Melanie Avalon: Tips on breaking into acting
Acting has been around since circa 535 BC, ultimately evolving into what we know as the entertainment industry today. From low budget short comedy skits to big blockbuster films, it’s likely safe to say that acting is here to stay.
Even though it has arguably become increasingly easier to make a breakthrough into the world of theatre and showbiz – at least temporarily via the allure of social media – it can still seem like quite a puzzle to crack. SAG-AFTRA actress Melanie Avalon has some very useful tips to inspire others to make their dreams finally come true.
Don’t be scared to create
Many creators like Melanie have taken advantage of free tools in online platforms, in order to create their own work. From YouTube to podcasts to Instagram, these often prove valuable roads to gaining attention from industry professionals, as well as building an engaging global audience.
“Create your own content, and don’t wait on others to open the door for you! We live in such an evolving technological world of new media, that you really can put yourself out there in ways that weren’t possible in the past,” Melanie advises.
Build yourself a community
Melanie believes it is important to build friendships with people who share your common interest or passion, while the power of networking can lead to extremely valuable opportunities.
“Surround yourself with friends who share your passion!” she says. “Graduating from USC’s School of Theatre and School of Cinematic Arts was one of the best decisions of my life, and I am eternally grateful for the friendships I formed there!”
Stick to a healthy diet
Even though it might seem strange that a healthy diet is an important thing to consider for achieving your dreams, it actually makes a lot of sense. (After all, there’s likely a reason celebrities are so diet obsessed!)
As she explains, “Many people in the film industry end up doing merciless and unhealthy diets in order to be the perfect fit for a role. But it doesn’t have to be like that, and I’ve learnt through my experiences that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle and have an ‘ideal’ physique, with careful dietary choices based on real foods, that support your unique composition.”
“I also encourage careful timing of eating, known as ‘intermittent fasting,’ like I discuss weekly on my top iTunes podcast, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, with NYT best seller Gin Stephens, author of Fast Feast Repeat.”
Take those risks
Melanie was always motivated to get into acting, which is why she studied at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and Theatre, in Los Angeles. While she points out that not all circumstances are the same for everyone, she encourages that – if there is an opportunity presented – to take the risk and do it.
“You might move to a different state or even country in order to study at a theatre school, or to just try to get yourself into a wider community. Don’t be scared to leave your old life behind in order to do that.”
“I actually left high school early when I was admitted to the early entrance program at USC. I still don’t have a high school diploma – but no one has asked for it yet! Plus, I now have my double BA from USC, so I guess we’re good on that front!”
Do your research first
If it sounds too good to be true, it might just be. “There are many scammers out there that will try to overcharge you for headshots, auditions or even training programs. I’ve also witnessed my fair share of predatory “Hollywood” figures in LA, so I encourage young aspiring girls to keep a wise head on their shoulders.”
“Always conduct thorough research to make sure all of your opportunities are legitimate, and be careful before you say yes to anything. If you’re feeling pressured into something, it is likely not the route you want to go. You’ll be jumping to accept the opportunities which are appropriate for you. Don’t sell yourself short!” she cautions.
You have to be patient
“Even though overnight fame does exist, most of the time the online personas have gradually built towards their successes throughout the years, and then “suddenly” go viral. The same often goes for any type of acting roles: you may start with small ones until you land yourself a big one. Everything is a stepping stone in the journey!” Melanie advises.
Melanie strongly believes that people who want to break into this industry have to be patient, and know that their consistent work will pay off. But the SAG-AFTRA actress also points out, “Don’t say yes to any role that you’re not comfortable with. At the end of the day, it’s your choice what you want to do, and you should never feel pressured for that.”
What is Melanie Avalon up to now?
Melanie loves to constantly immerse herself in different kinds of creative projects. She currently produces two top iTunes podcasts, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast and The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, with thousands of weekly listeners, and millions of downloads.
Melanie is represented by top literary agent Celeste Fine at Park & Fine, and is the author of the book What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine (W.W. Norton, 2018), available in stores nationwide. She is also the creator of the top iTunes app, Food Sense Guide.