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If screen acting is the direction you’d like to go, you’re wise to learn beyond just funny faces and dramatic skills. Many people out there have the talent and practice need but end up being dismissed and passed over because they lack the proper etiquette require to be noticed and gain professional respect.
You want to succeed? Know how to act and know how to act.
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.
Here are some helpful rules of thumb to keep in mind when you’re wanting to upgrade your acting career and gain the needed respect to succeed:
If you mess up a line, keep going until the director call a halt to the take. Let it be their decision and call, not yours.
Do not stop a take for any reason, except for possible injury or death.
Don’t complain. You’ll get tired, not agree with everything said or done and have thoughts on how it could be better. However, in most cases, your verbal opinion is only wanted when asked for or you’re told to improvise. Show up and do the work without complaining.
If you’d like to know what size the shot is going to be, don’t ask the director, they have enough of their plates – ask the camera operator.
Hit your mark! Being in the right place with the right emotion and presence is usually 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. Also, never look directly into the camera lens unless specifically requested to do so.
Be aware of your posture, as it will tell you if you’re on point and visible. 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!