Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/i want to be an actress


QUESTION: hello, my name is Dina, i'm 18 years old and since i was a little girl i wanted to be an actress, I've wanted this my whole life, but it's really hard for me to start because i live in Algeria, I've just started college, but i really really want to be an actress, is there anything i can do? online classes? and how old is too old to start acting? thanks.

ANSWER: Hi Dina,

I applaud you in knowing what you want to do in life!

I always have difficulty answering questions from overseas, because if I haven't traveled in the particular country (and often, even if I have) I can't advise well because I am not familiar with schooling and other opportunities available to the questioner. This is one of those cases.

I would recommend that you see if you can minor in theater in your school. That is one of the easiest ways to get training without upsetting your parents too much. Parents want the best for their children and acting isn't a very stable profession to be in. The odds of success defy calculation as so many things weigh into your chances.

That being said, I would try getting into theater in school while you also pursue a marketable degree.

Best, Taylor

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: well,i'll try my best to do that,but i don't want to be an actress here,i'm thinking if i could go to england or canada,would be better right? my mom says that i have to be talented to be an actress,but i keep my hopes high! so if i was in canada, will i be able to be an actress? i'll be 21 by then,is it too late?

Hi Dina,

England or Canada would definitely provide more opportunity for you, and no, 21 isn't too late. You can act at any age, although you may not be the lead actor.

As far as talent, does your mom know if you do or don't have it? All I know is the harder I worked and the more I devoted myself to acting the better I became and farther I went.
However, luck, and the right look and being prepared and being in the right place at the right time has a LOT to do with it.

Take schooling for it, read all the books you can find and read as many scripts as you can. Those are all things that will help.



Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Taylor Sheppard


I can answer questions: on starting a career in acting, mistakes in acting, etiquette when dealing with industry contacts, finer points on how to act, and things to avoid in the field.


I have been a professional actor 21 years, with appearances in TV, Film and commercials. I have made good decisions and potentially damaging mistakes. I believe anyone who has a dream deserves to explore it, and I take their aspirations seriously. That being said, I do not pull punches. I try to be tactful, but I will not lie to someone, honesty is more effective. My last film role was in "Teeth" which was picked for Sundance in January 2007. It was sold to Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. for somewhere over 2.5 million. The role was "Mr. Griffith", a sex-ed teacher.

Ciao Agency-Austin/Georgetown, Texas. (Formerly known as Donna Adams Agency. Matthew McConaughey was a good friend and fellow member. I also have belonged to agencies in three other Texas cities, but they have since closed.) TXMPA -Texas Motion Picture Alliance. Various other internet networking web rings as well as Actors Access. I was instrumental in advising actress Krista Allen on getting her career in acting started in Austin,Texas (we worked at the same Health Club in the early '90's).

Previously wrote on a now defunct website such as this one. I enjoyed helping new actors.

I have acted for 21 years. I studied under James Nelson Harrell as well as other talented actors at Southwest Texas State University. After college, I have taken classes with Julliard graduate Mona Lee, Bill Johnson, Van Brookes, Marco Perella and others in Austin Texas. I am constantly attending classes to maintain my edge and explore new directions. In addition to attending strictly acting classes, I have also taken business workshops with respected casting directors, such as Shari Rhodes ("Jaws","Close Encounters", "Raggedy Man".) Barbara Brinkley, Jo Edna Bolden and Donise Hardy, (Castingworks LA).

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