I recently came across a thread where a young actor was asking for tips on “how to act” and “how to be a better actor.”
Lots of people were telling him to “memorize lines” or read poetry, or maybe workout. All of which is great. But I wanted to throw in my two cents. ( because you know.. as an ASPIRING actor MYSELF I am clearly knowledgeable enough to impart my wisdom).
Naturally the thread was deleted. Nevertheless, I thought I would share my thoughts with you!
Often at the start of my scene, the instructor will ask what do you need to do to get yourself in the scene.
Do you need to talk about a part of the scene that you don’t understand or need to move around in your body? What exactly do you need to do to be able to believe that you’re in a scene?
I think one danger in “being an actor” is approaching a one size fits all mentality- ie ” read this book and you’ll know how to be a star”. Let’s be clear that being an actor is no different than just being a person. You are the best person to be able to answer what you need to work on!!!! ( whether you’re an actor or a person).
That said, I’ve always been taught there are three areas you have to play around in- LIFE, THE AUDITION AND THE SCENE (be it in class, on stage or on film).
My tip is that if you’re not engaging in one of these areas, figure out why and address it. Don’t know why? Dive headfirst into that area then and see what comes up.
Feel like you’re missing that something in the audition? Maybe you’re taking it all too seriously and need to find some balance in your life- or maybe a scene class can help you out.
Yes, as a person you should meditate. We all know the benefits of it by now. Science has proven it. And yes you should read more than just your facebook newsfeed, and challenge yourself to read out of your comfort zone, and yes that does include poetry! But please please please focus on being the best YOU you can be and not the best “actor!”