This was written by TRUTHTELLER59. He always has some great things to say on the forums board.
1. Do extra work in hopes of getting “discovered.” You won’t!
2. Show up on time. In this business, on time is late and EARLY IS ON TIME!
3. Take classes or hire a photographer based solely on name/”Guru” status. What might be awesome for some might not be for you. You need to audit/meet before making a smart decision.
4. Shake a casting director’s hand when he or she does not offer it first. CDs meet so many people and the last thing they want to catch is a cold.
5. Not reading the contract. Too many actors don’t read their GSAs, SAG Contracts, etc. carefully and start complaining and can’t get out of their contract because they weren’t smart about it.
6. Joining a union right away, especially when getting lucky with SAG vouchers. I see too many beginning actors make this mistake. As soon as they get their 3rd SAG voucher they join SAG right away and now lock them out of a lot of opportunities to build their resume and reel with non-union indie/student films. They also are unable to compete with the people who EARNED their SAG card. ONLY join when you HAVE TO!
7. Quitting their job thinking that the huge amount of money they’ve saved up will support their acting career. That money will run out faster than you know it. Acting is a full time thing and if you plan on seriously pursuing it, you need a FLEXIBLE survival job(s) or a business that can support your acting career. 9-5 jobs are more difficult to do with acting.
8. Not having a headshot and resume available. ALWAYS keep spare headshots, cut to fit updated resumes, and a stapler with extra staples in your car! And always make sure you have enough. Sometimes you never know when you need it for auditions can sometimes be unpredictable.
9. Not doing research before meeting an agent, casting director, actor, teacher, or scam. Knowing more about an agent or casting director will give you some material for your conversation with them, build better rapport, and can help you save time by knowing who to target. Of course always research any company before wasting your gas and time. You could always say no to a scam, but you cannot replace the time you wasted meeting with them.
10. Not being prepared. Self explanatory.