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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheater & Acting · 2 months ago

Is it Possible to Just "Get Discovered"?

I read lots of stories about how people became actors. 

Lots of them were just "discovered" by agents as kids or young people. And then lots of others seemed to just move to LA and start auditioning.

How did these people get cast with such little experience?

10 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    Maybe...but if anyone demands your money up front, he is a scammer.

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  • JOHN B
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    The same reason that horrible actors become famous. They look good on the screen.

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  • Liz
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Some of it was opportunity.

    • Katrina E.
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      It’s more then that - opportunities don’t amount to much of people don’t know how to take advantage of them and even then most opportunities don’t lead to major breakthroughs. Plus people who are well trained and experienced know how to create their own opportunities. 

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  • 2 months ago

    The trouble here is that so many people don't understand the word 'possible'.

    Yes: almost anything is 'possible'. But 'possible' does not mean 'likely' or 'probable'.

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  • 2 months ago

    Not really - not in the way most people fantasize it happening.

    It's show BUSINESS.  People invest a lot of money in their projects and they're going to trust that investment to trained and experienced professionals.  

    Now, what's expected of young kids is very different then what is expected of adults.  For a young kid, they just need to look cute and follow directions.  But they also need parents who are willing to run their child's career -- deal with contracts & unions, legal requirements (work permits, trust accounts), marketing (head shots, resume, show reel, website, social media) and networking.  It's NOT that you just get an agent and they take care of those things - that's not an agent's job.  So while the story is how a kid was "discovered" it ignores all the hard work, planning and research that the parent had to do to actually result in the child eventually being cast in something.

    And as the child gets older, more that is expected of them.  So sure a young child doesn't need a lot of experience (it's not possible for them to have it).  But as they get older if they don't master acting skills and continue to grow then their acting career is going to fizzle out.  That's part of the reason that a lot of child actors have trouble transitioning to adult careers.

    As for someone just moving out to LA and just auditioning - that doesn't happen.  There are not a bunch of open auditions that people can go to.  For most professional work you have to be invited to audition, usually through an agent.  And legitimate agents only make money when an actor books a professional job.  So they're only interested in representing actors who have demonstrated they have the skills and temperament to work at a professional level.  They can't really afford to take a risk on someone with no credits and no experience when there are so many other actors who do have the training, experience and credentials to book a professional job.

    On top of that, most professional productions in the US is union - which means preference is given to actors who are members of the an actor's union (like SAG-AFTRA or AEA). And you can't just join the union, you need a specific type of experience to be eligible to join.  So showing up in LA with no agent and without being a member of the union will more likely then not lead to nothing. Again, it's a business. So an adult actor needs to do all the business things - understanding contracts, unions, marketing, networking and the like.  Getting cast get in something involves so much more then just getting an audition.

    The thing is about stories of actors who were "discovered" is it's all retrospective - looking back AFTER they've made it.  So they've gotten this major role and then they look back and tell the story of how they were "discovered".  It usually ignores all the messy business details since it doesn't contribute to a good story.  And you never hear about all the people that were "discovered" and then NOTHING happened - because, of course, nothing happened.  So not everyone (or even most) people who are "noticed" and told they should go into acting ever actually do all the work that's necessary to make that happen (headshots, training, marketing, networking) and even if they do - they may still never be cast in anything major.

    But here's the thing - scams and rip-offs prey on people who have read or head about how "lots" of actors get "discovered".  So when a "talent scout" approaches a kid in a mall saying they may have what it takes to make it big.  All the family has to do is give some contact information (which can be sold to marketing companies) and participate in a "free" showcase where they are pitched a ton of services like headshots and classes that they can buy.  And if they "win" then all they have to do is fork out a ton of money to move on to the next level.  It's all about making money for the company not about the person getting "discovered".

    • FeL!X2 months agoReport

      I think Justin Bieber was the main reason for the question

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  • enn
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    They went to auditions just like anyone else in town. My brother and sister did tv commercials and many times they went to auditions with (well, I am dating myself here) the boys from "Full House" and the kids from "Mr. Belevedere" shows in the 1980s. My brother had the same agent as Austin O'Brian, the kid who was in the Arnold Schwarzanegger movie "The Last Action Hero". Actually my brother was cast first in the role but my mom turned it down -- she wanted nothing to do with cuss words in a "PG-13" movie (she was the church lady back then). But my brother and that kid were always at the same commercial auditions seeing the same casting directors three times a week, so a good kid like my brother who had a good name with the casting directors from multiple auditions always got called back. And THAT is an experience.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    That kind of thing happened in the early days of Hollywood - the 1920's or so.  It was a time when movie acting was a new art form and so people were still teaching themselves.  But it doesn't happen today.  It's kind of like saying a classical musician was "discovered" - they learned, they practiced and they trained and worked small gigs.  Maybe they happened to play at the right place and time for them to be "discovered", but it doesn't mean they didn't pay their dues.

