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Tony
Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia

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Hi Tony!
Most people don’t even take the time to tell a person how to reach their goal. I want to thank you for everything and for responding to my messages. Sometimes I just test people to see if they really care about my career and you do. You can continue to send me some tips on how I can accomplish my goals, because you inspire me a lot. Thank you for caring.
Jeffrey, Dallas, TX

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Hi Tony!
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada

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Hi!
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Mischa, UK

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Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress

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Tony,
I did what you said and…I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you…how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA

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This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA

Acting In Italy:
Interview with Heidi Jarratt,
Director Of Actors International

What You Need To Know About Getting into Acting In Italy

I’ve received some requests from my visitors about what it would take to be able to get into acting in Italy. I thought I would ask someone to provide the answer who gets this question regularly. Here is an ActingCareerStartUp.com exclusive interview with Heidi Jarratt, who used to be director of the Rome-based talent agency Actors International. (which has closed since this interview due to personal reasons )

Heidi what would you tell a non-native Italian person who wants to come to Italy to work as an actor?

First of all, you need to have totally valid Italian working papers of which there are two kinds.

The first kind is given to employees of companies. For example a company like IBM might send someone over to Italy from the U.S.A. to work for a couple of years. The company would help that person to get the papers he/she needs to be able to work legally in that country. Those kind of papers are valid only for working in that company and are not good for acting in Italy.

Then there is the other kind of papers that can be divided into two categories:

1) Those who are in business for themselves.
2) Those who have family members in Italy.

So what does one have to do to get those papers?

Go to the Italian consulate nearest you and find out what you have to do exactly. If you are from a country in the European Union, you can work in Italy with no problem at all.

Also there are Italian production companies that will bring actors over to Italy or hire them for specific projects. In those cases the production company will help the actor get working papers, that will be tied to the duration of the contract for that particular project. That means that those working papers will be temporary and that once the contract has ended, the actor will no longer be of legal status. So unless you are Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman or someone like that, you will have to leave the country.

If you are an exotic type, like Chinese, Indian, etc. you might have a bit more of a chance to be able to get a chance to be acting in Italy, but you will still need the papers. It’s difficult to be able to work without them, because no production company will hire anyone who doesn’t have legal working papers.

What’s the overall situation like for film and television production at the moment in Italy?

The overall situation for television production in Italy is very difficult with regard to the acting and film production industry. The roles that do come up for foreigners are usually small, specialty and character roles. They most likely won’t be big parts and they won’t pay very well. And even if you do happen to get a more important role that pays well, it probably won’t last very long.

Right now there is not much financing for film projects. Many television projects and most of the people who are acting in Italy and who get hired for them get the jobs because they know someone or because they have been helped along in their career in some way.

Anybody who wants to come to Italy to work, I would recommend that you already have a nice financial cushion or be willing to get another job to be able to pay your rent.

What would you say is the ideal profile of a person who wants to move to Italy to work as an actor?

Ideally that person would be married to an Italian or have parents or children who are Italian. Speaking English for example isn’t enough. As a matter of fact there really isn’t that much of a request for English native-speaking actors as much as there is for people who simply don’t look Italian.

Those foreigners who get hired as actors, do so because they look foreign; i.e. African, Polynesian, Asian, etc. There are currently lots of requests for people who speak Russian and other people from Eastern Europe.

What about Italo-Americans? One would think that they might have it easier finding work there.

Italo-Americans look like everyone else in a typical Italian neighborhood, so that’s not really that interesting for film producers. Whatever the case, if you are a foreigner, it’s good if you can speak at least a little Italian. They might want you for a part in which you are required to speak only English, but if you can’t communicate with your director and other people on the set, that can be a problem.

How do foreigners acting in Italy get cast?

The way the casting process here works is that if the role calls for a black African or African-American nurse, then that’s how they will cast it. They will look specifically for that type of female actor. If on the other hand the breakdown calls for a nurse, they won’t even take into consideration that it could be a person of another ethnicity. The end result will be an Italian getting the job.

How important is good acting training in Italy?

A lot of actors will come to us who have had very good acting training in good schools. They might have even had extensive theatrical experience, but the bottom line is that the last thing they look at here is your résumé. The first thing they are interested in is what you look like. If you fit the look of the character they want, then they will give you a chance to be acting in Italy.

For more information about getting into acting in Italy, go to your nearest Italian consulate.

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