Everything listed under: Backstage Articles

  • Moving to NYC for Your Acting Career? Avoid These 6 Mistakes

    You might feel nervous about making some rookie mistakes. It’s understandable—you want to avoid as many missteps as possible so you can enjoy the city and hit the ground running to move your career forward as quickly as possible. I’ve noticed some common slip-ups that NYC newbies often make. Since we actors are truly part of one big tribe, why not learn from your predecessors so you don’t have to make the same gaffes?  Read More...

  • Why Rejection Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Talented

    To be a working actor, you must make friends with rejection. The fact is, you’re simply not going to get every part you audition for. But a lot of the time, it has nothing to do with your talent. No one is “right” for every role they audition for and there are many reasons one actor may get the offer over another. Audititions, and therefore rejection, are a huge part of an actor's job. Here's some advice on how to handle hearing that oft-dreaded word “no.”  Read More...

  • Do Actors Need Different Headshots for Different Mediums?

    This question often arises: Do actors need one headshot for theater auditions, one for film, one for commercials, and one for TV?  Read More...

  • The Post-Audition Checklist Every Actor Needs

    Auditioning is a huge part of an actor’s job but sometimes it can be difficult to let go when you leave the casting office, especially if it was for a job you really wanted to book.

    So how are you supposed to let go of something you spent so much time and effort preparing for?  Read More...

  • 15 Things to Always Keep in Your Bag During Auditions

    You have a busy day of auditions ahead of you and for whatever reason, find yourself running late. You get to your first audition, then suddenly realize you forgot to bring something you really need. Instead of feeling calm, confident, and ready, you end up feeling stressed, uncertain, and unprepared. Not the best way to start an audition, am I right?

    Since I’ve had this experience on more than one occasion, I finally got organized and wrote out a list of things I want to have on hand. Now I have a bag I use specifically for auditions and keep it stocked so it’s always ready for me to grab on my way out the door. Here’s a peek at what’s in my bag. Maybe it’ll inspire your audition bag choices!  Read More...

  • Beyond the Barista: Unique Survival Job Ideas

    There’s a recurring theme for most actors: how to earn a decent living while actively pursuing an acting career. Restaurant work is often a go-to because as long as you get your shift covered, you can go on that audition or take time off for your booking. But restaurant work isn’t ideal for everyone.

    Luckily, there are so many other options out there! Here are six to consider...  Read More...

  • Why Every Job Is Not a ‘Survival Job’

    One dilemma many actors have is how to earn a living while actively pursuing an acting career. It can seem overwhelming to find the perfect “survival job” that gives you flexibility for auditions and bookings, as well as a wage that enables you to live in an expensive city like New York or Los Angeles.

    I worked many different types of jobs in the early part of my career, and I’m here to tell you that not every job is a survival job. In general, jobs don't exist to be flexible—they exist to help the company prosper. So how do you know if a job is truly survival job material? Here are four things to consider...  Read More...

  • Marketing On a Budget

    You hear it all the time: Actors need to market themselves online. But just how do you do it when money is tight?

    Never fear! Here are some cheap (and free!) ways you can market yourself to become the actor that everyone is talking about.  Read More...

  • Can’t Remember Why You Love to Act? 6 Ways to Reconnect With Your Passion

    If you’re an actor, you might occasionally find yourself frustrated with the business and everything that needs to happen to keep your career running. I mean, you’ve got a lot on your plate: survival job, classes, auditions, mailings, bookings, and life. You can get so busy that you may forget why you’re doing all of this in the first place. 

    Sometimes, you may feel like you’re stuck in a rut or even that you’ve fallen out of love with acting, this thing you’re supposed to love no matter what, that you’ve committed your entire life to. Listen, I’ve been there and I get it. If you do find yourself wondering why you’re doing all of this, here are the steps I take to remind myself why I love being an actor and to help me get unstuck.   Read More...

  • 8 Elements All Actors’ Websites Need

    By now, you already know an actor should have a website. But do you know exactly what needs to go on it?

    I sat down with Backstage to break down the eight basic elements every successful actor website has. Make sure your site has these elements so you’re on the right track to booking more work!  Read More...

