10 Tips On Becoming A Better Actor
Any actor who is worth his salt knows that even the best can always be better, and these 10 Tips On Becoming A Better Actor will help you grow in any stage of your career.
- Train. While talent is a key factor, no great performer ever found success without training. No matter where you live there are various professional acting teachers and schools, and these are the best places to start any serious training. Studying with the best will open doors, but the most important thing is to find a teacher you feel comfortable with; someone who will help you become a better actor.
- Figure out who you are. Determining your type is an important part of becoming a better actor. Find your niche, and start there. If you’re an athletic jock type than be the best athletic jock possible, and once you have some respect and a bit of name, break away and play the sensitive loner.
- Watch every great movie you can get your hands on. While watching these fantastic movies, zero in on which part you would be most likely to play and learn from the choices the actor makes. What makes him great? If he was nominated for or won an award, ask yourself why. What did the actor do that spoke to you and how can you apply it to your performances?
- Get out of your own way. If you're hitting a wall there is a good chance you need to look inside yourself to find the problem. Do you lack confidence? Are you afraid to be great? Maybe you just don’t want to make a fool of yourself. Take some time and think about any personal problems that may be causing you to trip up. Once you figure that out you can start to correct the issues.
- Listen to yourself. Your first instinct may be the best one. Don’t worry about not making the obvious choice for the role. Just because it’s obvious for you doesn’t mean it was obvious to others auditing, and all that matters is that you do the best job you possibly can. If the casting directors don’t like the choice you made, they will usually give you a chance to try something different. After all, they liked you enough to call you in for the part, so start with your gut. It won't lead you astray.
- Listen to others. Acting is actually reacting, and if you’re not hearing what your scene partner is really saying, than your not giving your best performance. If you learn to really listen, you will hone sharper instincts, and you will get out of your head because you are feeling the next moment, rather than planning it.
- Act. This may seem obvious, but to become a better actor you must actually be acting. Audition for even the most minor productions at your local theatres, or student productions at the colleges. A baseball player can work out all day to build a better body, but if he doesn’t actually play baseball, then he’s not growing. This is why class is so important if you’re not getting work, because it keeps you performing. Learn monologues in your own time and rehearse scenes from your favorite movies.
- Stay healthy. Exercise, eat right, and take your vitamins. If you’re sick all the time than you will never have a chance to really focus on your career, and that will hinder your progress.
- Diversify. If you’re a film actor, do some theatre. If you’re a theatre actor do a film. Even if it’s not where you eventually want to end up in your career, doing something different will help you grow in ways you never expected.
- Know where you came from. Take some time to read up on the history of television, theatre, and cinema. Understanding how these entertainment mediums came into being is a powerful tool that will make you a better actor. You will probably learn about great people whose careers you would like to emulate, or maybe you will just be inspired to work harder. Either way, knowing the roots of the career you pursue will help you on your way to greatness.
Posted on: Feb. 26, 2010