Nollywood is Nigeria’s movie industry and has experienced notable growth in recent times. Nollywood movies are watched everywhere in the world, and the existence of movie streaming platforms such as Netflix and YouTube have increased the popularity and success of Nollywood actors. If you are a talented actor, you can easily build a successful career in Nollywood. You will become a celebrity and you stand to enjoy many benefits such as paid acting gigs, a huge fan base and endorsement deals. In this article you will learn how to become a Nollywood Actor or Actress.
Nollywood actors such as Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Odunlade Adekola, Ini Edo, Linda Osifo, Alex Ekubo, Rita Dominic, Uche Jombo, Ramsey Noah, Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Sharon Ooja, Timini Egbuson, Mercy Aigbe, Mide Martins, Fathia Williams and a host of many other actors have all built successful careers in Nollywood. So, how can you become a Nollywood actor and share your talent with the world? Keep reading.
How to become a Nollywood Actor or Actress
Follow these steps to become a Nollywood Actor
1. Create an acting portfolio
The first step in becoming a Nollywood actor is to create an acting portfolio. Your acting portfolio should contain all relevant acting work you have done so far. This will help you when you go for auditions, decide to join a talent agency or contact filmmakers and movie producers. An acting portfolio is essential in your quest to becoming a Nollywood actor, and will help you immensely when you are trying to get acting gigs.
2. Go for auditions
If you want to be a successful Nollywood actor, you have to go for auditions. Auditions are where you can meet with actors, producers, directors, cameramen and a host of other people in Nollywood. The best part is that you get to showcase your raw acting skills in front of casting directors. If your acting skills are up to par, you can get selected to play a role in a Nollywood movie. When you attend auditions, make sure you network properly and make connections with the right people.
If you eventually do not get the role you auditioned for, a relationship built with a director or producer could get you another acting gig in the future. Making connections with other actors at auditions is very helpful. They might let you know about other auditions you could try out, and snagging the role at such auditions could be your big break in Nollywood.
3. Join a talent agency
Especially in Lagos which happens to be the city of choice for Nollywood industry veterans such as producers and film makers, there are several talent agencies for actors which you can join. The advantages you get when you join a talent agency are enormous.
A talent agency will help you secure acting jobs in Nollywood because they have the necessary industry knowledge and connections. Talent agencies tend to know about auditions before anyone else does. Joining a talent agency is an important step in becoming a Nollywood actor.
Social media in the past decade has proven to be a great tool for showcasing your acting skills as an aspiring actor. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat are social media platforms that have turned everyday people into Nollywood celebrities. The likes of Broda Shaggi and Wofaifada have managed to level their huge presence on social media to the big screen. Wofaifada is an Instagram comedian who has starred in the African Magic sitcom, Flatmates. Broda Shaggi is a funny comedian popular on Instagram and YouTube who starred in the widely acclaimed Nollywood movie, The Bling Lagosians.
If you would like to become a Nollywood actor, it is important you create a social media account especially on the most popular platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. Use the same username on all social media platforms so people can find you easily. Make sure the username is memorable and catchy. You should use your first and last or middle name preferably. Then, showcase your acting skills everyday on social media.
Film makers and movie producers are bound to notice you on social media easily if you put in the work. You can make skits with fellow aspiring actors like you. This can help you get a major acting gig in Nollywood if one of your videos goes viral on the internet. Be consistent and post everyday if possible or weekly at the very least.
5. Build a personal brand
A personal brand is very important if you want to become a Nollywood actor. Make sure you craft a personal brand that highlights your strengths as an actor. You can create a niche for yourself in the acting industry. This will help you get certain roles in Nollywood.
You can then branch out into more challenging roles later. Broda Shaggi being a comedian is often cast as a funny character in movies. You can craft your personal brand such that you are known for something. This will help your acting career greatly.
6. Reach out to film producers and film makers
Social media has made it easier to reach out to film producers and film makers in Nollywood. All you have to do is search for their social media accounts and reach out to them. They often have an email address or phone number in their bio through which you can contact them.
7. Attend acting classes
Acting classes are very important for aspiring actors in Nollywood. It is very important that you constantly hone your craft. Nollywood is a very competitive industry; therefore you have to attend acting classes to upgrade your acting skills. There are many talented aspiring Nollywood actors, and you have to keep learning if you want to become successful in Nollywood. There are many film academies founded by different Nollywood actors that offer acting classes.
Nollywood actors are becoming even more recognized in the international scene. Nigerian movies are now showcased at film festivals globally and winning several awards globally. If you become a Nollywood actor, you stand to enjoy many opportunities. Gone are the times when being a Nollywood actor was frowned upon. Becoming a Nollywood actor is fast becoming a sure path to career success and fulfillment. The National Bureau for Statistics as far back as 2004 reported that Nollywood employed over 250,000, contributing 1.4% to the GDP.