Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How People Watching Can Help You Be a More Successful Actor

How People Watching Can Help You Be a More Successful ActorYou may be interested to know that people watching is great way to improve your acting skills. The world is your observation room! It's time for you to take a look around and watch other people. Of course, I'm not suggesting you be weird about it, but do try to spend a day at the mall or park and simply observe people's body languages, responses and how they go about their day. You'll soon notice the wide variety of people and the unique qualities that really define them. 

Observe what they do with their eyes and hands motions, as these are our most obvious expressive features. Take notes on any of the particular interesting characteristics you see, like if someone has a tick, a bounce in their step, or a striking expression on their face, then think about what they did and how you might be able to apply these traits and behaviors to create your own particular character. 

Every person all over the world speaks with body language, we do it more than with our verbal language and we often hardly realize it!  What do you think about or notice when you see someone who is always stiff and almost robotic, or someone who slouches and leans forward constantly? When a people are grinning or giggling in a certain way, how do you react? Keep in mind that people as a race, are constantly assessing one another's moods, status, reputation, esteem (self confidence) and intelligence. We can even be deceived when observing people's body languages. A poor man may seem wealthier just by standing a certain way, or confident by the way they walk or even move through a crowd. 

Keep studying the world around you, because the more you watch, the more you will learn. At the very least, stand in front of a mirror and practice various poses and expressions and think about how they make you feel and how you would feel seeing someone else doing it.  Or conversely, when you experience an emotion, go to a mirror and see how your body is reacting.  What are your shoulders, eyes and lips doing? 

Take it further.  One last key factor that I really recommend is watching professional actors do their thing. Not only will it help eliminate some of the competitiveness and but awakens respect for the other artists in your industry while allowing you to glean from their lessons learned. As well, live theater can an incredibly fun and educational experience. Go see a few plays at your local theater.  If plays are not an option, then keep it simple and rent some "classic" movies and study what the actors/actress do. Don't copy their techniques, but analyze how they use their techniques to come across as a "better" actor, body language, voice inflection, volume, etc. Also, notice the "not-so-talented" actors, and be sure to not make the same mistakes.  Try and observe as many examples of both the good the bad to try and asses your personal conception of ways to perform better.

Learning by seeing and doing.  This is an old method that's been tried and found to be true.  For more information on classes and taking your career further, visit us at the New York Acting School for Film in the heart of New York City; where dreams come alive!

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