Ten simple strategies to succeed as an actor in 2024 – Part 1

Here are 10 simple strategies that can help you succeed as an actor in 2024 whether you are beginner or veteran


“I want to blow… bros… I want to make it big in Nollywood.”

Those were the brisk confessions of John, a young actor I met recently at a shoot in Lagos. It was the first of a six-day recording, and as filming progressed, we became friends and started to engage. John told me he graduated from school a year earlier. He had an offer for a job in the private sector, but his heart is set on the entertainment sector, in particular movies.

“I want to be a star. Bigger than Genevive, Omotola, Ramsey Noah, Jim Iyke, RMD, Ali Nuhu, and all the others. “I have everything it takes to be a big star in Nollywood.

Interesting, I thought.

He looked in the direction of the lead actor, who was struggling with his lines.

“I can act better than that, you know.”

“But all they gave me was a minor role without dialogue.” One scene with no lines! Despite my performance at the audition, “Na waa oo.”

“Is it because I don’t know a big director or producer in the industry?”

I sensed a tinge of scorn in his voice.

His voice trailed off. His attention shifted to the producer, who was locked in banter with a lady.

I broke off the exchange and told him we could chat after the shoot if he wanted. But a good start would be to deliver on the job at hand.

Hours later, after many scenes in the “Can,” the director announced:

“Cut! It’s a wrap!”

Cast members began to step away, take selfies, or discuss private matters. Some went into the production vehicle, waiting for it to move them back to their destination.

But still, a few volunteers volunteered to assist the crew with cleaning and packing.

I gazed around, looking for him. As our eyes locked, he waved back.

“I have to catch that Premier League game on TV. I am betting Ronaldo will score in this match.”

Smiling, he bounced off. That was surprising and somewhat conflicting.

My initial impression was that the guy was super motivated and would hang around so we could chat. Or at least he would grab a chance to speak one-on-one with the producer.

But in the blink of an eye, he had turned cold and disinterested. Nonetheless, his words echoed in my mind.

“Is it because I don’t know anyone in the industry?” “I bet they did a closed-door casting where they chose their friends.”

Could this be the main reason young actors find it tough to break into the industry? What does it take to achieve success in Nollywood as an actor or production talent? Are there insider secrets for breakthrough?

With these questions throbbing in the back of my mind, I decided to speak with the director of the film and a few others. I wanted to know what strategies an actor should adopt in 2024 to achieve success. I did so. The responses are fascinating and number Seven will surprise you, no doubt. It is unique to Naija!

I have boiled down the responses into seven key nuggets. Suffice it to say that these strategies apply across the board for career development. I hope that by the end of this article, you will find insights on how to make 2024 your year of breakthrough and success in Nollywood.

1. Identify your objective (set a goal to succeed as an actor)

Knowing what you want is a critical step towards achieving anything in life. The desire to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer may have inspired your choice of what to study while in school. Hence, a goal helps you focus and streamline your actions.

So what is your goal in life? What is your big dream? To build a career in acting and become a movie star in Nollywood and beyond. Contemplating these questions and finding answers can inspire you as you plot your journey. It makes decision-making a little easier.

But setting a goal is not merely common sense, it is an empirical proposition backed by science and data. According to a study by Locke and Latham, 90% of people perform better when they set relevant and challenging goals.

Furthermore, writing down the goals can speed up their accomplishment. According to Gail Matthews’ Goal Research Summary, people who write down their goals are 20% more successful in accomplishing them than those who do not.

The results of this study cemented the popular quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” It confirms that setting goals on paper makes them tangible and realistic.

You have a right to your dreams and aspirations. But it is also important to be clear about your reasons. So why do you want to be an actor? Is there an innate reason or are you following a trend amongst your peers?

If your “why” is strong enough, chances are you will have the resilience to withstand the bumps along the way. Understanding yourself, your passions, and your career aspirations is important. If acting is your big goal, good, but you must commit to it. Be proactive. Set goals, write them down, plan them, and follow them up.

Like John on the film set, acting is an intentional career choice because he left the option of a corporate job to “focus” on it.

A bold step, but that alone is not enough or a guarantee of success. Because there are other pieces of the puzzle that need to be in place to actualize his big goal.

In the words of Walt Disney, “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”

2. Master your craft and keep learning

READ ALSO: How to create an audition tape that gets you booked for the role

Have you made the decision to build a career as an actor? Good.

Furthermore, you believe you have the talent. At least your friends and inner circle say so all the time because you’ve proven your mettle to them. But how good are you at this point compared to others in the game?

As an example, in the competitive world of sports, raw talent is never enough. Mastery comes with coaching, training, and hard work. Plus, having the right mental fortitude

Good actors make their job look easy but it takes practice, training, and experience to hone the craft.

Approach your acting career like the serious endeavor that it is. Take the time to learn how to improve or upgrade your skills.

Research your role. Understand the character, his back story, idiosyncrasies, and psychological profile. Acting is a game of knowledge and skill. If you do not understand a character, you will flop while trying to make it look real. And even if your director lets it slide, the viewers will not.  To suspend disbelief, viewers want the acting to be top-notch.

Yes, the director will offer guidance. But respect and recognition come only to those who put in the effort to “kill” their roles! That is what differentiates the pros from the rest.

READ ALSO: How to Succeed in Nollywood in 2024 – Part 2

3. Attend auditions and castings

Talent is a stepping stone which can open doors, but building an acting career requires more. Tapping into and showcasing your full potential can happen. But you will have to stretch yourself to learn and improve.

A good way to do that would be to take acting classes if there are any training institutions in your city or locale. Collaboration and performance can be processes through which you develop your skills.

Suffice it to say that in-person, offline acting classes are not the only option for learning. As a matter of fact, many of the practitioners in the pre-Nollywood era emerged from a different tradition.

A good number of them were part of the traveling theaters and drama groups that performed in cities across the country in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Notable stars of that era in Western Nigeria include Hubert Ogunde, Moses (aka Lamidi Baba Sala), Duro Ladipo, etc.

These pioneers groomed others, who went on to do the same. Thus continuing the tradition of apprenticeship from one generation to another.

Suffice it to say that not all the pioneers of that period were self-taught. Filmmakers like Ola Balogun, Wole Soyinka, Halilu Akilu, and the late Francis Oladele had formal training.

Today, the opportunity to learn has expanded in great measure. There are courses for acting and filmmaking that anyone motivated can leverage. Plus, workshops and seminars are both offline and online.

This apprenticeship model continues even today, although in a different form. But that is a story for another time. “Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field.” Brian Tracy.

What are the other stratetegies?

What are the other important strategies to adopt in 2024 to achieve your goals in Nollywood? Check out Part 2 of this article.

Are you a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria? Find out why you should be a member in Part 2. You cannot afford to ignore strategy number seven. Check it out in Part 2 of this article.

Remember, your talent is only a stepping stone. You have to work hard and work smart. At Wakacast, we are committed to empowering talents and actors in particular. Our goal is to add value to the industry.

We connect talents and content creators. Helping you to follow your creative passion and actualize your goals. That is our mission. Do you want to stay up-to-date about current and upcoming productions in the industry be it in Nollywood, for projects for radio, TV, or the web? Join Wakacast today.

Sign up for our free Newsletter and follow on social media as well, so you can get up-to-date- information and production activities in Nollywood. The future of production, casting, and auditioning is online. Do not be left behind. Share this article with your friends and empower them in the new year.

What point above resonates more with you? What do you think you need to work on? Let us engage on all fronts. You can connect with us on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

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