So You Wanna Be an Actor? 7 Hacks for the Beginner
“If it was so easy everybody would be doing it!” is an apropos quote when it comes to the profession of acting. Acting is not easy and good acting even less so.
The beginning actor needs to be as prepared as the proverbial boy-scout, be it for the audition, the rehearsal or the set.
Below are 7 Acting Hacks for Beginners to help the newbie in their pursuit of thespian dreams.
- Show-up On-Time:
Early is on-time, On-time is late & late is fired.
- Do some warm-up exercises and/or improv games before rehearsing.
Breathing exercises and a good stretch can go a long way in prepping an actor for the job at hand. Fun improvisational exercises can warm-up the brain and build relations with other actors.
- Bring your script or let it be known you need a script before the start of rehearsal.
Now a days there is no excuse for not having a script. Most actors employ a smart-phone which means a script is always literally at our finger-tips.
- Do a Table Read before performing.
Reading the script aloud will work wonders for building cast camaraderie and allaying any confusion or questions the actors have about the plot and their characters.
- Know your lines. It sounds simple enough; the actor has one job on the set, yet a surprising large amount of actors arrive on-set without having the core of their line memorized. Anthony Hopkins says he reads his script 250x! Read your script 250x while walking around your house engaging in everyday activities and watch the magic happen. RECORD yourself into a camera or cellphone and LISTEN/WATCH yourself. If you do not know your lines after 250x… call a brain surgeon because you may have other issues up there you are not aware of.
- Someone who is not performing needs to act as an on-script supervisor. This is particularly important with stage productions or areas of the script that is dialogue heavy. Having someone who is not in the scene reading the script insures that the writer’s vision stays intact.
- If there are props in the scene, Use the props in rehearsal. Nothing worse than having another actor point their index finger at you to fake a gun or an actor holding his hand like the “hang-lose” sign as a phone. If the script calls for a “gun” or a “telephone” use one in rehearsal so when the scene occurs you are already as familiar and as comfortable with the prop as your character would be.