how to make an acting reel with no experience

How To Make an Acting Reel with No Experience | 7 Simple Steps

If you’re just starting your acting career, there are a few tools you need to have to get your first audition. You will need headshots, a resume, casting profiles, a website, and a demo reel. Most of these items you can create in a few days, but the last one, your demo reel, can be tricky, particularly for new actors. Let’s take a look at how to make an acting reel with no experience.

Making an acting reel can seem daunting, especially if you have little or no prior experience in the industry. However, creating an acting reel is essential for showcasing your talent and pitching yourself to casting directors, producers, and/or representatives, all in service of securing auditions and getting you on your way to booking.

Still, if you’re in the beginning stages of your acting career, you may be wondering, “How do I put an acting reel together? What if I have nothing to put on an acting demo reel? How do I edit my acting reel? What do I do with my reel when it’s complete?” All fair questions, and all questions we will answer here.

7 Steps on How to Make an Acting Reel with No Experience

  1. Gather your materials
  2. Keep it short and sweet
  3. Choose your best work
  4. Edit your footage
  5. Get feedback
  6. Share your reel
  7. Update your reel

Sounds simple enough? Sweet! Before we look at the steps on how to make an acting reel with no experience, first we need to understand the purpose of an acting reel.

Understanding the purpose of an acting reel

What is an actor demo reel?

An actor’s demo reel, or showreel, is a compilation of your best work that showcases your talent, range, and abilities as an actor. It is essentially a visual resume that casting directors, agents, and managers use to evaluate your skills and determine whether you are a good fit for a project.

If you are just starting out, you may be wondering how to make an acting reel with no experience. Maybe you have no experience on screen, or maybe you have no experience with video editing.

Don’t worry! We got you!

The good news for you is that there are plenty of ways to get great footage you need to create and edit a polished, professional demo reel on your own.

Now let’s take a look at the steps you can take to create an acting reel that will get you noticed by casting directors, representatives, and other casting professionals.

Gather your materials

First things first, you need to get a digital file of every piece of footage out there of you on screen as a principal actor. Background acting and extra work won’t cut it here. We need to see you act.

Ideally, you have been diligent about requesting footage from any films, commercials, or other media projects you have worked on. If not, now’s the time to pick up the phone or write an email to the producer and request that material.

In my experience, producers will hand over that footage (especially if you worked for free) but you usually need to be persistent about getting a hold of it after the project is wrapped.

What if I don’t have any acting materials for my demo reel?

If you don’t have any prior experience, don’t worry! If you have taken acting classes, been in school/community performances, or performed improv, you can use footage from all those performances.

If you haven’t done any of these, or maybe you don’t have footage from them, you can use clips from self-tapes. If you don’t have any self-tapes to use, make some! Over at Actor’s Access, they have a whole bank of pats audition material. Find one that highlights your strengths and make your own self-tape with your smartphone.

Many actors add self-tape material to their acting reels, even ones who do have other material on their demo reel, for lots of reasons. Maybe they haven’t booked in a while, maybe their past material doesn’t showcase their best work, or maybe they just have a new haircut. All to say, there’s no reason to not have material for your acting reel.

Keep it short and sweet

“Always leave them wanting more.” It’s one of the oldest sayings in show business, and for good reason. And you should be applying it to your demo reel.

Here are the 5 Best Cameras for Actors in 2023

You want to showcase your best work, but also keep it concise. You don’t whoever is watching it to be bored. Keep the entire thing under 2 minutes.

Choose your best work

A lot of new actors putting feel the need to insert every scene from every short film, or every second of every self-tape, they’ve ever done. Pick 15-20 seconds from each work, and then on to the next. Remember, leave ‘em wanting more.

If you have multiple scenes from a single work, choose the ones that feature your strengths as an actor. It’s better to have fewer high-quality scenes than several mediocre ones.

Lastly, put your strongest clips at the beginning of your reel. As much as we would love to believe everyone who watches your acting reel will watch the entire thing, it’s unfortunately not always the case. In the event that a Casting Director or producer only watches the first 30 seconds of your showreel, let’s make them count.

Edit your footage

Once you have digital files of your footage, it’s time to edit your acting reel. Import all your materials into video editing software. You can use premium software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut. You don’t have to pay for fancy programs, though—stock editing software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker will get the job done just fine.

edit your acting reel with no experience

If you don’t have any of these programs, you can utilize free open-source options like Open Shot. Whatever your budget, there is an option out there for you.

