1. To become a better actor you must not only continue learning the craft of acting (which is a lifelong process), but observe the actors you admire regularly. Go to the theatre, watch films/TV programmes that have your favourite actors in. Observe how they execute their craft. What can you learn from them? What are they doing that makes them an outstanding actor?
2. Bring as much to the first rehearsal as you can including strong character choices, clear character intentions, ideas, your prep work/research. This will help you hugely when in the rehearsal space and creating the world of the character with your fellow actors.
3. Had lots of knockbacks and are struggling to see how to find the success you desire? Having a mentor can really help you see outside the box and find other ways to climb up the acting ladder of success. It doesn’t need to be someone who is a three times Oscar winner, but someone you admire. Engage in conversations with them on social media before you go in for the kill and ask them if they would like to mentor you. Aim to build up a relationship with them first. If they’re not on social media how else can you do that? Having a mentor can do wonders for your confidence and your career.
4. As an actor, drawing upon our life experience is part and parcel of connecting to a role and injecting truth into it. It is ESSENTIAL you live a full life to do this. Take walks in the country, visit people you love regularly, try new experiences, visit new places, hear different genres of music… Be a sponge for life.
5. Alongside working on honing your craft & audition technique, you also need to work on your mind. This is of utmost importance. Do you understand the limitations your mind places on situations? Do you understand why? How can you over come this? Once you have cracked this you will free yourself up, lose inhibitions and find you begin taking more risks and making clearer choices with your work.
6. Obey your script. This contains all the clues you will ever need in creating your character. Go through it with a fine tooth comb to pull out all those gems the script writer has loaded it with.
7. As well as having talent and consistently honing your craft, you need to have a good, solid list of contacts and continue to build upon this. You can build up your networks/contacts by going out to networking events aimed at actors, getting yourself along to Equity meetings and by keeping your ear to the ground for any events locally or nationally that involve industry professionals. What’s the best way to network? MAKE FRIENDS…
8. If you say you’re an actor, be an actor. Commit to learning new skills, commit to brushing up on accents & dialects, go to the theatre, watch films and be inspired, apply for castings for a minimum of 30 minutes every day, read plays, study practitioners, hone your craft, get comfortable with your looks, discover who you are, commit to developing yourself and live life. Life experience = a solid actor.
9. Do you document your character development/building process? This is a great way to stay on top of all the choices you make and get laser focused on this new person that is going to become a part of your life and vice versa. Grab a plain paged A4 journal and stick in anything that inspires you in the development of your character, this can include a back story, photos of their street, house etc.
10. Seems obvious, but make sure the only accents on your CV are the ones you can actually do to a very high standard. If a person from that area/region doesn’t believe you, take it off. Fill your CV with the skills you do genuinely have to save you time when it is called upon you to do “that” accent (that you know you struggle with).
These tips were taken from StandBy Method Acting Studio’s Monday Morning Acting Tip written by Louise O’Leary. Louise O’Leary is a professional method actress, acting coach and CEO of StandBy Method Acting Studio. Her mission is to help as many actors as she can achieve their acting dreams and become the best actor they can be.
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