So You Want to Be an Actor in Orlando

But you're not sure how to do it
By
Sharon J Sanford
Orlando Shakespeare Theatre
Photo Credits
Orlando Shakespeare Theatre

 

Getting Started

Orlando is actually a great place to jump start your career! 

New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta really take center stage when it comes to seeking performance opportunities and representation, but what you may not know is that Orlando is another great hub for performance training and employment.

There is a multitude of opportunities, but it all comes down to researching the positions that best suit you. Do you want to star in short films and movies, stand center stage of a well-filled audience belting your heart out, improvise scenes, or move silently while disguised in a character body suit from head to toe? I’m going to provide you with a list of acting opportunities in Orlando, but stay tuned for the end where I share three tips to keep in mind when auditioning for a role.

Attractions

With the town’s major tourist attraction being Walt Disney World, a large part of Orlando’s performance artists flock to the audition rooms. Disney employs character performers, dancers, vocalists, acrobats, and even stuntmen at all four of their parks. Although the audition process is vigorous, Disney creates long-term and full-time positions for their performers with great salary and benefits. Even for the employees, Disney really is the most magical place on Earth. If Disney simply isn’t your thing, there are also parks like Universal and SeaWorld that offer excellent performance opportunities for a living. But don’t be fooled into thinking your career is restricted to theme parks. You can take the leap from nearly anywhere in Orlando.

Theatre

If you’re more interested in something staged and scripted, your options are certainly not limited. There is an abundance of great theatre companies to choose from that hold open call auditions for equity and non-equity performers. The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre is a professional company that produces classical plays on thrust and arena stages. All of their actors are paid weekly salary for their commitment, and they have the opportunity to work alongside the best of the best. Some Shakes performers or contributors have graced Broadway stages. Just across the street is The Orlando Repertory Theatre, seeking to entertain the minds of younger audiences with variations in genre of musicals and plays. Another big reputed company is Mad Cow Theatre, compelling a wide variety of genres and entertaining audiences of all ages.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. There is a constant buzz of visual and performing arts at this theatre, and they produce all kinds of plays from Hamilton to Mary Poppins to PJ Masks Live! Save the Day, drawing attention from both young and adult audiences.

There are several more Orlando theatre companies and venues seeking talent, but these are a few opportunities to help get your search started. If film's more your thing, there are a ton of student produced or short films looking for stand-ins or actors. A lot of these opportunities will post on public Orlando Facebook groups, and they're easy to find. There’s plentiful dance companies, acting lessons, and improv classes amidst every corner of Orlando to keep your talents sharpened.

A few tips for the big day:

#1 Know Your Character
    Whether you’re reading sides for a callback or performing a monologue, research the character you are reading for. Understand their story and feel their emotions. Read the entire script.

#2 Be Confident
    Own your words and actions. Perform and communicate with distinction. Let some of your personality shine through when you smile or talk to the directors.

#3 Act
    Simply, perform. Beyond your words, use your face and body to portray what your character is feeling. Become the character.