Embracing Opportunities: How to Succeed as a Ugandan Actor in 2024
Happy New Year, and let’s make 2024 count, with mostly the wins to make it count, by being intentional with our moves. This is the year we stop allowing fear to steal the opportunities for growth of our career from us.
So, let’s face the new year with boldness and spear through to reach the goals we have set. Welcome to 2024.
In this article, we will be talking about how to set goals, and how to achieve them in 2024 as actors in the Ugandan Film Industry, what lies ahead for the actor, what opportunities are there for you and everything you need to look out for in 2024.
Many actors say that they never audition , reason "I didn't receive an answer on the previous audition." Dear, the NOs are part of this job, you are going to have to push beyond the feelings of rejection and you will see that the NOs can and will turn into YESs.
Being an actor in 2024 is all about commitment, resilience and diversifying your talent. Keep growing, invest in knowledge, networking, volunteering and mentorship. Take a look at your 2023 and audit it, find the areas in which you have grown, and do a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
What do you have to do in 2024 as an actor?
Before we get into what you have to do, let's share some good news you probably missed last year. Uganda Communication Commission gave a grant of over 1.5 billion Ugandan Shillings to over 14 films. Let’s say if every feature film set hires 40 people those will be 560 jobs created and that’s not all, have you seen Sanyu Series, Beloved or Damalie? These TV series hired close to 300 people in 2023 each, The jobs are there. How are you positioning yourself as an actor?
1. Set clear Goals for being an Actor in 2024.
Iyanla Vanzant wrote: “If you don’t have a vision, you’re going to be stuck in what you know. And the only thing you know is what you’ve already seen.”
That statement is valid until you take a bold move, I pray that by the end of this article, you will set SMART goals. Think about what you want, and what it will take for you to get it, then write it down. For example, I will audition 5 times this year, I will attend 3 masterclasses in line with my career. I will do 2 professional photoshoots this year or I will work on my brand to mention but a few make them specific and work towards growing your career milestones.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound
- Keep your goals realistic/relevant. Keep the goals realistic about what you can achieve, if you set out to take on 5 audition roles, this is going to require that you list down the projects that you want to work on whether short film, feature film or documentaries, reach out to the directors and express your interests. Remember NOs are part of this job , always pick up yourself and board the next bus to a YES.
- Set deadlines or targets for your goals. Targets will help you to stay in check. For example, by March I want to be done with 1 masterclass in self-tape, this will help you to look out for that training but also remind you of the effort that you are making to be better.
- Diversify your craft and goals. You might be a great actor/actres but when your heart starts to pick interest in another field in film, do it- it might be in costume design, makeup, or DOP don’t hesitate to take a chance on yourself, it's worth the try.
2. Learn from 2023. There is a saying- you can’t see the future if you don’t learn from your past. Have you had a day in 2023 when they asked for your headshots and you sent selfies because you didn’t have any professional headshots? Don’t make that mistake again, casting directors move on quickly.
Have you had a day where they asked for your monologues and you didn’t have any to share? We want to challenge you this year to learn from your past. Take a professional headshot and store the photos on a cloud where you can easily share a link. Pick a monologue from your favorite film, do it, and store it on the cloud as well for easy sharing. Make sure the mistakes you made in 2023 are lessons that push you to do better this year.
3. Take an assessment of your achievements. Recently one of the best actors Robina Akello got a role on Sanyu TV series as a maid "Alunyu" she has gone ahead to capture the hearts of many telenovela lovers that her character is becoming one of the most loved and related to she didn’t know she will be this far with the role but she has achieved it. Celebrate all your wins, small or big, they will empower you to move forward.
4. Have the boldness to acknowledge how far you've come. Last year at the second edition of Theatre and Performing Arts, Mumbejja Mariam Ndagire shared how they started at Bat Valley, how they used whatever they had to see that people came to the theater, the years of practice, showing up, the discipline of not giving up. When you ask today who are the Best Actresses we have in Uganda, Mumbejja Mariam Ndagire's name will be the 3rd if not the 1st on that list, she made that name on stage. You need to give yourself some credit, you must not lose focus on the future, and take stock of how far you have come. If you manage to achieve your 2024 goals, look back and appreciate the work you are doing. Always remember you are your biggest cheerleader.
5. Learn from the good and the bad. Remember we told you that the NOs are part of this job, but you need to make an effort and see why you are not getting the roles. Here is a tip- on the day of auditions, look out for the casting director, share your sincere desire to receive feedback and tell them it will help you to grow and also how to handle the next audition.
We have already shared some of the opportunities that are in 2024 and here is what you have to do.
Work on your professional Actor's tool - Kit: Casting profiles. CV. Showreel. Headshots. If you have been sending selfies to casting directors, 2024 is the year you brush up and level up. At Cinema UG we have an actor professional CV package starting from 150,000 Ugx. Don’t forget that you are in a competitive world, put your best foot forward and promote and brand yourself well.
Diversify: Remember how we told you to get engaged in other film fields that speak to the core of your heart, this will help you earn an extra income as a makeup artist, a costume designer or any other field you choose.
Network: There is power in networking events and we believe 2024 has a number of them loaded i.e. Ikon Awards 2024, UFF 2024, Women in Film second edition, Ngalabi Short Film Festival, Film Club Uganda that happens every Tuesday at National Theatre, try to have a purpose for every event that you attend this coming year i.e. meeting the casting director of Beloved, Damalie or Sanyu can be your target and remember always have your kit ready.
Take an acting class Ahh!! you might wonder, YES take that class, when was the last time you took a month or 3 months of serious study in your line of work? When was the last time you enrolled for an online film class? It's time this year you take back your boat of knowledge and purpose to expand your interact. The acting class will help you learn how to secure the next job but also see the acting job professionally.
Finally, but not least
6. Grow your creative community. Do you honestly have a group of accountable partners that will tell you about your mistakes? Those who will celebrate with you during your wins but also hold you when your ship feels stranded? The creative sector registers high rates of mental illness, depression, anxiety and suicide because oftentimes the journey gets lonely but will a lot of doubts and fears of how genuinely celebrate you when you win. Grow your community.
In conclusion, 2024 is going to be the year that you make it to be.
Written by Cinema UG