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  • 2 months ago

    Those that are "discovered" as young kids have generally been acting since they were toddlers.

    With the amount of money it takes to produce, market and distribute a hollywood film the producers and directors are not going to give a lead role to an actor with no training or experience.

    Public relations and marketing agents like to perpetuate the idea of an actor being discovered.   Most of them become "over night sensations" only after they have had 10+ years of training and experience.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    It is not. No one's "just discovered". There are different routes into the acting world, however. 

    Some started out when they were as young as 6-year-old. They went to acting school this young, started getting experience in small, non-professional productions this young, and landed an agent who represents child actors. Then they continued on as adults. Others were the real-life kids of a cast or crew member and got cast as the baby or child of the characters on the movie/show when the production needed to fill that role, so those kids grew up working in the industry. Also, more often than not adults who only look younger portray the teen characters and kids often portray younger kids. So those actors actually do have a lot more experience than you think.

    If it's something you read many years ago, you need to keep in mind that the industry has changed. It's a lot harder today to get into acting and to get a single role. Besides that, the stuff you read are no more than stories meant to sell you into someone's glamorous life. That's not the reality. They never tell you the full story. Sometimes they don't even tell you that they did go to acting school or that they were rejected by all agents in town or that they worked as theater actors for 20 years before landing that one big role in a blockbuster movie. As they say, don't believe everything you read.

    Others have found success in acting through another related field. Some have "made it" in the music industry, for example. So they were already well-established and well-known. In other words, they were already professionals even without prior experience in acting or training. No professional production takes the risk on unknowns, amateurs, or beginners. They invest too much money and they need to know it's in the hands of people who know what they're doing. It's business.

    Some aspiring actors got spotted by an agent at a showcase. But again, that's after and while getting the training and experience. Those actors have most likely invited the agents to watch their showcase in the hopes of getting signed. Those actors have worked their asses off making connections in addition to everything else. So again, that's not really "just getting discovered" either.

    And lastly, no. You cannot just more to LA and audition. That's only true in the movies, which is why you think you can, I'm assuming. In real life, you need to get many years of experience and training before any legit agents will even consider taking you on. And you need an agent, you can't just go to auditions for professional work. In real life they are not open to the general public. Then, if you land an agent, most likely you'll need an even stronger resume, listing very impressive *professional* experience, to be seriously considered for significant roles. Otherwise you (almost) don't stand a chance, it's just too competitive. It comes down to far more than just talent. Hypothetically, if you don't have an agent but you do have connections, you might be able to get your foot into an audition room. But without an agent you will not get more auditions. Agents get contacted by casting directors from all over town. They have all the info and they submit you to the casting director who's looking to fill a specific role for a specific project. If a casting director is interested, they will then invite you to audition. Your connection isn't in that position. Even if your connection is an agent or a casting director, agents and casting directors have a reputation to maintain. They can't risk it by bringing in an amateur regularly. Therefore, mathematically, the chances of landing that big role through a single audition, or even a few, especially without a lot of experience and training under your belt, are pretty much zero, So, in real life, just moving to LA in the hopes of becoming a star is stupid, immature, and unrealistic. 

    A word of advice. If you're asking because *you* want to get discovered and just be handed an acting career, quick and easy, give up that fantasy now. It takes great passion for the *craft* of acting, hard work, dedication, patience, thick skin, and also money. You pursue acting only because you NEED to ACT, not because you have some unrealistic notion of what acting involves. You can read more about the realities of it here if you want: http:// backstage .com

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  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Most of those stories come from many decades ago.  It did happen then - very occasionally.

    Nowadays it's very different.  While I suppose it IS possible, it's as unlikely as winning 100 million of the Lottery.

    Now, all casting directors go through agents.  They don't just advertise the auditions in public so unless you're with a really good agency, you'd never even find out about the auditions at all.

    Also, they aren't interested in people who haven't had years of training and experience. They're in show BUSINESS - they're in it to make money.  And they aren't going to do that if they have rank amateurs to work with.  There's a huge amount to learn and directors simply cannot afford to waste time on people who haven't got a clue.

    So they ask their favourite agencies to find them the best candidates for each role and that means those who have taken the trouble to get the best training, the most experience and who have proved themselves to have huge talent.

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