The Disney Channel isn’t the only network that can turn you into a star. Nickelodeon is a major network and just as popular! But where do you start? First, take some acting classes! Get some experience under your belt and figure out what your personal talents are as an actor. After that, you’ll need an agent or manager, as well as professional headshots. Nickelodeon is a thriving network that hosts frequent casting calls, so when you’re ready to take the plunge, go audition!

Part 1

Getting Acting Experience

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    Sign up for weekly acting classes. You should do this even if you’ve acted before, because classes will help you hone your skills consistently. Opt for basic acting classes, as well as classes on improvisation and scene study. It’s best to join classes intended for young adults. If your school has drama department, join that, too.[1]

    • To find acting classes in your area, start with an internet search. Type in “acting classes + your city” and browse the results. You can also inquire at your local theater about classes.
    • The cost for classes will vary, but they usually fall somewhere between $25 and $100 per class.[2]
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    Get a private acting coach. Group classes are great. They allow you to make theater friends and learn from others. However, if you can afford it, consider also getting a private coach. The one-on-one interaction can really help you grow as an actor.[3]

    • To find an acting coach, start by doing an internet search. Type “private acting coaches + your city” into your favorite browser and check out the results. Inquire about private coaches at your local theater and ask around at your acting class.
    • Private coaches usually cost between $90 and $100 per hour.[4]
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    Get as much acting experience as you can. Act every chance you get! If your school is putting on a play, audition for one of the roles. Check out your local theater company and join their productions. Try out for a variety of different roles so you learn how to be a versatile actor.[5]

    • Help backstage with lighting or props if you aren’t able to get an acting role.
    • Look for local audition workshops, musical theater boot camps, and summer programs to participate in. You can find these activities by doing an online search and asking around at your acting classes.
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    Figure out your personal strengths as an actor. As you gain acting experience, your strengths will start to show themselves. Maybe you’re great at dramatic roles, but comedic acting is difficult for you. Continue to hone your dramatic chops, but put more time into getting better at comedy roles. Work on becoming as versatile as possible.[6]

    • Keep in mind that Nickelodeon is a lighthearted channel, so most of the shows will call for comedic acting.
    • Consider working on your singing abilities. Many Nickelodeon auditions will require you to sing an audition song, but it really just depends on the role you’re going for.

Part 2

Becoming a Professional

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    Hire an agent or manager from a reputable talent agency. Agents help you find and negotiate acting opportunities. They also have connections in the industry, and this can be helpful when you’re ready to audition for Nickelodeon. Research talent agencies with your parents to make sure they’re reputable. If an agent asks for payment upfront, do not work with that person. Agents should only take a percentage (usually 10%) of what the actor actually earns.[7]

    • Make sure the agent is licensed and bonded before hiring them.[8]
    • There are a lot of scams out there, especially with talent agencies and agents, so research thoroughly.
    • Your agent doesn’t have to be affiliated with any specific organizations, although connections to a legit organization like SAG-ATRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is definitely a bonus.
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    Have professional headshots taken. Every professional role you audition for, including with Nickelodeon, will request a headshot before even meeting you. Your new agent will immediately ask you to get professional headshots, even if you already have some. This is standard practice and not a reason to suspect you’re being scammed. Ask the agent to suggest a company for you to work with, then set up the appointment.[9]

    • At minimum, the headshot should accurately show your face and its features. If possible, work on getting a headshot that captures your essence and represents the kinds of roles you’d work well for.[10]
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    Work on your acting resume. The resume will go on the back of your headshot, so it’s very important. Format it simply so that it’s easy for casting directors to read. List all the acting experience you have in your resume. Create a separate section to list any special skills you have, such as dancing, singing, sports, dialects, and so on.[11]

    • Be sure to include personal and contact information, such as your name, date of birth, email address, and phone number. However, for safety reasons, do not put your home address on the resume.
    • Don’t hesitate to ask your agent or parents for help with your resume.
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    Start booking auditions for smaller roles. Have your agent look for auditions for commercials and maybe even some modelling gigs. These allow you to get comfortable in front of the camera before auditioning for Nickelodeon. You’ll also get a sneak peek into the industry and learn how to interact with camera crews.[12]

    • Voice-over work is another good option for gaining insider experience.
    • These jobs look great on your resume; Nickelodeon will notice them.

Part 3

Going on Auditions

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    Watch for Nickelodeon’s casting calls. Nickelodeon puts out casting calls for new roles quite frequently. Sometimes the roles are lead roles, but most of them are for supporting or minor roles. Audition for anything you’re a good fit for, whether it’s big or small. Once you get your foot in the door, your opportunities with Nickelodeon will definitely expand.

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    Ask your agent to set up an audition. Your agent will be helping you look for auditions. Once you find a good one for you, the agent will take over to book the audition. They will know who to contact and make sure your headshot and resume end up in the right person’s hands at Nickelodeon.
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    Prepare for the specific role you’re auditioning for. In some cases, you may be given a script to study, but not always. Sometimes the casting directors might ask you to come in and perform a monologue. Choose a monologue from one of their past television shows and practice until you’ve perfected it.[13]

    • You don’t have to choose a monologue from a past Nick show. Feel free to change it up! Use classic or recent material that makes sense for the role you’re auditioning for.
    • Depending on the role, you may also be asked to sing an audition song.
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    Stay strong and keep trying! Nickelodeon is a friendly, bubbly community that will always give you second chances. If you didn’t get the part for your first audition, don’t let that get you down. Continue going on auditions. Now that they know who you are, auditioning will get easier every time you do it. Just work on being the best actor you can be. Stardom usually doesn’t happen overnight. Keep your eyes on the prize! [14]

    • Continue auditioning for smaller roles, such as commercials and voice-over work, in between your Nickelodeon auditions. That way, you can continue gaining experience and building up your resume.
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    Consider auditioning for other networks. Nickelodeon is awesome, but that network isn’t the only game in town! Have your agent work on getting you auditions with the Disney Channel, ABC Family, Cartoon Network, and other young-adult networks. Acting for any of these networks would be really cool. Plus, that experience will look great on your resume if you decide to audition for Nickelodeon again in the future.