know someone successful that you look up to? Ask to buy them coffee.
  5. Send in a video audition for something you see on the Breakdowns that you’re perfect for. Do you get the Breakdowns? Do you read them every day? See a role that you’re so freakin’ perfect for? Find the sides on Showfax, self-tape the scene, and send it to the casting personnel. Even if you never hear back, you will feel awesome for being so proactive.
  6. Go on a regional theatre “audition tour.” This is one of my favorite tricks. Does your mom live in Florida like mine? Do your in-laws live in Massachusetts? Does your best friend live near Atlanta? Take a trip down for a week and contact all of the local theaters to say you’re in the area and would love to audition. You’ll be surprised at how positive the responses are.
  7. Act in a student film. Sure, it’s unglamorous work and you’re not going to get rich doing it. But you may get inspired sinking your teeth into a juicy role, might land great footage to update your reel, and you’ll definitely make contacts with future industry directors and DPs!
  8. Put together a reading of a play you’ve always wanted to be in. If you’re one of those actors who feels like you’re always saying “But I just wanna work!” then you should just do some work! Whether it’s at a fancy studio, or just in your living room with friends, you can easily organize a reading to get your creative juices flowing.
  9. Find an awesome new class, get back into voice lessons, drop into that dance class. Training is inspiring, and honing your craft is always smart.
  10. Go say hi to your representation. Schedule a meeting, or drop by with baked goods. Always be at the forefront of their minds.

What’s your best career-jumpstarting advice?


4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2014 2:47 pm

    This is JUST what I needed! I’ve been so focused on getting out of my survival job, I’ve moved acting to the bottom of the list. These are all great steps to take in the meantime, which can also get me back into the grind when I’m ready. Thanks, Redhead! (This is also giving me inspiration for my next post!)

  2. Sarah Louise Lilley permalink
    May 18, 2014 10:36 pm

    All Great ideas!

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