If you have no experience using editing software, search Youtube for How To guides for whichever program you are running. Guaranteed you can find a video that explains simply and directly how to import, arrange, edit and export your reel. Like this one here:

Checklist for editing your acting reel:

  1. Less is more – Keep it under 2 minutes total, under 20 seconds per clip.
  2. We want to see you! – Make sure you are the first face we see on the reel, and you get the most screen time.
  3. Transitions – Don’t need them. This isn’t your soccer highlight video.
  4. Title cards – For each clip, add the name of the project, and character name in a simple font, placed in the bottom right corner.
  5. Contact Info – Create two versions of your reel. One with an intro title card with your contact info and one without. The one without titles you will use on casting websites like Backstage, Casting Networks, Actor’s Access, Casting Frontier, etc. The other you will use for all other purposes, like your website, IMDb page, and social media.

Get feedback

Once you’ve cut together your first acting reel, send it to acting teachers, coaches, directors, other actors, industry professionals, etc. You want to make sure that whoever watches knows what kind of actor you are and does not get bored.

If you have an agent or a manager, you should also send them your demo reel right away to make sure it matches the roles you are being pitched for.

Another way to get feedback is to schedule a consult with a casting director. Lots of casting directors offer workshops, seminars, and/or 1:1 meetings for actors, and this is a great opportunity to get professional feedback on all your materials, especially your demo reel. Be aware, however, that CDs usually charge for these meetings, so make sure to research these rates before booking a session.

My advice is to get an IMDB Pro and/or account and research casting directors of the shows you would like to get cast on, visit their website or social media, and inquire about scheduling these meetings.

Share your reel

At this point, you have a kick-ass demo reel that’s under 2 minutes and showcases your strength as an actor. Now is the time to get it out into the world.

First upload to all your casting website profiles: Backstage, Casting Networks, Actors Access, Casting Frontier, and any other sites you use in your region or market. Also, upload or embed it onto your website and IMDB Pro if you have one (which you absolutely should).

Putting together your acting website? Here are the 5 Best Website Builders for Actors

There’s no harm in sharing your acting reel on your social media, either! Although it’s unlikely that some producer or agent at CAA is going to stumble onto your demo reel on Instagram and sign you on the spot, it’s always a good idea to have as many samples of you on screen as possible.

Update your reel

Your acting reel is a living, breathing document. You should be constantly updating your reel as you acquire newer, better footage. This might sound obvious, but you will, of course, need to upload your new reels to the appropriate casting websites or profile pages.

I won’t lie to you, this can be a tedious and sometimes expensive process (some casting websites charge you for each media upload—it’s lame, it sucks, I know, but that’s the way it is).

Once you have representation, or if you already have representation, always let them know as soon as you get new footage or update your reel.


Now you should know how to make an acting reel with no experience. Creating your first acting reel can be a daunting task, but it does not have to be. For most actors, the biggest pain points are #1) simply not having materials to put onto a demo reel, and #2) editing the reel.

As we learned, there are several ways to gather and create materials suitable for a demo reel even if you have no bookings to your name. The editing process can feel overwhelming, but there are plenty of How To videos on the internet that break this process down into simple, easy-to-understand terms.

A professional demo reel is one of the most powerful tools for beginning actors who are marketing themselves and trying to break into the acting industry. Even if you have no experience, it’s crucial that you have an acting showreel for your casting profiles so casting directors to know what kind of actor you are.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to having an acting reel and you can get those auditions rolling.

best website builder for actors

The Best Website Builder for Actors in 2023: Top 5 Website Builders for Actors

As an actor in 2023, having a website is essential to establishing (or adding to) your online presence and showcasing your work to potential casting directors, producers, agents, and/or managers. So what is the best website builder for actors in 2023?

Best Website Builder for Actors

A simple, well-designed website can provide a professional platform for networking and promoting your brand as an actor. Remember, as an actor, you are running your own business – the business of yourself!

And just like any business, there are certain pieces you need to have in place to grow. Think of your website as just another one of those pieces.

But I don’t a thing about building websites! I don’t even know where to begin.

Don’t worry, we got you! If you do not possess the technical skills or resources to create a website from scratch, you are not alone.

