How to Become a Nollywood Actor or Actress in Nigeria

Nollywood is Nigeria’s most lucrative industry. Not only has the Nigerian movie industry outperformed Africa’s track record, but it has also gone global, ranking as the world’s third most successful industry.

With all of the glitz and glamour that the industry exudes, it’s no surprise that many young people want to be a part of it in some way.

There are only two guaranteed ways to break into the industry;

  • To be extremely talented
  • Have strong connections.

It is no secret that many people get exploited in their quest to make it in the industry. There are a lot of wolves out there looking for naive people to devour.

When you choose to follow this path to fame, you must exercise extreme caution, especially in the early stages.

The Nollywood industry is not without its challenges. But the competition is fierce, and no matter how talented you are, if you do not have a solid strategy, you are very likely to be relegated to the background.

Every successful actor or actress on the big screen today has an untold backstory.

Only 10% of them were fortunate enough to strike it big on their first try. The rest experienced setbacks, rejections, and disappointment.

And, if you want to be as successful as they are, you should brace yourself for your fair share.

How to Become a Nollywood Actor or Actress in Nigeria

man and woman looking at a laptop

Thousands of people who could have made it big in the industry but didn’t have the right connections or followed the proper procedures have faded into obscurity.

If you believe you have what it takes to be Nollywood’s next big thing, you must be willing to take on a lot of challenges, seize opportunities, and do whatever is legally possible to make that dream a reality.

The following are the steps to take to achieve your Nollywood goal:

  • Register for Auditions
  • Be Talented
  • Attend Acting Classes
  • Make Online Skits
  • Sign Up with an Agency
  • Join The Actors Guide of Nigeria (AGN)
  • Network with Directors and Producers
  • Be Adaptable
  • Maintain Consistency
  • Volunteer

Register for Auditions

A student with a laptop

Attending auditions allows you to showcase your talent to the right audience.

These auditions are sometimes attended by industry heavyweights, and if you prove yourself to be an exceptional actress, you stand a chance of being cast.

Always keep your ears to the ground because there’s always an audition going on somewhere. Attend as many as you can until you find one that provides you with your big hit.

You will not be able to make it from the comfort of your room. Go out there and show the world what you’re made of.

Some auditions are held in person, while others are held online. In any case, never pass up an opportunity to showcase your talent.

Be Talented

a woman performing at a Lagos concert

It is your talent that will propel you to the top and keep you there.

When you have a unique talent, you are unlikely to fall victim to movie directors or producers looking for someone to exploit.

If you lack acting talent, you have no place in the film industry. The good news about talent is that it can be acquired and developed through consistent practice and hard work, even if you aren’t born with it.

Attend Acting Classes

A group of students taking pictures

Attending acting classes is a great way to improve your acting abilities.

Natural talent, on the other hand, is unrivalled. Raw talent is exceptional, and it keeps you ahead of the competition.

Make Online Skits

a woman in black tank top

Social media is the most effective way to market yourself. Make yourself available on all of Nigeria’s popular platforms, such as; Facebook

  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Tiktok, among others.

You can work with another aspiring actor to create videos and maintain a consistent online presence. If your content is exceptionally engaging, it will almost certainly go viral, Thus, granting you much-needed recognition.

Sign Up with an Agency

student

You can join several talent agencies to put yourself in front of opportunities.

Freelancing may not be a good fit for you as an aspiring actor or actress. You’d need to identify with a body to have some sort of backup.

Movie directors and producers may approach the heads of these agencies to recommend someone for a role. Now, if you have consistently demonstrated your worth and talent during your stay in the agency, you will undoubtedly be on the recommended list.

Join The Actors Guide of Nigeria (AGN)

Nigerian woman talking

The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) is the governing body of the Nigerian film industry. Its primary goal is to safeguard the rights of all actors and actresses.

Joining this organisation is a sure way to get noticed. Because you are in constant contact with the industry’s real deal, you can seize the opportunity to make connections that will propel your career.

In addition, the AGN is the proper body to report any form of exploitation or molestation.

The AGN frowns vehemently on this, and anyone found to be in default in this area will face severe consequences.

The registration fee to join the Actors Guide of Nigeria (AGN) is ₦18,500 as of the time of writing.

Network with Directors and Producers

UBA Foundation Essay Competition

As previously stated, one of the two guaranteed mediums for entering the industry is connections.

Do everything you can to get the right connection; it will be well worth it.

You can use social media to follow an actor, producer, or director you admire. Engage in anything they post on their platform.

If you are a woman, you have a better chance of being recognized.

It is no secret that many ladies are eager to give up their bodies in exchange for the industry’s popularity. Even after “using what they had to acquire what they wanted,” these desperate ladies are sometimes abandoned.

Be Adaptable

Nigerian man dancing

When you have a raw skill, adaptability comes effortlessly to you.

You should broaden your skillset and not limit yourself to a single niche, as this would be a limitation.

Make yourself available whenever it is required. It would be unwise for an aspiring actor or actress to turn down any role, no matter how tiny. Who knows, maybe this minor role will propel you to greater heights.

