Acting is a skill that requires hours of practice to master one aspect. If an actor wants to be a multi-faceted performer then tremendous dedication to the craft is definitely needed. There are no shortcuts, much like anything worth achieving in life, nothing can replace hard work and “maximum” effort. Learning must begin with yourself admitting that there are things that you don’t know. Finding a mentor who can guide you as you master your acting chops is crucial and will be a key contributor to your acting career.
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What about the COVID-19 Crisis?
The recent pandemic has brought about significant economic, health, and social changes in our world. The entertainment industry is one of the fields that has been greatly affected by this crisis. Although the future is uncertain with what the world would look like after we break out from our quarantines, we can be sure that people would still want to see productions from the performing arts after this. I can even be bold to mention that since virtually no production is in progress today, people would clamor for the time when actors are allowed to do their job again.
With many productions suspended these past months, it would make this an opportune time for actors to practice and improve their talents. Not only actors, but editors, writers, directors, and pretty much involved in making a show can spend this time examining their work and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Make Use Of Global Connectivity
The internet has been a saving grace for people fighting off their boredom while staying at home in addition to being a quick source of information and updates. We often connect with our loved ones, those who we cannot visit due to the lockdown, through social media and other platforms. This has also been the main tool renowned actors use to keep in touch with their fans around the world and a way to entertain them amidst these trying times. As an actor at this moment in time, you will have to rely heavily on the internet since you can’t just go out and meet people.
Here are some tips that you normally hear, but with a little twist to accommodate the current situation:
1. Learn from a Professional
Los Angeles, the Mecca of show businesses, is teeming with actors, producers, writers, and many more. But it has one thing that it has a lot of and one of the reasons aspiring actors congregate there is – acting schools. Anyone serious about the business considers acting classes at Innovative Actor’s Studio a great investment in their acting career. Learning from experienced and innovative teachers will give you a wealth of knowledge for your future endeavors in the industry. But what about the quarantine? Well, that is why the internet is very practical at this time. Requesting online classes or coaching will suffice your need for guidance at this time.
2. Master Your Voice
Voice is important to acting unless you’re as good as Mr. Bean or you’ve been living in the Silent Film era because it embodies the character you’re playing. Playing somebody from a different status, ethnicity or cultural norm will require you to match your voice with that character. It is the key to the door to which your audiences can enjoy the characters you’re playing. Nowadays, with animation, voice actors have become more popular to play various animated roles.
There are a couple of general tips you can do with your voice acting: warm-ups and articulation. You can do voice warm-ups because it’s more efficient than forcing yourself to say something in a certain way. You can do this 5-10 minutes a day so you’ll be able to acclimate easily to different manners of speaking. Being articulate is important, not only in acting but in our daily lives. There are words or phrases that we find cumbersome and thus we struggle with it. Take time to practice them every day or use a text from famous writers or playwright to inspire you with speaking articulately. Record and listen to yourself to get a feel on how other people hear you when you’re talking.
3. Learn How to Move
Movements, similar to voice, add nuances to the character to bring it to life. Plays don’t have close-ups so they rely on accurate movements to couple with their voice to convey the emotion of the character. Films, especially biopics, incorporate mannerisms and certain habits of the character into the actor’s arsenal. Exercise well like yoga or movement meditation to help you make your movements fluid and natural. You must learn to remove your own inhibiting nuances when you’re acting.
4. Learn Plays and Stories
Grab a script and read it, read lots of it. Since you’re going to work as an actor then you might want to get used to reading scripts and take some cue from it. You can practice online with your friends or fellow actors and try to play out some of your favorite stories. Go online to source free scripts and check how others play the characters. Since you’re stuck at home, you might as well spend the time learning from other performers on how to play the character you’ve chosen.
5. Take Care of Your Wellbeing
While you’re at home, make sure you take care of yourself and take advantage of this time to get some rest. Eat well and keep your mental health up. Not only rehearsals and shooting schedules will drain you physically, the sole exercise of making everyone believe you’re somebody else is taxing. Acting is a mentally strenuous activity because you’re using your mind to trick your entire body that you are somebody, somewhere in time, and experiencing that situation. It takes a toll, especially with method actors, so make sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
6. The Show Business
Businessmen take time to develop their product or the system which they then offer into the world. When they’re successful they don’t just stop, they evaluate and find ways to improve. Being a good actor is well and good, but you should learn how to navigate through the industry. Learn the business and see where you can realize your potential and maximize your talent as an actor. You are an artist and you should be aware that you have something of value to offer to society.
The pandemic shouldn’t stop us from learning nor should it make us downtrodden. Keeping ourselves busy by being better will help us survive this crisis and come out better than we were. As an actor, you should realize that your audiences have settled with projects made over a year ago and released at least two months before everything shut down. This means that there are people who are eager to see you perform just as you are eager to get back in front of everyone and show what you got. This pandemic is temporary because the human spirit who is designed to connect with people in various ways will not be contained nor will it ever will.