When I first entered the acting profession and realized I needed to assemble my own website, I had absolutely no skills, experience, or interest, in web design.

Fortunately for me (and you), there are some super handy, easy-to-use website builders out there that make building a website for an actor a super simple process. They offer an easy and affordable way to create professional-looking websites for actors without the need for coding or design expertise.

List of Best Website Builders for Actors in 2023

In this article, we will explore the best website builder for actors and how to choose the right one for your needs.

  1. Wix
  2. Squarespace
  3. WordPress
  4. Weebly
  5. Format

Boom. So now you have my favorite top 5 website builders for actors in 2023.

You may have heard of some, or maybe even all of these. If you have not heard of any of them, read on to find out the specific benefits of each of these services (and a bonus solution at the end!)


Wix is a popular website builder that offers a wide range of templates and designs that are perfect for actors and many other artists as well. I used Wix to create my first actor website and absolutely loved the result, which is why I still use them today. It features a drag-and-drop interface which allows you to customize your website easily. The platform is perfect for beginners with no prior experience with web design.

With Wix, you can showcase your acting reel, headshots, resume, and any other relevant content, such as your IMDB profile, social media, and representation contact information.

You can also add a blog to your website to share your experiences as an actor, insights, and career news. Wix offers a free plan with limited features, but you can upgrade to a premium plan to access more advanced features.


If you’ve listened to a podcast in the last 10 years, you’ve probably heard an advertisement for Squarespace. Squarespace is a website builder that offers a range of visually stunning templates that are perfect for building your actor website.

best website builder for actors squarespace

The platform offers a variety of customization options, including the ability to add custom CSS and JavaScript code for those that have some coding experience and would like to have more control over their website construction.

Squarespace also provides a handy e-commerce feature, which is useful if you sell merchandise or services related to your acting career. And, hey, who doesn’t like a little side money?

With Squarespace, you can add a gallery of your work, such as photos, videos, and audio files. Squarespace offers a free 14-day trial, and you can choose from various premium plans that come with more advanced features.


WordPress might be the most popular website builder on the market and is perfect for actors who want more control over their website’s design and functionality. WordPress offers thousands (if not tens of thousands) of themes, which you can use to customize your website’s features and appearance.

wordpress website for actors

Personally, I am a big fan of WordPress’s functionality which is why built the ActorMate website on WordPress.

Word to the wise, WordPress is a bit more complex than the other website builders on this list, though it is still accessible to beginners. If you enjoy getting into the nitty gritty of web design without necessarily possessing coding experience, then I would recommend WordPress. Though the interface may seem a bit overwhelming at first, once you get the hang of it, it is quite straightforward and allows you ultimate creative control.

I would recommend watching some videos on basic WordPress design if you have never used the site before.

With WordPress, you can also add a blog to your site, an excellent way to engage with your audience and showcase your personality as an actor. While WordPress is free to use, you will need to purchase web hosting and a domain name.


Weebly is a popular website builder that provides a wide range of benefits and features for actors looking to build a professional website. One of the primary benefits of Weebly is its ease of use, making it an ideal option for those with very little to no web design experience.

Like Wix, Weebly possesses a drag-and-drop interface where users can easily create a custom website that highlights their talent and experience. On top of that, Weebly offers a variety of professional-looking templates that are fully customizable, allowing you to create a website that represents your personal brand.

Another benefit of Weebly is its affordable pricing. Weebly offers a free plan, which includes a Weebly subdomain and limited features, and paid plans, which offer more advanced features such as a custom domain, expanded storage, and the ability to sell products or services directly through the website.

Due to its affordability, Weebly is an excellent option for actors who are just starting out and might not have a huge budget to invest in a fully tricked-out website. Overall, Weebly provides an easy-to-use and affordable option for actors looking to create a professional website on a tighter budget.


Format is a website builder designed specifically for creative professionals, including actors. Like many of the other website builders on this list, Format provides a user-friendly interface where you can easily create and customize your website without any coding experience.

Format provides a wide range of ready-made templates, all of which are super responsive and look great on desktop and mobile platforms alike.

One of the standout features of Format is its video hosting and large format file sharing service, which makes it a great option for actors to share high-quality versions of their marketing materials like headshots, demo reels, or even full versions of short films to your network.