Almost all of the famous names you hear today began with minor roles, some even as extras, but since they put all of their talents into these roles, they were able to advance to the next league.

Maintain Consistency

student smiling

“If you linger around the barbershop long enough, you’ll receive a free haircut,” as the adage goes.

The key to success is consistency. It includes perseverance in the face of rejection and turning up for auditions even if you don’t ‘look the part.’

If you are truly dedicated to your acting career, you should take advantage of every opportunity to study and improve your abilities.

Volunteer

Nigerian hair stylist

Volunteer to help on set if at all possible so that you can gain as much experience as possible.

Continue to push; the more setbacks you face, the more determined you should become.

Tips for Nollywood Film Audition

Woman sitting on the bed holding her phone
  • Make an Excellent First Impression
  • Be in Character
  • Be Self-Assured
  • Be On Time

Even if the position is only for one individual, you won’t be the only one at the audition. There could be other auditioners there with more talent than you.

Regardless, the following are some precautions you should take to ensure that you are the one called back for the role:

Make an Excellent First Impression

First impressions are everything. On your first day, you must be conscious of what you wear, how you speak, and what you do.

Do not let your reflex acts embarrass you. If you have a good body, flaunt it; the industry wants to see it.

Be in Character

If you’ve been given a script ahead of time, try to practice your character. Memorise all of your lines so you don’t stutter and have to rely on your script during your auditions.

Show the crew that you are the ideal choice since they want to see a natural actor.

Be Self-Assured

Do not be frightened to interact with others. Keep your face up; the industry is not for shy people.

When it isn’t your moment to take the stage, you can strike up a chat with a key member of the team.

Also, remember to always wear a smile. There should be no signs of anxiousness in your posture or body language.

Be On Time

If your audition begins at 8:00 a.m., arrive by 7:30 a.m. Even so, you’d meet those who came before you.

Some judges consider punctuality, and if you are late, some marks will be deducted from your overall score. How can they trust you to arrive early for a shoot if you cant even arrive early for an interview?

Film Academy in Nigeria and School Fees

aerial view of Lagos city

Here is the list of Nollywood film academies in Nigeria and their school fees;

Film AcademyStateSchool Fees
Royal Art AcademyLagos & Uyo₦123,500
Del-York Creative AcademyLagos$1500 – $3000
Mount Zion Institute Of Christian DramaOsun₦60,000 – 180,000
National Film InstituteLagos, Kano, Abuja & UmuahiaFree
Magnus Film Academy (MFA)Enugu₦40,000 – 100,000
PEFTI Film InstituteLagos & Ibadan₦85,000 – 285,000
Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA)Lagos₦1,200,000
High Definition (HD) Film AcademyAbujaNot Specified
Ai Multimedia AcademyLagos₦68,000
The Heritage Film AcademyLagos₦120,000

Film Academy Courses

Here is the list of courses offered in Nigerian film academies;

  • 3D Animation
  • Makeup and Special Effects
  • Acting and Film
  • Broadcast and Journalism
  • Cinematography and Set Lighting
  • Coloring and Grading
  • Introduction to Theatre Production
  • Producing and the Business of Film Making
  • Acting For Film (On-Premise)
  • Screenwriting (On-Premise)
  • Cinematography & Set Lighting
  • Digital Content Creation & Social Media Influencing
  • Public Relations & Media Communications
  • Colouring & Grading
  • VFX
  • Digital Marketing
  • Photography
  • Fashion, Arts & Craft
  • Directing
  • Drones
  • Film Editing
  • Intro To Theatre Production
  • Music Video Production
  • Costume & Set Design
  • Producing & The Business of Film-Making
  • Sound Design & Scoring For Film

Conclusion

From the outside, the Nollywood business appears inviting and tempting.

But, to be honest, getting in would entail a lot of labour and sacrifice.

If your desire is not strong enough, you will most likely abandon the pursuit before you reach the jackpot.

Many Nigerians dream of being Nollywood’s next great name, but many don’t know how to get there.

As a result, this article serves as a thorough reference to all the advice you’ll need in your journey to fame.

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67 thoughts on “How to Become a Nollywood Actor or Actress in Nigeria”

  1. Ma or sir please I want to be an Attress but I don’t know who is going to help me please I really want to become an Atress, thanks.

    Reply
  2. I’m Michael Ay on every social media
    And I make comedy skit and post them
    I’m interested in acting, pls how do I register for audition I need help

    Reply
  3. I’m Michael Ay on every social media
    And I make comedy skit and post them
    I’m interested in acting, pls how do I register for audition.

    Reply
  4. My name is ayomide my dream is to be an actor infact I make comedy skit and post them on YouTube and tiktok, how can I register

    Reply
  5. hello i wish to become an actor but no connection and i have a good stories to tell if i can meet the director or producer i will be so glad to tell my story

    Reply
    • Hello Sodiq,

      Follow the instructions written in the post.

      Also, you can start from where you are. Join drama clubs, movie academies, e.t.c

      You should also follow actors and actresses on Instagram. They sometimes post about auditions.

      If you can also move to Lagos, you’ll find more opportunities.

