About Small Market Actor
Hi, I’m Kurt. I’m an actor and I don’t live in Los Angeles.
I created this website to help people learn how to get started as an actor regardless of where they live. I want to share what I have learned and what has contributed to my success so that you can apply it to your own career.
MYTH: You have to be in Hollywood to make any money as an actor.
FACT: Production companies are hiring actors for all kinds of projects every single day in cities all around the world.
There is opportunity out there. My goal is to help you prepare for it when it comes a knockin’.
My Story: How I Stumbled into Acting
Unlike many aspiring actors, I never dreamed of acting when I was a kid. I never participated in drama club in high school nor did I take any theater classes in college. In fact, before the age of 27, my only acting experience was a mandatory fourth grade play in which I played a horse (the back end).
I made my entrance into the world of acting in a rather unusual way. It all began with a drunken quest to find a pack of cigarettes.
March 2008 – Four years after graduating college with a degree in computer science and engineering, I was working full time as a software developer in Cleveland, Ohio. I was your typical young professional working 9 to 5 on weekdays and hitting the bars with friends on weekends. One fateful Saturday, after a night of celebrating a high school buddy’s return from a tour of duty in the army, one of my inebriated friends demanded we leave the bar and find a place where he could buy cigarettes.
As we walked up the street towards a gas station, I noticed this place…
A random little acting studio sandwiched between an antiques shop and a trendy clothing store. Since I was looking for something to do after work at the time, the acting school really piqued my interest. Now, conventional wisdom says that no good decision happens after 2 a.m. Well, it was 2:30 and I had more than a few beers in me but I still decided to jot down the contact info (legibly, somehow) and sent an email a couple days later. The following week, I walked into my first acting class ever.
February 2009 – I had been going to acting classes every week for almost a full year and enjoyed every minute. As someone who knew absolutely nothing in the beginning, I had actually become somewhat decent at it.
One evening, during class, a fellow student asked me if I would be interested in meeting with her talent agency. My initial reaction was, “what for?”. Like most people who live anywhere other than Los Angeles, making money acting was the last thing on my mind. In fact, I didn’t even know it was possible. I mean, I lived in Cleveland, Ohio for cryin’ out loud, not exactly the mecca of the acting world. But I thought “what do I have to lose?” and told her I’d meet with him.
Much to my surprise, the agency actually had auditions for legit paid acting jobs. Within a week of signing, I had booked my very first gig! I was amazed! I remember thinking to myself that I was going to start booking acting jobs every week. 🙂
October 2009 – Not so fast, my friend. 🙁 Eight months and dozens of auditions later, I had still only booked that one job back in February. To make things worse, I found out that only one other person auditioned for that part that I booked. I started to lose a little confidence in my acting ability.
It was around this time that I had a revelation of sorts. I realized something that all working actors come to understand at some point: Acting and auditioning are two completely different skill sets. You can be the best actor in the world but if you are terrible at auditioning, you will never get any work.
So I began to focus on learning the techniques and the skills I would need to become a great auditioner. I went to audition technique classes every week and bought a camcorder so I could practice as much as I could at home. I spent just as much time, if not more, practicing how to audition as I did on acting. Whenever I received a new audition notice, I made sure to record and watch myself at home before I went in for the actual audition.
Guess what happened? I started booking more. And more. And more.
Fast-forward to today…
- In my first full year with my talent agency (2010) and still working full time as a software developer in Cleveland, I earned over $10,000 as a local actor
- I have since booked over 100 commercials, corporate videos, and ad campaigns for a wide range of clients including Intel, GE, Hilton, Goodyear, and Macy’s
- In December of 2013, I quit my software developer job to see if I could survive as a full time actor in Ohio and I’ve been paying my bills with acting income ever since!
- In August of 2016, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue more film and TV opportunities. In my first ever television booking, I got to work with two OSCAR winning actors in the same scene!
I’ve had a fair amount of success in my short career but I certainly don’t book every audition I get, not even close (and anyone that tells you they do is lying!). However, a non-booking doesn’t mean a failure. In fact, one of my non-bookings resulted in this email from my agent that really confirmed that all my auditioning practice had been worth it.
I fully believe that my commitment to learning how to audition is the single biggest contributor to my success. Now my goal is to share my methods and strategies with you so that you can duplicate my accomplishments and get big time results.
I don’t consider myself some sort of acting guru, there are no magic bullets or miracle potions here. My techniques are not secrets and I definitely don’t teach “get rich quick” schemes or “how to be famous” scams – far from it actually.
Earning a consistent income as an actor takes a lot of hard work, a lot of patience and a little bit of luck too, although I honestly believe we create our own luck.
I’m here to inspire you to put in the work and put in the time to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
It’s been a wild and rewarding ride so far and I firmly believe that the best is yet to come. So excited to have you join me!