Format also offers advanced analytics tools to help you track your website’s performance, including information on your visitors’ location, demographics, and more. With Format you can create a professional and engaging website that showcases your acting skills and helps you stand out in a highly competitive industry.

**BONUS**: Hire a freelancer on Fiverr

If you just don’t have the time, or the interest, in building your actor website on your own, consider hiring a professional on freelancer marketplaces like Fiverr. You can use Fiverr to search a vast network of professional website builders, look at their past work and reviews, and consult with them about your project.

This will likely cost you more than it would if you went it on your own, but you can have peace of mind that your site is being built by a professional that you have vetted, allowing you to focus on what you do best – acting!

How to Decide Which Website Builder is Best for You

When deciding which website builder is best for your acting website, there are a few things to consider:

  • Ease of Use: Choose a website builder that is both easy to use and easy to navigate. As an actor, you might not have a deep background in website design, so choose a platform that makes it easy to create a professional website without a steep learning curve.
  • Customization: Your actor website, like the rest of your acting materials, should reflect your unique style and personality, and you want the ability to customize your site to your specific needs.
  • Features: You want your actor website to do more than just showcase your headshots and resume (although it should definitely do this too). Look for a website builder that offers the ability to create a blog, integrate social media, and add video content.
  • Cost: Building a website can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you research the range of plans each website builder offers and find one that offers you all the features you need and fits your budget.


There you go. You have 5 (or 6) legit website-building solutions for your actor website. When deciding which website builder to go with, it’s important to remember not to overthink things. Your website should be clean, look professional, and provide anyone looking at your site an accurate representation of your brand as an actor.

The website builder market has gotten so user-friendly in recent years, that you could get a great-looking actor website up and running in a single day. Get it out of the way, and you are one step closer to having the acting career you want. Now get out and get building!

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best microphone for voice acting

The Best Microphone for Voice Acting | Top 7 Mics for Voice Actors

I’ve gotten a lot of requests for this one, so let’s get into it. Today we’re going to cover the best microphone for voice acting.

The demand for voice actors is on the rise. If you’ve ever thought about a career (or a side hustle) in voice acting there has never been a better time than right now. The other good news is you can get your piece of the pie right from your home.

Covid-19 drove a truck through the way the acting industry did business, and voice acting was no exception. Without access to studios, the industry was forced to go remote for most of their projects, and that trend does not seem to be going away.

Add onto that the development of audio-visual communication tools, production companies and ad agencies are hiring freelance voice artists who can work from home. This is the new normal.

For this reason, the number of voice actors with home studios has dramatically increased since 2019. This means, many actors who did not have access to voiceover jobs prior to the pandemic, now can make a career for themselves.

Thinking about getting into voice acting? Check out our guide on How Much Voice Actors Make.

The most important piece of any at-home recording studio for a voice artist is obviously the microphone. If you want to have a career in voice acting, it is important (some would say non-negotiable) to invest in a good microphone to keep your work on par with the rest of the industry.

What is the best microphone for voice acting?

There are plenty of microphones on the market, and many will get the job done. But there are a lot of posers out there too. It’s important to know the difference, especially when considering an investment in your career.

Let’s take a look at the top 7 microphones for voice acting:

  1. Rode NT1-A
  2. Audio-Technica AT4053b
  3. Neumann TLM 102
  4. AKG Pro Audio C414
  5. Shure MV7
  6. Sennheiser MK8
  7. Blue Yeti

These are my favorites, and any one of these will get you on your way to creating great voice-over tracks. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these mics to see which one is best for you.

Rode NT1-A

The Rode NT1-A is a very popular choice for voice actors due to its exceptional sound quality and its affordability.

This condenser microphone has a large diaphragm and a cardioid polar pattern, which is a highly technical way of saying it captures clear and detailed sound while minimizing background noise. This is particularly useful for those recording at home who might not have soundproofed walls and must deal with planes flying over, dogs barking, or trash trucks driving by.

The Rode NT1-A is known for its low self-noise, which means it produces very little background noise when recording. This is helpful for voice actors on theatrical projects or video games who need to capture subtle voice changes for their performances.

The NT1-A comes with a shock mount and a pop filter, which reduces plosives and unwanted vibrations to ensure your recordings are clear and free of distortion.

Audio-Technica AT4053b

The Audio-Technica AT4053b is a highly versatile microphone that is commonly used for voice acting, but it can also be used for podcasting and music recording.

