“Acting is simple, but not easy.” The same can be said about many forms of artistic expression. Their complexity comes from their difficulty, and the interpretation of the art. Art can be beautiful, especially in the form of acting. Using and creating a whole person as an art form is a “simple” concept, but an extremely difficult task to take on. Here are 5 tips to make sure you can master your craft and do well in the world of acting.
Memorize Your Lines
Of course, this is one of the most important parts in acting. Your job, as the actor, is to embody the character that was written on a script. The lines that you have been given are your insight into the character you are meant to portray. However, you probably didn’t open this up to read things that you already know— so here’s the tip: Memorize your lines in rote. Place no rhythm or inflection on the lines. Purely memorize the words. If you have the words, you can change your delivery with whatever the director desires for the character.
Manage Your Time On Set
There is time between takes. Do not waste it. Get into character, get a feel for the blocking, go over your lines. This is why you’re here! While it may be a break, use it as preparation for the next take.
Fill Every Scene
Never let a scene go flat. Every millisecond that you are on camera, you ARE your character. In scenes that are seemingly meaningless, entrench yourself in the world. Imagine a person to your right, say hello. If you take on these “fillers”, however, remember that you will have to do that for EVERY SCENE. It is a good way to think in character, and not just do the task of “walking through the forest”. Walk through the forest as your character, fill every scene and think what they are thinking.
While there are people whose jobs are to watch for continuity, make it a part of your job too. While you are meant to be the character and fill the scenes, you are a part of the orchestra that pulls the audience into this fictional world. A break of continuity is a break out of the world, be mindful of your actions. A good take could be made a bad take just from mistakes in continuity. Be aware of what hand you use to do what action, don’t mess with your hair on set, don’t be responsible for a bad take.
There are these people on set called the directors. These are the people who have the vision of the film. Directors come in all different shapes and sizes, and their communication comes with all levels of skill. Your job is to translate that vision, whether your director communicates it well or not, into your performance. You need to be able to understand the director’s vision and what they are saying to you.