Actors Casting Agency’s Mark Landon Smith shares some tips on how to land a role.

When you watch beautiful starlets and chiseled actors on the big screen do you find yourself imagining what it would be like if you were a lead in a movie? If you decide to pursue that dream and start looking for opportunities to audition, it’s important to remember there’s plenty of work that happens behind the scenes before an actor can land that coveted lead role.

Actors Casting Agency is an Arkansas-based agency that represents actors for film, television commercials and series. The organization’s mission is “to empower actors and to empower clients in creating thoughtful and exciting projects in a safe, encouraging and diverse environment.” Mark Landon Smith is the founder and casting director of ACA and he shared a couple of tips for how to prepare for and land a role in a project.

Follow the guidelines the casting agency sends out for submissions.

“A lot of casting is time sensitive, like we need someone within the next two hours and those who respond quickly and follow the instructions have a much better chance of being in a project.”

Have a good headshot that represents who you are today.

“That’s our first introduction to an actor and the headshot needs to look like the actor looks right now not 10 years ago and not photoshopped or anything. We need to know exactly what you look like.”

Only give us what we ask for.

“If we just ask for a headshot and a résumé, just give us that. Don’t send us your reels, don’t send us 14 headshots, don’t send us all your links to all your stuff. We won’t look at it. If we want it, we’ll ask for it.”

Know what you’re ready for and know what you ask for.

“A lot of people say I want to be a lead in a movie and they have absolutely no idea what it takes to be a lead in a movie. It’s huge amounts of work and huge amounts of pressure … I think it’s important for actors to not get too ahead of themselves before they’re ready for it because it’s much more effective and gives you much more confidence to be successful in supporting roles than be unsuccessful in leading roles.”