When you watch a truly convincing acting and an excellent performance, it all seems so effortless and natural. However, behind all of that, there are hundreds of hours of persistent practicing, improving skills, learning techniques, following directions and suggestions of the older and more experienced actors, all combined with a talent and dedication. Here are some of the basic qualities one should possess to be a good actor and successful in portraying of various characters in front of the camera or on the stage.
When portraying a character or a story, an actor has to create the impression of truly being that character. The audience has to be captivated, their attention focused, and the actor has to be highly convincing, as if he has merged himself with the given character.
Authentic, smart, with emotional intelligence
Every good actor has to be able to analyze a given character psychologically, to dissect his personality and inner drama and to try to understand it deeply. Using logic, reason, and knowledge is rather useful when researching the given character, but emotional intelligence provides the actor with specific skills to understand the emotional aspects of the character and to express them as if they were his own.
Confidence and professionalism
Self-confidence intensifies actor’s expressions, performance, and the mere appearance. Self-confidence, also, eliminates the fear of the audience and making mistakes and enables the actor to be relaxed and consequentially focused solely on the play. At the same time, high levels of professionalism include respect for other colleagues, directors, technicians and the mere audience.
Vocal capacity and physical skills
There are roles that require physical effort bigger than other common roles. Thus actors are often required to be physically in good shape and capable to withstand physical challenges of the performance. Also, training one’s vocal capabilities and capacity are essential for convincing rhetorical expression. This includes practicing of body language and movement on the stage or in front of the camera which doesn’t come naturally; it has to be practiced and adjusted.
Natural talent combined with hard work
Opposite to common belief, having an innate natural talent isn’t enough to become a great actor. Some things simply have to be practiced, learned and constantly improved. Honest dedication is a foundation of success. Staying committed and faithful to the idea, plan and love for acting, while constantly improving skills, techniques and pushing personal limitations is what characterizes every successful actor.