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5 Easy Ways to Get Discovered

It’s what you’ve always wanted. The only thing keeping you from mega-super-stardom is the fact that you need to be discovered. If only you were plucked from obscurity, pulled up from the gutter, and presented to industry insiders, you would be a star. And it happens—we can all cite an example of it. And it can happen to you, too!

1. Have charisma, emotional depth, and five years training (minimum).

Said another way, be talented. Talent is what gets you noticed and talent is the result of natural ability and consistent training. If you have personality, a deep emotional life, and are training like an Olympic athlete for at least five years if not ten, discovery happens. Magic? Hardly.

2. Look exactly how they want, when they want it.

It’s a visual medium, so another way to get discovered at the grocery store is by looking exactly like the precise personification of the image that the decision-maker has in her head at the precise moment when she has that image and story in her head. And don’t think plastic surgery (or botox) will help you. They’ll know you’ve had work done and that you’re not the real thing. Going to the gym gets you closer to the image but not all the way. No, this sort of discovery only happens with the combination of your parent’s DNA results in bone structure and muscle formation that matches a thought in a writer or director’s mind.

Alternatively, being the best version of you- uniquely you- is what breaks the mold. You are not a type or a brand. You are uniquely YOU. That’s your currency.

3. Be respected by agents, managers and casting directors.

Another sure-fire way to get discovered is to have a whole bunch of people in the industry know and respect your work… If after being consistently really good in your auditions, 99 seat-house stage performances, supporting TV and movie roles, web series, shorts, etc, for a number of years, word gets around and you’ll be discovered.

4. Go where discovery happens.

If you want the important people to find you, you’re going to have to put yourself in their field of vision. They’re more likely to be in L.A. or New York but these days you can do extraordinary work in Atlanta, Chicago, Vancouver, Sydney, etc, to be seen. Beyond that, these important decision-makers go to plays you could be in, they use social media where a funny video you were in might get posted, they sit in on acting classes you might be taking, they see you in workshops, shorts, student films, etc. Make it easy for them. Get in front of them. Do exceptional work and put it out there.

5. Don’t focus on discovery.

Perhaps the easiest way to get discovered is to lose interest in discovery because you’re so profoundly in love with the art of acting, doing it for its own sake. When you lose yourself in it, focus on each glorious moment as opposed to the end game, and do the work of falling in love with acting, discovery comes.

“Discovery” as you know it is a myth. Being a successful actor (artistically and financially) is nothing like winning the lottery. It’s almost never about being discovered on the street or at a party. And it’s not about suddenly emerging on a hit TV show or film; most of the actors who are “discovered” in their 30s or 40s have been at it steadily for some time—Octavia Spencer, Melissa Leo, Jon Hamm, Sam Jackson, Jane Lynch, Melissa McCarthy, Bryan Cranston, David Harbour, Viola Davis, to name a few. Being a successful actor is about being in love with acting and committing yourself to being an actor because you love it and because acting is important. Focus on that, drown yourself in the work, and the business will come to you.


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