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Many actors that have had great success in the business continue to work with acting coaches on a regular bases. Whether it is for suggestions about a character or help perfecting a certain accent, acting coaches often have the insight that actors, who are switching from one job to another, do not. When accepting her Academy Award for Best Actress in the film As Good As it Gets, Helen Hunt made sure to thank her acting coach for all that she had learned throughout the making of the film. 

Cherie Franklin (Actress, Acting Coach) has stated that "the value of working with an acting coach on an ongoing basis is this: they can offer a safe environment that can allow you to reveal your fears and bring your work to a place where you can face your truths. This work state will invite you to trust in yourself, creating confidence and steering you clear of self-sabotage throughout your journey as an actor." 

Many people entering the business feel that acting is easy, that anyone can do it with or without proper training. Although there are those who enter the business with little or no previous training, most at one point or another in their career will end up working extensively with a teacher or coach.

For an actor it is important to be in a class so that your instrument stays flexible and focused
"Whether you are one of the three tenors, a member of the Bolshoi Ballet, an iron man in baseball, an Olympic swimmer, or a waiter at Denny's, you have a coach and a trainer who warms you up, guides you and prepares you for the physical and emotional struggle that lies ahead that day. 

For an actor it is important to be in a class so that your instrument stays flexible and focused. Unlike a violinist who plays an instrument, you the actor are the instrument you play. It is as wrong to mistreat your body with alcohol and smoke as it is to deny this same instrument the opportunity to be nurtured by exposure to good writing, risk taking and the emotional communion that happens with other artists in a safe landscape. 

Class offers you the opportunity to share your losses and gains with others who will understand. Compliments or criticism from fellow artist you trust is the highest form of support and sharing," Stated Terrance Hines, an acting coach and personal manager. 

There are however, many successful people in the business that initially had no formal training. Quentin Tarantino worked at a video rental store before writing, directing and staring in his first film, the cult-classic Pulp Fiction. Woody Allen was a stand-up comedian before he began acting, which later lead to writing and directing and acting in his own films. 

People can be discovered anywhere and at any time. Actress Natalie Portman (Starwars Episode 1) was in a breakfast shop with her family when a model scout approached her. When asked if she was interested in modeling, she responded that she'd really like to act, and thus began her career as an up and coming super-star.

Entering the Business
Although a few actors and actresses find parts in feature films straight out of drama school, most spend many years supporting themselves by working at jobs inside or outside the industry. To learn the ropes, some actors and actresses have obtained jobs at talent agencies or casting companies. Here they learn the process of setting up auditions and casting for commercials, film, and television.

Simply speaking, an acting career consists of three components: the acting, the business, and your dream. Actress Joan Darling explained what she feels it takes to be successful in the acting business, "there are two things you have to make a delineation between. One is to succeed in the business, which takes one set of skills, and the other is to succeed for yourself as an artist, which is the another kettle of fish all together. 

To succeed in the business, you have to come where the business is happening, which is either New York or Los Angeles. Go to all the open calls and start to get used to auditioning; work breeds work. If you can't get in the door anywhere, then get together a little showcase, rent a theater and invite as many people as you can. Start networking. Learn everything you don't know; study body movement, voice and speech. The more skills you have, the more chances you have to succeed."

It is important to know that as an actor, you are unrestricted until you join a union. Contrary to what many people believe, there are numerous jobs available for those non-union workers. These jobs will generally pay much less than union jobs, but they are a great opportunity to gain experience in the business before you join a union and are limited to union-only jobs.
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