You’ve decided to become an actor, that’s great! One of the most difficult parts is over, but now you wonder: what do I do next? That’s what we’re here to help you with.
In a previous article we discussed how to become an actor and the most essential steps to take, so make sure you read that one as well! But today we want to focus on something more specific: acting advice.
Every beginner actor needs strong acting advice so they can avoid the most common mistakes and create a game plan to help them navigate this challenging industry. In the beginning, you won’t have much help; you’ll only have your wit and your will, so the more information and tips you have under your belt, the better!
- Learn, learn, learn!
When I say learn, I don’t only mean you should take acting classes – which is essential if you want to make it in the industry. I also mean that you must broaden your knowledge about the industry as much as possible. Don’t limit yourself to just watching films, read more plays, watch movies outside your comfort zone, study your favorite actors, and expose yourself to educational tools, such as online courses about acting history, acting methods, etc. Read books about these subjects and do everything to educate yourself deeply.
- Consider your “types”
From headshots to job submissions, it’s good to know what “types” you fit well. This is not to say you should at all limit yourself or feel like you are typecast – but that you should consider the way you’re perceived by a casting director, producer, or agent. Your headshots should be planned out to emphasize your strongest range of “looks”. What sorts of roles do you want to be considered for? What characters could you play? Think with that and plan your submissions accordingly. On that note…
- Practice your versatility
The last thing you want to end up with is to be pinned to just one specific kind of role, such as the love interest, the best friend, the sidekick, etc. To avoid that, practice your versatility and try your hand at different roles. Explore your range as an actor and your acting skills, because that’s the only way you’ll discover the kind of roles you enjoy the most. You might discover you enjoy being the villain, the mom, the comic relief, the athlete, etc.
- Study others
Learning by watching others is an important skill to learn and develop when you’re an aspiring actor. Why? Because it’s an incredibly powerful tool that will allow you to grow as an actor. By watching other passionate, talented people perform, whether that’s on TV, at the movies or in the theater, you’re getting a deep educational experience. You can also learn from fellow aspiring actors or other artists you meet on set.
- Be open to directions
If you’re not open to directions and refuse to learn how to take them and improve your work based on that, then no one will want to work with you. Directors, casting directors and fellow actors all get tired really quickly of someone who sets their performance in stone. You need to be open to criticism, direction and change, otherwise you won’t be able to grow as an actor and you will gain a reputation of being difficult to work with and uncooperative, which will highly reduce your chances of getting parts.
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- Know what your character asks from you
If you want to be successful at playing a role, any role, you need to understand what your character asks from you. In other words: know your character and decide how you can play it best. Once you determine the objective and the angle of a character, think about what they need to do or how they need to be to reach their goals. Of course, the script is a powerful tool, but your imagination as an actor is also important.
- Read the script from start to finish
It doesn’t matter if you have a couple of lines or an entire monologue, it’s important that you read the entire script – and do it more than once! You need to familiarize yourself with the world that’s being created by the script. Look for words or expressions you don’t understand, look up the location to be familiar with the scenery, research the time period and historical setting, etc. All of this will allow you to understand the setting better.
There’s a lot more acting advice where this came from, but this is the basic advice any aspiring actor needs to get started on the right foot. Apply it, and your work will be a little smoother!
Want to live and breathe these principles – and more – with an absolute expert who knows them inside and out? Fill out the form on the right and we’ll schedule you for a free intro class – see your own acting power fully emerge!