Making it in Hollywood, especially if you have moved here from another state or country, is hard work. If you are pursuing acting as a career, headshots are a must.

Make sure you at least get two looks, theatrical and commercial. Theatrical being the more serious look, and commercial shows off your smile, which is what commercial and casting agents want to see.

Headshots can seem expensive at first glance, and pricewise they are, but shop around. A deal is not hard to find, especially in this economy. Legitimate photographers who have shot many stars can be snagged at a reasonable price.

Go for a package, one that includes a CD of all of your images, and two to four looks. Some photographers are even offering payment plans, which can only benefit the struggling actor. I recommend Paul Gregory (, who has reasonable pricing and a great portfolio.

With headshots done and printed, it’s time to now sign up for a commercial class before submitting to agencies. You want proof on your resume that you are familiar with being in front of the camera and that you have been properly trained to do so.

You want to submit for commercial representation before theatrical. You need the in front of camera experience to get you into theatrical representation. I’m not saying don’t submit yourself for theatrical representation, but it is wise to go for commercial first.

I recommend going to Samuel French (7623 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; 11963 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; and picking up their “Agencies” book, which lists all the agencies in Los Angeles. Go through them, and see what agencies are accepting new talent and which accept drop-offs. This will save you from purchasing more stamps and allow you some face time.

After making your choices, it is time to make the cover letters and address them to each agency. Once this is done, make sure your resume is attached to your headshot, and cover letters for each agency are placed in envelopes to be mailed or dropped off, preferably with a clear plastic window for viewing your headshot.

Remember, acting is like a muscle, and it needs exercise to stay in shape. Try to get involved in as much theater or as many acting workshops as possible. Check their accreditation first; don’t waste time on classes or theater groups that don’t provide any sort of instruction and/or actual work. I recommend Larry Moss Studio (2437 Main St., Santa Monica;, Santa Monica Playhouse (1211 4th Street, Santa Monica; and Beverly Hills Playhouse (254 S. Roberston Blvd., Beverly Hills; for honing your craft.

With some classes under your belt, start building up that resume by auditioning for roles. Take commercial classes for that extra push to get the attention of various agencies. Get exposure and get involved.

Remember, it is going to take hard work and sacrifices are going to have to be made, as is true with any dream. Keep up the ambition and drive, and make it happen.