While it may be considered one of the most difficult and competitive occupations by some, there are important preparatory steps one may take in efforts to become an actress of recognition. To become an actress, one must possess the patience and persistence necessary to cope with a work schedule that may be inconsistent and diverse. An actress should be willing to accept work when it is offered; waiting on the "perfect" job could mean waiting a matter of years before the preferred acting job comes along. To help assure a consistent acting career that will potentially spawn new opportunities, an actress should be well educated in her field, willing to network and interact with industry professionals and other actors, be open to a highly flexible schedule, and maintain an upbeat, persistent attitude.
Like many careers, an actress' education and expertise may be vital to obtaining the perfect job. Unlike some professions, however, there are no guarantees of advancement, or of a steady, consistent workload. An actress' resumé, which demonstrates her acting abilities, previous accomplishments, and present goals will be much more appealing to industry officials than a resumé that reflects little or no background in acting. An actress should not expect to develop into a professional overnight. Serious actors may spend years studying and researching before achieving national or even regional success; veteran actors might require months, perhaps even years, of preparation for a single role.
Following some education or acting background, a headshot, or simply a photograph, and a resumé of previous acting experience should be created for distribution to acting agencies. An acting agency will generally assign an actress to a talent agent, whose job will be to assist them in locating work. Although hiring an agent is not mandatory by any means, one may find it easier to become an actress with assistance from industry professionals. Still, some actresses work independently, searching for employment much like everyone else: online, in newspapers, and through classified advertisements.
A final step one may consider in the search to become an actress is location. Despite the fact that major metropolitan locations like Hollywood and New York tend to focus more on acting professions than others, moving to California certainly should not a pre-requisite to become an actress. There are countless acting and talent agencies scattered across the world that specialize in recruiting new talent for various acting spots in television commercials, films, theatre, and various jobs where actors may be cast as extras. While these latter jobs may not be the most sought after by an up-and-coming Hollywood star, many of today's prominent actresses began their careers by accepting these smaller, perhaps non-speaking roles, and found their way towards international fame by working from one job to the next.