How to Become a Nigerian Actor/Actress ▷ Earn ₦2.5m Per Movie
Do you want to become a successful Nollywood actor/actress in Nigeria?
Are you aspiring to join the Nollywood movie industry in Nigeria and become a teenage, young, child or adult actor/actress?
If YES, then this article is only what you need to read today.
Nollywood is Africa’s biggest and largest 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 has increased the popularity and success of Nollywood actors.
Joining Nollywood and becoming a Nigeria movie star is something you should take seriously because acting is a job/career that comes with a lot of opportunities and benefits.
Before we get into the core of this post, I’d like to tell you to grab some coffee or tea.
This is quite a long post and if you’re really interested in starting your acting career the right way, gaining access to online Nollywood registration and audition form, contact numbers and excelling in the Nigerian movie industry this year despite the stiff competition, you’ll definitely read to the end.
Who is an Actor/Actress?
Acting is essentially the portrayal of another person or character.
An actor basically acts in a dramatic production, whether it be in film, television, theatre, or radio.
An actress is a female who acts.
What is Nollywood?
The term “Nollywood” is used in the media to refer to the Nigerian film industry, with its definition later assumed to be a portmanteau of the words “Nigeria” and “Hollywood”, the American major film hub.
Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood) Facts
- Nollywood is a very viable industry and a place where actors, screenwriters, directors, DOPs, assistant directors, costumiers, makeup hands come and succeed in various roles.
- Currently employs over 1 million people.
- Is the second largest employer in Nigeria after agriculture and the Federal Government.
- Has the second largest revenue in the world after Bollywood.
- Generates approximately $600m/annum for the Nigerian economy.
- Releases an average of 50 movies/week which show in cinemas, online and on cable.
Notable Nollywood Movies
List of some top Nollywood films in the history of Nigerian filmmaking.
- 30 Days in Atlanta
- A Mile from Home
- Curse From Beyond
- From Lagos with Love
- King of Boys
- Last Party
- Living in Bondage
- Married But Living Single
- Mirror Boy
- Most Wanted
- Nneka The Pretty Serpent
- October 1st
- Queen of the Night
- State of Emergency
- The Last Burial
- The Wedding Party
Why You Should Join Nollywood
These are reasons you join Nollywood this year.
- Joining Nollywood grants you the platform and opportunity to pursue your dreams and passion for acting.
- Becoming a Nollywood actor or actress is a good employment source, as you get paid well.
- Nollywood grants you the platform for enjoying fame, wealth, and celebrity status.
- Many actors/actresses can also get political appointments in their states or at the national level because of the popularity gained through the entertainment industry.
- As an actor/actress, you travel to amazing countries for one movie role or the other.
What’s Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN)
Actors Guild of Nigeria is an umbrella or union that represents and also regulates the affairs of the actors and actress in Nigeria.
Since August 22, 2017, AGN National Chairman/President is Emeka Rollas, after he took over from Emeka Ike.
AGN aim to assist and protect the right of their members against wicked producers and directors in Nigeria.
How Much Does Nollywood Actors and Actresses Earn in Nigeria?
Most Nollywood actors and actresses are highly paid.
As an upcoming Nollywood actor/actress, you can earn up to ₦100,000 to ₦500,000 per role/movie and if you are superb you could get about ten roles in a year, which will amount to about ₦1,000,000 to ₦5,000,000.
Already established Nollywood actors/actresses earn between ₦1 million to ₦7 million, depending on the role and the movie production budget.
Earnings are not only through acting.
Actors also earn more from endorsement and sponsorship deals, product sales, top business brands using popular faces to market their products, plus other investments.
Steps to Becoming a Successful Nollywood Actor or Actress in Nigeria
Here are the right steps to join Nollywood and become successful as an actor or actress in Nigeria.
1. Be Talented
First, to become an actor/actress or join the movie business in Nigeria, you need to recognize that you have the talent, or better still you would need others (preferably an acting coach or professional actor) to recognize that you really have the acting talent.
Acting involves doing things you were not born with, things obtainable thousands of miles away.
Sometimes, it may be to speak another language, portray a foreign culture or a rude character.
Your ability to play the roles with ease and perfection makes you talented and will ensure your longevity in the movie industry because if you are not talented you will not make it far – those with raw talent and potential for the craft of acting will always have an edge ahead of others.
When you have the talent of acting, you may not need to sleep with anyone to get roles.
In the long-run, only raw talent will sustain your acting career because you cannot buy acceptance and appreciation from the movie’s viewers.
Very good examples of talented Nollywood actors/actresses include Richard Mofe Damijo, Nkem Owoh, Kenneth Okonkwo, Patience Ozokwor and Genevieve Nnaji, who, after so many years, have not lost their shine and relevance.
