Grand Slam Poetry Champion
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reading a lot of quality literature is a noble manner to enrich your inner world and spice up your everyday life. Aside from expanding our general knowledge and vocabulary, reading improves our rhetorical skills, our capability to get a precise insight into the psychology of others and to analyze various situations thoroughly. These are just some of many benefits from reading, and some of these aspects come quite handy for professional actors and those trying to build an acting career, particularly theatre acting career. We’ve collected some of the mandatory romantic literature pieces every actor should read to improve his or hers acting qualities.
Whether you are aiming a theater or a movie screen, Shakespeare’s romantic literature is a mandatory material for every actor. “Richard III” is a commonly performed historical tragedy right along with Hamlet and both pieces of literature are an excellent material for improving your acting skills.
Tennessee Williams’ playwright “A Streetcar named desire” has made Marlon Brando famous and it is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature in the history of a modern theatre. The play is frequently performed in theatres worldwide and studying of profiles of the main characters is recommended to all actors working on their acting career.
“Betrayal” written by Harold Pinter is a famous piece of literature commonly analyzed among actors. This fun, but the profound material is the great challenge for actors to train their capability to deliver the idea and inner dynamic of characters to the audience in the most effective and convincing manner.
Being capable of performing in a superb way comedy and farcical dramas is a true task and challenge for every actor out there. Oscar Wilde’s play “The importance of being earnest” is an excellent terrain to practice these skills and the talent for expressing subtle shades of various emotions.
Edward Albee wrote famous play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” half a century ago and the play is still performed routinely in many theatres nowadays. The story follows closely the evolution of a broken marriage between middle-aged spouses and challenges each actor to express sophisticated emotional fluctuations and complex relationship between characters.
Being noticed and picked as a high potential and a good actor by some big names in the acting industry (movie or theatre) is a dream and lifetime commitment of many actors out there. Acting and simply waiting for it to happen won’t suffice. If you’re heading towards Hollywood or Broadway or cameras of some famous director, you’ll have to break through many gates and dig your way to success. Natural talent is the foundation for all of this. Dedication, commitment and persistent hard work as a second essential aspect. However, sometimes even these are not enough, especially when it comes to tough competition and rigorous auditions, such as one in Broadway production. Here are some useful tips and tricks from the theater veterans that you should apply when aiming a certain big role and audition.
These two qualities will certainly enable you to stand out among the competition. However, these two traits are something you can achieve or develop only through constant hard work and taking a chance at as many as possible auditions. Rule number one – do not let one or even several turning downs to make you quit. Even if it’s the same play and the same audition. Always give another try.
Looking good in the comfortable outfit certainly helps you to feel relaxed and confident. However, your outfit and the whole appearance should be adjusted to the play you are performing, so the director would get an impression that you truly understand the part and the content you are auditing for. A thing that should go without saying is that your outfit must not be offensive or cheap or inappropriate in any other way.
Focusing on great performance is essential, but the material you are performing should, also, be adequate for the audition. If you are auditioning for a musical, organize your musical sheet for a piano and specify the part you’ll be singing. Make sure to sing a piece that represents the same genre and music style as those in the musical you are auditioning for. If you are auditioning for drama, pick representative parts of the play and prepare the performance in advance.
It’s true that some people are simply born with an impressive talent for acting. The skills are naturally born and integrated into the personality of these people. However, that does not mean that their acting doesn’t require improvement, directing, re-shaping and remodeling. That, also, doesn’t mean that those without inborn talent cannot learn to act. It’s not all about nature and genetics, some is plain and simple learning techniques and practices. Here are some of the most common acting techniques to improve your performance.
The classic method of training actors is an attempt of imposing a universally effective way of training and improving acting skills of everyone using it. It is based upon a general approach which expects actors to get into the mindset of the profile they are trying to portrait and try their best to identify with the character. With this mental maneuver, actors should train several different aspects, such as their vocal skills, physical skills, concentration and observation, the capability to analyze dramatic moments and finally – better expression of wide range of emotions. These aspects are designed to work as a universal guideline, while each actor should combine them into his style.
Lee Strasberg was a founder of so-called Method acting technique widely used among Hollywood or Broadway actors. The major idea is based upon affective memory and plasticity of actor’s personal experiences and emotions. When describing this acting technique, many actors tend to mystify it a bit and talk about “becoming” the character they are supposed to portrait at a given moment. It refers to a specific approach which imposes imagining themselves defined by traits, emotions, and deeds of their character so they could live a life of a given character for a while and express it vividly later.
One of the biggest and famous names who used this acting technique is Clint Eastwood. The Chekhov’s acting strategy is based on the specific idea of the actor being the unique composition of a body and soul. Thus, he is expected to analyze thoroughly character’s issues and inner dynamic and use his body language to express character’s problems via external gestures. All of this should be marked by the way actor sees a given character filtered through his emotions, traits, and experiences.