If screen acting is the direction you’d like to go, then you best not depend on skill alone. Many talented actors have the skills needed but lack the etiquette needed to stand out, go above and beyond. The biggest areas of etiquette every actor should master could be categorized as personal and camera.
As an actor myself and the head of the New York Acting School for Film and Television, I’ve found these points to be both true and essential for any actor looking to succeed, so I want to share them with you. Of course, you don’t have to stop at the tips. Our school is available for coaching, classes, and more.
Etiquette for Actors
No matter what happens, if someone forgets a line, if something goes wrong, just keep going and stay in character until you hear the director call “Cut!”.
If you mess up a line, keep going until the director call a halt to the take. Let it be HIS decision.
Do not stop a take for any reason, except for possible injury or death.
Never look directly into the camera lens unless specifically requested to do so.
If you’d like to know what size the shot is going to be, don’t the director – ask the camera operator.
Hit your mark! Being in the right place is often more important than saying the right line.
Camera Advice: Generally, ignore the camera lens; let it discover you. Don’t merely cheat an eye line, motivate it.
Posture: If both your eyes cannot “see” the camera lens, your face will appear to be obscured. Keep on an imaginary narrow path that stretches out from the front of the camera. Remember that shots are composed in depth, not width. Shoulders angled toward the camera often look better than straight-on ones.
Maintain your concentration and eye lines all through the tedium of lineup and rehearsal; it helps both your fellow actors and the crew.
An actor only has status between “Action!” and “Cut!” Exception: A star may have it all the time.
If a role doesn’t interest you, let the casting director know that you’re unavailable. This keeps you in mind for further opportunity.
Never say you do not want to play a role; say that you are unavailable. Equally, don’t respond with a ‘maybe’. Let them know that you’ll look over your schedule, talk to your manager if you have one and then get back to them by a certain date and time.
As always, the New York Acting School for Film and Television is always here to help you improve your acting skills and to prepare you for acting success with our acting classes, coaches and more! Please call today to see how we can better your career!