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Have you ever dreamed of being a star? From the big paychecks to the adoring fans, it sounds like a pretty good gig. Whether you want to be an actor, a musician, or another type of public figure, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.

Start Building Your Network

Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? That’s especially true when you want to be a star. Your connections can be a huge asset as you get to the top.

If you don’t have a network, it’s time to start. First, identify the people who could be influential in your career. If you want to be an actor, start getting to know other actors, directors, assistants, or even acting students.

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As you look for new connections, remember that people climb the ladder. That student filmmaker at your local community college could be a big Hollywood director in a few years. Even if he isn’t, he can still provide valuable advice or help you shoot a promo reel.

The trick to networking is to build real relationships. In the beginning, don’t worry about what people can do for you — instead, figure out how you can help them. By offering value, you build trust and create strong, lasting bonds that can pay off down the road.

Find Your Unique Angle

Think about your favorite stars. Chances are, each one has something that sets them apart from the crowd. Lady Gaga has a unique fashion sense, for example, and Meryl Streep is one of the best actors of her generation. Check out www.comparilist.com for ideas.

Your goal is to figure out what makes you different from all of the other people in the industry you want to break into. Do you have a sound that no one else has? Can you adopt a unique persona? Do you look different from everyone else?

If you don’t have anything that makes you significantly different, it’s time to develop an angle. If you want to be on Broadway, you might learn to rap or become an expert at a specific dance style. You could also learn a foreign language, develop a signature fashion style, or learn acrobatics.

How does a unique angle help you become a star? First, it makes you more memorable in the industry — a crucial factor when you’re going up against hundreds of other talented hopefuls. It also makes it easier to brand and market yourself to audiences across the world.

Work on Your Craft

One of the most important parts of being a star is to work on your skills. After all, you’re not going to get anywhere if you’re not great at what you do.

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Where you start depends on your current skill level. If you’re a beginner, start by taking classes. This gives you a solid foundation that can carry you through a high-flying career. Group classes, in particular, are an affordable way to start.

Want to be an actor? Take acting classes. Is your goal to be a singer? Get into voice lessons.

If you don’t have the money to start getting training, you can do some work on your own while you build up savings. YouTube is a great resource — you can find everything from instructional videos to industry-insider tips. Whether you want to learn a new dance step or figure out how to cry on command, there’s a video for that.

Once you’re past the beginner stage, it’s time to get more focused. This is where you can really hone in on your unique angle. Look for highly specialized instruction or workshops on special acting techniques, specific singing styles, and more.

Find Performance Opportunities

You have a solid skill set, and you know how you want to brand yourself — what’s next? Now, it’s time to get out there and find opportunities to perform.

If you want to be a stage actor, audition for community theater productions. If you want to be in the movies, look for student film auditions at your local college. Other opportunities include open mic nights, stand-up comedy showcases, talent shows, and even street performances.

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At this point, don’t worry if your performances only reach a few people. That’s fine; it gives you the chance to build your skills in front of small audiences. By working out the kinks early on, you’ll be a more polished, professional performer when you get in front of bigger crowds.

What happens if you can’t find opportunities to perform in your chosen area? Thanks to the internet, you can create your own. Start a YouTube channel, build a website, and start putting your work out there.

Relocate to an Industry Center

In many industries, you can only go so far if you’re not living near a major industry hotspot. You can’t be on Broadway if you’re living in Ohio, and you probably won’t be a movie star if you’re not in Los Angeles. When you’re ready, it’s time to relocate.

There are exceptions, of course. If you want to be a YouTube star, you can do it from anywhere. The same goes if you want to be the next great novelist, or if you want to build a famous blog.

Once you move to your new city, it’s time to get your name out there. Figure out who the star-makers are in town, and find out how to get in front of them. For the movies, that means going on auditions or getting a job as a production assistant on a film set.

Get Representation

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Almost all stars have some form of representation, whether that’s an agent or a brand manager. Why? As you hit it big, there’s simply not enough time to do everything on your own. Plus, you need help to increase your net worth.

The key is finding out who you need on your team. If you’re an actor, you need an agent to negotiate better deals and get you into exclusive auditions. If you’re a blogger, you’ll want a manager to find the best sponsorships and press opportunities.

With the right team, talent, and consistent hard work, it’s entirely possible to become a star.

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