Acting isn’t all just lights, camera and action. In order to really move forward in the entertainment industry, you need to understand the basic do’s and don’ts involved. Today, we are going to focus on the do’s.
What should you make sure to do on a regular basis in order to succeed as an actor or performer?
Read the scripts thoroughly.
Read your lines, other characters' lines, the stage directions, the prologue, epilogue, other works by the playwright (especially any others that your character might appear in!), everything!
Do your research.
Learn as much as possible about your character outside the text by researching the time period, the setting, the culture and politics of the area, and all the qualities one could ever know about one's self or another person. . . but for your character.
It’s about more than memorizing.
Many people think memorizing lines is the "meat and potatoes" of acting. It isn't! Memorizing is just the first step. If acting was like painting, the memorization would be merely mixing the colors. There's so much more to it. Rehearse many times, for different audiences. Play different objectives and look for new tactics to achieve those objectives every time you rehearse, if possible.
Be a good listener.
Listening is very important in theater; it's something actors don't do enough of. I don't mean for purely obvious reasons, either, like hearing your director give you instructions. While in character, actually listen to the words the other actors are saying. Don't just spit out your line simply because it comes next on the page. Actually take the time to listen, comprehend, process what was being said, and then speak when the words come. Not only will this keep you in the moment, your acting will seem infinitely more honest and natural if you do! Listening is supremely important.
Be willing to take risks!
In real life, people don't just speak to one another monotone while sitting in a single chair or standing in a single spot indefinitely, so why should anyone do so onstage? Move around, be ridiculous! Honestly, be ridiculous onstage. You might feel odd doing so, but the effects will always be great! Acting mirrors life. If you play it safe, you'll most likely be "just okay" 100% of the time. But if you take a few risks, your work will always be more interesting, more dynamic, more effective, more memorable, and more inspiring. Plus, if something you try flops, you'll have many days of rehearsal to exchange it for something new.
As you can see, the tips and suggestions are simple enough to put into practice. And when you put them into practice, you’ll create good habits and the reputation that goes with it. Of course, bad habits can do just as much damage, so in the next post, we’ll address all the ‘don’ts’ you’ll want to remember!
Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to artfully crafting your life’s work. Take charge of your career and talk to us about acting classes and coaching in the New York City area today. We’re here to help you succeed.