A Beginner's Guide to Acting Demo Reels
For the newbie actor, from a slightly less newbie actor.
When I first started out in the acting world, I had some high school plays under my belt, no professional training and no connections in the industry. Yet, I decided to go ahead and quit my retail job to pursue acting full time. Luckily I haven't given up, and almost five years later I am slowly but surely booking small jobs, growing as an actor, and have a full time job to support me that is flexible with my auditions and bookings schedules. I'm not writing this article to discourage anyone, but the realities of the acting world will creep up behind you sooner or later. I don't think I've come across who anyone thinks it's easy to become an actor, but I do believe it is possible if you are consistent.
I created my YouTube channel in the beginning of the year after I was laid off from my full time job right before Christmas 2020. I went from working 60 hours a week, to just 20 hours a week (I still had my part time job thankfully.) Knowing that, even after doing everything "right," my income (or lack thereof) was in the hands of someone else, really woke me up. I built up the nerve to finally start my channel in order to start building roots for myself with long term income and career plans. I also started manifesting my acting goals, got into acting classes again and really became disciplined with my auditions. Though I am not an A List actor, or anywhere close really, I have experienced and learned quite a few things in the almost five years that I have been doing this professionally. A lot of things you do have to learn on your own, and other things you can learn from talking to people on set who are generous with their time and information. I did a lot of background work in the beginning - which I recommend all actors to do at least a few times to experience a real set - and I got to talk to a lot of people who were in it a lot longer than I was at the time. I've been really lucky with the people I've come across, but not everyone will be as generous or willing to help you. With all that being said, I really hope to make my YouTube channel a place where I can help others the same way others have helped me.
One of the biggest Catch 22's of the acting world is that you usually need a demo reel to get auditions, but you can't get a demo reel if you don't book any jobs, but you can't book any jobs without auditions, which are hard to get without a demo reel, which you can't get without jobs and ---- you get the point.
In these two videos that I am linking below, I talk about how I went about creating my demo reels with no experience or connections, and without paying a demo reel service to create one for me.
In the following video, I talk about how I used LA Casting to build my resume and reel. This is a great video for anyone who is starting with nothing, the same way I did. Please know, it is possible but takes a lot of time, consistency and sacrifice, especially if you also have a full time job.
In this next video, I talk about creating a reel once you have some experience under your belt. I go over the different types of reels, some of my favorite editing softwares, where you can post your reel, and more.
I hope this article reaches those who need it and that the information in these videos helps guide you. I do strongly recommend doing as much research as you can, and listening to the experience of other actors as well to find out what is right for you. This is my experience and it worked for me, but we should all always strive to learn and grow!
You can follow my journey on my YouTube channel.