2. Develop Your Acting Skill and Talent
An undeveloped skill is useless.
It’s not enough to have the raw talent.
As an aspiring movie star, you need to pick yourself up and develop the acting skill(s) you think you possess, and make efforts to gain the ones you lack.
Here are some of your features you should work on:
- Be versatile.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Good communication in English language.
- Have a beautiful/sexy body for ladies and a magnificent physique for guys. This isn’t a must. But it can give you an edge over the competition.
- Learn how to handle pressure.
You can research and join any reputable Nollywood registered talent agency, academy or acting school in Nigeria, Africa or Europe to develop your talent.
Acting schools and academies will benefit you as an actor/actress in these ways:
- It serves as an evaluation to check if you are really talented, and have what it takes to succeed in Nollywood
- You gain more training and professionalism
- You can easily see the competition firsthand and build yourself to perfection
- You can get Nollywood registration form
- You could get acting roles through them
- You get a professional certificate
- You get connected with proper coaching from professional acting coaches which will help you overcome stage fright
- You will get to learn how to memorize lines and add finesse to your acting
- You’ll get to determine what side of acting you really belong (comedy etc.)
In case you don’t want to go to acting school yet, you can always start with what is available around you.
It could be your church, school, or anywhere there is a drama role to play.
Make sure you record most of your performances.
Remember, a lot of others are working to get the same role, and that’s why you need to work harder.
Once you discover and develop your talent, you may start planning on joining Nollywood’s acting audition.
3. Create an Acting Portfolio/Movie Collection
Another excellent step in becoming a Nollywood actor is to create an acting portfolio.
Your acting portfolio or movie collection should contain all the relevant acting work you have done so far.
This will help you when you are trying to get acting gigs, going for auditions, deciding to join a talent agency or contact filmmakers and movie producers.
4. Be Willing to Travel to Big Cities
Cultivate the attitude to travel often.
This means you have to make a move to the Nigerian cities, where acting and filmmaking happen more often.
Although not every Nollywood actress and actor living in or travelling to big cities such as Lagos, Asaba, Onitsha, Kaduna, Enugu, Port Harcourt etc. end up successful, you still can’t deny the fact that being in these cities in Nigeria make it easier to get hold of the opportunities that you are looking for as movie events, audition always happen.
Before moving, ensure to have a job or business that will finance your trips.
Also, know or have someone that will guide or accommodate you on your arrival.
By so doing, you will get to meet people, link up and join the right team doing the right thing.
5. Go for Auditions
The truth is that you are not the only Nigerian who is very talented at acting.
If you don’t go out there to get your talent tested, no one will come to your house and look for you.
In order to become a well-known movie actor or actress in Nigeria, you need to push yourself beyond your comfort zone by going for auditions.
Movie roles are often advertised by movie producers.
Always be on the lookout for real movie auditions and take part in as many of them as you can.
It is an opportunity to showcase your talent and skills.
Get hold of every audition opportunity or talent hunt that comes your way.
Auditions are where you can meet with actors, producers, directors, cameramen and a host of other people in Nollywood.
When you attend auditions, make sure you network properly and make connections with the right people.
Sometimes, directors hardly conduct auditioning when they know that they have too many jobs.
What they do is to ask you to make a video for yourself and send it to them.
Do not feel so special not to act or do the video, a lot of big actors and actresses started from somewhere and now they are big shot in the industry.
If your acting skills are up to par, you can get selected to play a role in a Nollywood movie.
Also, it is very helpful to make connections with other actors/actresses at auditions, as they might alert you to other auditions you may not know about, and catching the role on such auditions could be your stepping stone in Nollywood.
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.
Nollywood Audition Tips
- Beware of fake auditions (scammers).
- Make sure you are prepared.
- Conduct mock sessions, few days or one week to an audition. Your friends or family can help in this aspect.
- Wake up early on the designated day of an audition.
- Eat well, dress well, and smell nice (keep your perfume moderate).
- Be punctual; make sure you arrive at the audition venue an hour or two before the official kickoff time.
- Keep your performance original; trying to fake-up would make you lose control. So, don’t over-do.
- Maintain your confidence and creativity.
- Approach the stage with elegance.
- Maintain a solid voice output (not too loud and not too calm), depending on your role.
- When you arrive at an audition ground, walk in boldly and with your head held high.
- Avoid feet shuffling. It can really embarrass you without you knowing it.
- Be conscious of your countenance and smile at every point.
- It’s nobody’s problem if you are feeling unwell, or not having a good day. Drop that outside the door before getting in.
- Body language and good posture should also be practiced before you arrive.
6. Create an Acting Online Monologue
An excellent step in becoming a successful actor/actress in Nigerian Nollywood is getting yourself involved with an online monologue.