      I hope you find this helpful.

      Reply
    • Dear Regina,

      I hope you are having a great day. You can become an amazing actress if you follow the directive in this post. I also recommend you join a film academy and follow well-known Nigerian actors and actresses on Instagram.
      They post auditions from time to time.

      Reply
  6. Hi my name is Damaris Kingsley
    Promising to work hard in other to meet up the objectives of Nollyhood industry if I will be granted this golden opportunity of joining the Nollyhood family as an actress.
    Nollyhood, forever the best.
    I will be expecting a reply thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear Damaris,

      It is great that you want to devote yourself to acting. I recommend you join an art theatre and audition for roles.

      Reply
  7. My name is Emmanuel Gyachie, I am 19 years old, am from Ghana.
    I’m a student at cape coast (Efutu) Senior High Technical school,
    Please I want to become an actor.
    I can act very well
    So please help me this is my phone number+233257236205

    Reply
  8. Greetings.
    I noticed all the responses was directed at auditioning first but no reference was given to how to get into Auditions. Please can you kindly and helpfully give us a link or address for any audition / offices that audition for movies ? It will really be a great help to all.
    Please if it is meant for direct contact, please forward details to me via
    elakebak@yahoo.com
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • Dear Francis,

      It would seem the Nollywood Auditioning form has been sold out. But I suggest you join a film academy. You’ll get auditions faster there.

      Reply
  9. I’ve always aspired to be an actress, though I’ve never auditioned or taken part in any form of drama due to some personal issues plus I’m the shy type… I just love everything about acting when it comes to it and I believe because its a passion that has been burning in me, I can overcome my shyness and when my personal issues go away, I’ll make sure I pursuit it. Someone suggested screenwriting cause I’m kind of a writer but I’m not sure I know my way about it, I’ve never seen a movie script before so I don’t know where and how to begin, I’m kindly asking for assistance on that part, thank you.

    Reply
  10. I’m usman Joyce otinu I love acting it’s my dream but don’t know how to get the opportunity into the nollywood industry will so much appreciated if you can help me please 🥺🙏

    Reply
  11. I love to become an actor since i was a little boy till now. My friend told me to follow up my life call me uzondu david egbufor. Please help me to add me to the nollywood actor and actress. I need your help please. Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Becoming an actor has been my best wish ever since I was little,
    And I have gone for an audition which I’m still attending up to now.
    But I pray if I see a bigger opportunity I’ll be grateful.

    Reply
  13. I really want to be an actress in nollywood, and i will be very grateful if am given the opportunity to become an actress in nollywood industry.

    Reply
  14. It has always been my dream to be an actress in Nollywood and I promise myself to achieve that goal, please sir I need help and I will be very grateful if I am given the opportunity to act.

    Reply
  15. It has always been my dream of being an actress, right back in my childhood days,I used to perform dramas school, will be so happy if I’m giving the opportunity.

    Reply

    Reply
  16. I always love to become an actress it has been my dream but I don’t know who to meet or talk to please sir or Ma I really want to join thanks

    Reply
  17. I’ll always pursuite my purpose of being a nollywood actor and i’ll never give up or listing to what people may say about me until i achieve my goal of being an actor. PLEASE I NEED HELP IN BECOMING AN ACTOR.

    Reply
    • Becoming an actor has been my best wish ever since I was Little,
      And I have gone to an audition which I’m still attending up to now, but I pray if I see a bigger opportunity that day will be my happiest day in this life.

      Reply
  18. YES. Am from rivers state i know that by the grace of [GOD] if this opportunity is given to me i’ll be very happy. Because being a movie actor has been my dream ever since i was born, and also my talent and gift. And i’ll keep trying until i achieve my goal. PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP IN BECOMING A MOVIE ACTOR.

    Reply
    • Hello Paulinus,

      Have you attended a movie audition at Port Harcourt?

      What experience do you have with acting?

      Reply
  19. I love this exercise, it has always been my dream to become an actress in nollywood industry but no opportunity. Please I need help.

    Reply
  20. Hello .
    Am sara > would like to join movie industry, it’s been my dream .but no chance for me.if there is any way for me I will be glad and happy.
    Thanks

    Reply
  21. I will love to become an actress it has been my dream since even before I finished secondary School please help

    Reply
    • Veronica,

      What’s your location?

      Have you tried joining an acting school or auditioning for movies?

      Reply
  22. I will really like to be an actress in the Nollywood movie because it has be my dream since when I was a child if I will be granted this opportunity my na

    Reply
    • I always love to become an actress it has been my dream but I don’t know who to meet or talk to please sir or Ma I really want to join thanks

      Reply
  23. Yes I love these exercises and I will like to follow up to pursue my dreams to become a successful actor in Nigeria noollywood

    Reply
    • It has always been my dream of being an actor right back in my childhood days,I used to perform dramas in my church and school, will be so happy if I’m giving the opportunity.

      Reply
      • I also like to join that has been my career since while I was in premary school level to secondary School level please if you can help me to get connected to Nollywood industry management because I am well talented in acting please help me

        Reply

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