  • Do This Before Trying to Get an Agent

    Q: How long should I wait before getting an agent? —Iesha W., Arizona 

    The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules on how long you should wait before seeking representation. If you’re brand-new, with no professional experience, but have a very specific look or type, you just might luck out, get awesome reps immediately, and book a lead in a blockbuster right out of the gate.

    While that could happen, it probably won’t. I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you: Why would an agent agree to rep an actor who has zero professional experience? They have plenty of proven actors on their roster who are known in the industry and already book work. 

    Click here to read my advice on Backstage.com!  Read More...

  • Why All Actors Should Have a Personal Website

    In this digital age, Google is everyone’s best friend; when we want to learn more about something, we look it up! The same principal applies to actors. Any casting director, agent, or manager will search for an actor and expect to see information on them. 

    I sat down with the folks at Backstage to talk about being an actor in the Age of Google.  Read More...

  • 5 Ways to Be Your Own Agent

    If you’re an actor without an agent, you may think you’re supposed to put all of your time and energy into finding the perfect rep who will make your career dreams come true. 

    The truth is, without professional experience and a list of connections, it can be nearly impossible to get an agent right out of the gate. There are exceptions, of course: If you’re a very specific or unusual type, or you’re a child actor, you might get signed without a proven track record. But if you’re not, chances are high that an agent won’t be interested until you have some solid credits.   Read More...

  • Let Color Help Tell Your Actor Story Online

    If you want your actor website to stand out, it must tell your unique story by painting a picture of who you are and how you can be cast for the decision-makers in the industry. 

    One way to accomplish this is through color. But if you’re like a lot of actors I work with, choosing a color palette for your website can make you break into a sweat. There are so many colors to choose from—how can you possibly narrow them down? 

    Luckily, I have a simple process I use with my clients. It makes choosing your colors fun and easy, and I’m happy to share it with you!  Read More...

  • The Perks of Being an Extra

    If you’re a new actor who wants to break into TV or film, you may wonder what it’s like to work on a professional set. Some actors worry that if they nab even a small role in a big project before ever stepping foot on a set, it could add stress to what should be an amazing experience. 

    One way to gain professional on-set experience is to get hired as a background actor or “extra” on a couple of big projects. You’ll get paid to be an actor, get an education on how a real set works, and gain the confidence that only comes from real-life experience. I call it getting your set legs! 

    Here are some steps to help you get your set legs:   Read More...

  • Why Editorial Photos (Not Just Headshots) Are Important For Your Career

    Does your website tell your unique story? Does it reflect who you are in the industry right now, as well as where you want your career to go? Does it make visitors feel like they know you or that they’d like to get to know more? If you’re like a lot of actors, this describes your dream website. The problem, though, is that most actors don’t know how to achieve it. 

    When I work with a custom client, I let them in on a little secret sauce that adds personality and that special something to their online presence. It’s been so helpful, I’m gonna share it with you. I call it “photo mojo.”  Read More...

  • How to Prioritize as a New Actor

    How do you prioritize what to do as a new actor? —Lauren S., Washington

    Anyone new to acting is undoubtedly excited to launch their career. But to avoid frustration and spending a lot without tangible results, you need to prioritize how to spend your time and money. There are four steps to make the best use of your resources for the long haul.  Read More...

  • How to Stop Fearing Auditions + Make Them Fun Again

    Do you have a love/hate relationship with auditions? Most actors want more opportunities to audition, but the process can be nerve-wracking. And we all know that audition nerves can kill your chances of getting booked.   Read More...

  • Why Every Actor Needs a Website + What It Should Have

    As a professional actor and founder of Actor-Webs, I’m often asked if an actor really needs a website. Since we live in such an online, on-the-go world, my answer is a resounding yes!

    I mean, think about it. What do you do when you hear about a new restaurant? My guess is you google it. If you can’t find its website, chances are high that you get frustrated, move on, and forget that you were ever interested in that restaurant.

    The same goes for actors. Potential employers and colleagues WILL google you, so it makes good business sense to have a professional website that shows up when they search and represents you with the content you want them to see, along with an easy way to get in contact.  Read More...


Amy Russ, Actor-Webs Founder Actor and web designer Amy Russ helps actors showcase their cast-ability, personality, and professionalism with simple, effective, and affordable websites. Find out the crucial 5 First Steps to creating a website that stands out in her free video training here.