If you've been bitten by the acting bug but have no idea how to break into the business, take comfort in the fact that many of Hollywood's highest-paid and best-known actors didn't start out with theater degrees, Broadway credits or a long list of acting jobs on their resumes. It's never too late to get started, and you needn't be discouraged by a lack of experience.
Sign up for acting classes at a local community college or with local coaches to practice performing monologues, learn about the business side of things and make contacts in the local entertainment community.
Develop a daily routine for honing your craft, including voice and body work, as well as rehearsing your monologue. Look through books or get advice from your coach about warm-up techniques.
Read at least one monologue book, an audition techniques book and an acting method book, and build a collection of scripts with roles you feel you could play. Read at least one play a week.
Never miss an opportunity to mix and mingle with people in the business.
Search for roles wherever and whenever you can; no role is too small or too underpaid. Audition for everything available; don't be intimidated by auditions that seem out of your league. Get involved in community theater.
Offer your services to businesses, such as car dealerships looking to make commercials.
Form a troupe with some of your new friends and produce your own shows. Do improv at local bars, perform street theater downtown, tour the schools with performances of well-known fairy tales or rent out a space and start your own live theater.
Learn your type. Figure out where you fit and play to your strengths.
Beware of con artists and others who prey on acting newbies. In general, if an enterprise requires money or the removal of clothing, move on.
Don't expect to make money acting. Paid roles will be scarce and should be thought of as gravy to the mashed potatoes of your regular job. Approach your acting career as a serious hobby in the early stages, not as a career change.