This process allows you to do more of the actions yourself, where you become your own director, editor and actor/actress, just like Taaooma, SamSpedy, Lasisi Elenu, Craze Clown, etc.
While doing so, publish them on social media and pay much attention to people’s comments and reactions as they would guide you to build more confidence in a proper stage.
Top actors/actresses, movie producers and directors will also get to notice you and your works and will want to work with you (especially if you’re unique and creative).
7. Showcase Your Talent on Social Media
In recent years, social media has proven to be a great tool that has turned everyday people into Nollywood celebrities.
The likes of Lasisi Elenu, Isaac Zic Aloma, Mr. Macaroni, Broda Shaggi and Wofaifada have leveled their immense presence on social media to the big screen.
If you would like to become a Nollywood movie star, it is important you create official social media accounts, especially on popular platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat.
Film makers and movie producers are bound to notice you on social media easily if you put in the work.
Social Media Promotion Tips
- Use the same username on all social media platforms so people can find you easily.
- Make sure the username is memorable.
- You can make skits with fellow aspiring actors like you as this can help you get a major acting gig in Nollywood if one of your videos goes viral on the internet.
- Be consistent and showcase your acting skills every day on social media.
8. Build a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand is very essential if you want to become a professional Nollywood actor/actress.
Ensure you craft a personal brand that highlights your strengths as an actor/actress, as this will help you get certain roles in Nollywood.
We all know Chiwetalu Agu to be mostly a funny and corny character in Nollywood films.
Fredrick Leonard, Jim Iyke, Ken Erics Ugo are known for their lover boy vibes.
John Okafor (Mr. Ibu), Nkem Owoh, Charles Nnojie, and Charles Awurum are also known for their funny character.
This is a niche they have carved for themselves that kept them successful and relevant.
You can do so for yourself, too.
9. Network with Right People and Position Yourself Well
In the movie industry, you cannot do it all alone.
You need the help of those who have gone before you or on the same path as you are.
Social media has made it easier to reach out to actors, actresses, film producers and filmmakers in Nollywood.
You can get your networks by building relationships with serious and focused actors and actresses, people who have the same goals as you.
You can always network effectively and connect with actors and actresses on their social media platforms.
Some of them used to share tips on how to excel as an actor/actress.
You can also have to ask them questions from time to time.
Building networks in the movie industry will help you get access to important information that may not be available on mainstream media, information such as when auditions are to be held, which roles are available, and when acting jobs become available.
You will also get access to online Nollywood registration and audition form, plus a contact number.
When reaching out to them either by phone or email, do not share many pleasantries as they do not know you.
Try as much as possible to briefly introduce yourself and state your mission. If not, you might not get a reply.
Another way of building networks is by simply being talented.
When you’re unique and talented, a lot of Nollywood stars and producers would love to collaborate with you and feature you in one of their upcoming movies, as seen with Broda Shaggi, Mr. Macaroni and Zic Aloma.
Also, be careful not to fall into the hands of fraudsters wanting to dupe aspiring actors/actresses in disguise of providing help.
To build contacts and get roles, you should not put yourself in compromising situations, such as acting questionable roles because of a promise of better roles in the future.
READ ⇒ Big Brother Naija ▷ How to Apply and Audition Today
10. Attend Acting Classes
It is very important that you constantly improve your craft.
Nollywood is a very competitive industry; therefore, attend acting classes to upgrade your acting skills.
There are many talented aspiring Nollywood actors/actresses already, 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 in Nigeria.
11. Register in a Talent Agency
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 industry knowledge and connections.
Talent agencies know about auditions before anyone else does.
Joining a talent agency is an important step in becoming a Nollywood actor.
There are lots of acting agencies in Nigeria.
Make enquiries and find one to register with.
READ ⇒ Top 11 Nigerian Film School Looking for Aspiring Actors/Actresses [Apply Now]
If you become a Nollywood actor/actress, you stand to enjoy many opportunities and benefits.
Nollywood actors and actresses are becoming even more recognized in the international scene as Nigerian movies are now showcased in global film festivals and winning several awards.
You can get into Nollywood without having to be a genius first or gain many degrees.
Nollywood is open to everyone. Determination is needed to rise through the ranks.
There are cases of people starting out as production assistants, screenwriters, and costumiers who become directors, producers, and movie funders who make returns on their investments.
Although you can profit from the industry; however, you need patience.
It is not an overnight success; it might take months or years for you as an actor/actress to become successful and remain relevant in the movie industry.
Put in a lot of hard work to go up there, and when you get there, double your efforts to stay up there.
Hope you enjoyed this article?
Please share with your friends and don’t fail to comment expressing your mind concerning this article.
I wish you success.
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