Acting The Part.
In a previous issue we looked at how you could go about becoming an actor. Let us now highlight some of the ways that could help you stand out from the hundreds of others you would be competing with.
Whether you are training or treading the boards for real your goal at all times should be to work with the best, be they other actors, playwrights, camera crew or directors. Their experience, excellence and talent will undoubtedly rub off in extremely beneficial ways.
You must also ensure that you get yourself known as widely as possible and in the right circles, this includes an online presence as well as you personally attending the right parties and networking events.
Improve your craft by observing real life; peoples mannerisms, body language, and all behaviour, odd or otherwise.
The director will have ultimate and final say in any play, TV program, or film you work on. So you must ensure that you share your director's vision of the role you've been cast and of the production as a whole. Also paramount is that your leave your ego at the theatre door, studio gates and ideally as far away from the set as possible. Obviously the high pressure environment and the coming together of many creative elements will undoubtedly lead to various points of disagreement between you and your director, but these should always be handled sensibly. Remember , ultimately it’s the directors baby, they have a better view of the overall picture and usually, if you follow their lead, the end result will be something you will all be proud off. What you must never do though is waste the director's, crew members', and other actors' time by getting into arguments on stage or the set. You’re likely to be blacklisted and your exit from the industry will be quicker than you can say “Romeo, romeo! Wherefore art thou?
10 tips for that great performance!
Make your fellow actors look as good as possible. This might sound odd but getting the best from colleagues will reflect on your own performance and help you develop. It will also improve your professional reputation which, in turn, should mean you get more work.
Act with your voice, your eyes, and only slightly with your face. Do not wag your head. Keep it straight. Think as the character. Sit as the character. Walk as the character. Be in the character's body. But don’t fling your arms around. Be still. The energy must be used to enhance, not to detract.
Finally be thick skinned. You have to have the courage to stick to your guns and persevere, even when you’re getting bashed from all sides, the criticism will be harsh but remember most actors get rejected for most jobs most of the time! You will pull through, if in addition to talent, you always are brave and stay honest with your self and others.
Usually during rehearsals or “walk-throughs”, before the cameras roll, your positioning in the scene will be marked on the floor, usually as an X or T with some coloured tape. When you enter the scene, you will be required to walk to that spot and stay put, (unless you have a position 2), otherwise you will be out of frame and off screen, upsetting the camera team and director. In addition though you need to look completely natural doing this.
Talent is seldom the final word in acting. Energy, passion and professionalism are!
copyright Raza Mallal 2009