It features a hyper-cardioid polar pattern, which helps capture sound from a specific direction while reducing background distraction.

The Audio-Technica AT4053b is probably best known for its modular design. This means that you can easily swap out different components of the mic to suit your recording needs. As an example, you can use your microphone with or without a windscreen, depending on whether you are recording in a noisy environment. So, if your dog is barking for her lunch, you can finish that take before putting food in the bowl.

The microphone also has a wide frequency response, which helps capture the full range of your voice. Lower-quality microphones with lower frequency responses can muffle your voice and makes it sound like you’re calling into a radio program. Not ideal.

Neumann TLM 102

The Neumann TLM 102 is a high-end condenser microphone that is often used for voice-over work.

The Neumann TLM 102 has a sleek and modern design, which makes it perfect for any actor’s home studio. It is built to last with rugged construction that can endure lots of use so you can rest assured that your investment will pay off for years to come.

The microphone features many of the qualities of the other microphones on this list: cardioid polar pattern, wide frequency response, and high SPL handling, which means it can record at high levels without distorting.

The TLM 102 is a little pricey, although it is more moderately priced than other mics in Neumann’s lineup of microphones, it is probably the best microphone on this list.

AKG Pro Audio C414

best microphone for voiceover

One of the most reliable microphones on the market, the AKG Pro Audio C414 is a great microphone for any voice actor or podcaster. Often called an “industry standard,” the AKG Pro Audio C414 has been one of the most popular condenser microphones for both live and recording applications.

Rated a 9 out of 10 by Gear Space, it is a fantastic, natural-sounding mic and is a perfect addition to any home studio.

It’s hugely versatile, with a front-panel switch that can move between five different polar patterns, which means you can record your voiceovers one day and your guitar riffs the next.

Shure MV7

The Shure MV7 is a favorite of podcasters around the world and the one I currently use for all my voiceover and voice-acting jobs. It’s a highly reliable microphone at a fair price point manufactured by one of the microphone industry’s flagship companies.

shure mv7 best voiceover microphone acto

The MV7 comes with a pop filter and a windscreen, reducing plosives and wind noise for when you are recording in less-than-ideal circumstances. It also has a switchable bass roll-off and mid-range boost, which allows you to customize your recording settings to suit your voice and recording environment.

This is especially useful if you don’t have a ton of experience or comfort in sound engineering. You can easily adjust your input settings directly from the microphone.

Sennheiser MK8

Called a “pro-sumer” microphone, the Sennheiser MK8 is a perfect blend between the price point desired by consumers and the quality expected by industry professionals. It’s a great option for a mid-level microphone for voice actors.

It’s versatile, clean, and easy to use, and stacks up nicely when compared to more professional-grade microphones.

There is also an MK4 available, which is basically the lite version of the MK8, which offers many of the same features at half the price. If you’re on a tighter budget and only plan on using your microphone for voice recording, but still want a high-performance microphone for your voice acting auditions and voiceover work, the MK4 may be the option for you.

Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti Microphone is a USB microphone that is used very often for voice-over work.

Why I love the Blue Yeti is its ease of use, which is obviously very helpful for beginning voice actors. The microphone is very easy to set up and use, and connects directly to your computer via USB, unlike many of the XLR microphones on this list.

It also has a built-in headphone jack allowing you to monitor your recordings in real-time.

The Yeti also has a sleek and modern design, which makes it a great addition to any voice actor’s home recording studio. It’s a very affordable option for voice actors in the beginning stages of their voice-acting career, without sacrificing quality.

In Summary

Choosing the right microphone for your voice acting career is crucial for achieving high-quality recordings, which you will need if you want to make a name for yourself in the voice acting industry.

The 7 microphones listed above are some of the best on the market, and some of my personal favorites, taking into account quality, durability, and price.

Ultimately, you will need to do your own research and select the right microphone that fits your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to test out different microphones to find the one that fits your voice and recording environment.

Thinking about getting into voice acting? Check out our guide on How Much Voice Actors Make.

Investing in a quality microphone is a worthwhile investment for any actor looking to get into voice acting or reach that next step in their career. With the increase of voice actors entering the industry, you will need to maintain a level of reliability and professionalism in your recordings, and finding the best microphone for your voice acting is the best way to do that.

If you have any questions about any of the microphones, shoot me a message here or leave a comment below!