When you start acting in theater or in school performances, you might be told that you’re talented and should take it further. That’s great! But when you get your start young in hobby acting, it’s easy to end up with some pretty nasty career killing habits.
Don’t forget the crowd. Beginner actors often think their space ends at the end of the stage and that no one in the audience can see them when they stop talking. They talk directly to other actors and forget that the audience needs to hear and be connected to them too.
Don’t Turn Your Back to the Audience. This is true for both stage and film. Never turn your back to the audience. It’s called ‘opening up’. Practice staying open and let the crowd connect with the front of you even if it’s at an angle.
Speak up. Again, film or stage, you’ve got to speak up loud enough for people to hear you. Enunciate your emotions. Sad doesn’t mean silent and angry doesn’t necessarily mean yelling. AND, sometimes it does. So play with it, but be heard.
Don’t Forget Your Body. We’ve noticed that a lot of newer actors spend a great deal of time thinking about their lines and their blocking, but they neglect to include the physical world into their acting preparations. It’s important to remember that the first connection the audience makes with an actor is visual. And if what they see is boring, you’ve likely lost their attention.
Beware of Typecasting. It’s definitely ok to play a part that is familiar and comfortable, but it can happen a beginner actor can get stuck in a typecasting groove. There’s no difference between how the actor and their character moves, walks, and sounds. The character is stuck in a box, which is hardly fun to play. Some people like to be typecasted. If you do, great! But if you don’t, do a character analysis. Define the similarities and differences between you and your character. Highlight the differences and choose specific moments where you play them up. Playing outside your comfort zone will give you a challenge and make you a better actor.
Don’t let old habits keep you from your dreams. Learn new habits from those who’ve gone before you. For more information on acting classes, acting coaches and more, please contact us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television and we’ll get you going!