Acting is a broad and exciting profession, with many more job openings than you might imagine. The more you act, the easier it will be for you to start auditioning and landing roles. The hardest thing is to get started. Nonetheless, a couple of acting tips and promotional ideas can get you on stage in no time.
Method 1 of 3: Start from scratch
Step 1. Buy a monologue book and start rehearsing the roles on your own
You can find monologues in most book stores or for free online, and they are tools for actors (just as tracks are for athletes). You will likely never use most of these monologues, but the practice will be invaluable. Read each one, create a character to match the speech as you read. Pick one or two to practice over and over again to hone your skills. Once you feel like you've mastered them, move on to others. Each one will help you practice new emotions and characters.
- Ask yourself "What does the character in the monologue look like?" Keep things simple for now and ask yourself something like "What do they do with their hands when they talk?"
- What is the key emotion of the speech? What lines do you need to express to make this emotion evident?
- What is the progression of the monologue? Does the speaker reach a different emotional or intellectual point at the end of the speech?
Step 2. Enroll in acting classes, write and perform in some homemade skits, or audition for a low-key role
The most effective way to practice acting is to go out and act. You'll be totally nervous, but classes and small productions will be great, low-risk ways you can overcome nervousness on stage. Everyone will go through the same thing as you and will learn and grow together. Search the internet, check out school courses and extracurricular activities, or just make your own videos to start acting.
You can study and learn all you want on your own; but acting is by nature an interpretation. This will require an audience and you will have to feel comfortable performing in front of them, even if it is only online
Step 3. Use rhythm and volume to match the energy of the scene
Your first reaction is likely to be to say the lines in a rush and nervous, and try to match the emotion without changing the pace and volume. However, the way you say the words is the essence of the performance, not the words themselves. Patterns, bursts of volume, sudden rush during difficult phrases, and other rhythm tricks are what make the characters reflect their human side. Reflect on the way you speak naturally when feeling certain emotions. Please note the following:
- Nervous or fearful characters they tend to say the words in a hurry.
- Enraged or upset characters they tend to slow down the speech to explain a point. However, they can also speak more quickly when they are full of anger.
- Happy or excited characters they often speak at a steady volume and fast pace, or raise the volume as the speech continues.
- The rhythm can and should change in the scenes. The character may start out calm and then become more frantic as the scene unfolds. Your speech should reflect it.
Step 4. Reduce your character to the desire that defines it
Each character has a wish, which is the basis of the plot and the story. The character will want something and has decided to try to get it. What exactly do you want? This seems like a basic question, but it is because you must answer it in order to learn how to act. What is your main motivation? Is it about love, greed, power, fate, or hunger? Any of these motivations can help the actor create a memorable character, even something as simple as hunger (consider the various Harold and Kumar films, as a comic example).
- Good actors find little clues to this motivation.
- Characters (especially well-crafted ones) may have conflicting, ever-changing, or nuanced motivations. Playing these scenes, when motivations change, will usually be the character's most important moment.
Step 5. Put yourself in your character's shoes by relating your own experience to his emotions
You've likely never saved the planet from a last-minute alien invasion, but you could have worked desperately with a deadline to finish a project on time. These events are totally different, but the feelings of worry, rush, iron determination, and passion will remain the same. Great actors look to the human side of the script, to the basic human emotions that everyone recognizes, and they channel them into their performance.
Once you choose a character, commit to it. If you feel that his lines are sad, slow and thoughtful, you should feel confident in your decision. Do whatever it takes to express those emotions
Method 2 of 3: Cultivate Your Skills
Step 1. Reflect on your character's physical posture and habits, not just his lines
Humans are very complex, and much of our communication comes from body language, not just words. How is your character's posture? Is he the central person in the room or does he shrink into a corner? Does it move or stay very still? Do you get very involved when talking or do you maintain a reserved and distant demeanor?
- You won't have to create unique tics and traits for each character, as this will be over the top for many roles. However, you will need to reflect on how they stand, sit, and speak. You can study the basic posture with ease if you are not sure about it; just walk into a restaurant or public place, and look at the people.
- Distance yourself from the character. You might not use your hands when speaking, but an elderly Italian character could use them at any moment.
Step 2. Pay attention to your reactions to other characters' lines, not just when it is “your turn”
Good actors maintain the performance throughout the scene, contributing with their fellow actors to keep the scene alive when they are not speaking. Knowing the other actor's lines and are ready to respond to them will enhance the entire performance and help you maintain your performance.
- The real people (not the characters being played) remain in the moment. Don't think about your next scene or a previous wrong line, stay in the present moment.
- Watch Charlie Day on the show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia for a fun example of acting reactions. Even when he's in the background, he maintains the edgy, unpredictable energy that makes his character (and actor) so popular.
Step 3. Reflect on the point of emphasis in each line or paragraph
The point at which you emphasize the words will be as important as how quickly you pronounce them. Take the simple line "I love you." You can emphasize all three words and get 3 sentences with a different sound. " Me I love you”focuses on your person; "I… you love ”Focuses on discovering love; and me tea I love”focuses on the other person. As an actor, you have to choose which of these moments deserves the most attention.
- If in doubt, talk to the director. He might have a vision for the character's line or arc that you need to fit in with.
- Emphasis is also important in monologues and paragraphs. In a long speech, there will almost always be a moment when the mood, theme, or idea evolves or changes. Find this point and make it a solid transition for your character.
Step 4. Be consistent on stage or set to make the recording happen quickly
The arrangement on the stage (in English, “blocking”) consists of the position in which the actor stands, where he moves and when he does it. On recording sets, this is often carefully designed to assist the videographers, and the lighting and sound personnel. It will be stained glass that you stick to this disposition; otherwise you can ruin the whole recording, so don't try to improvise something new on the spot. Even theater actors have to consistently follow this arrangement, as your movements will dictate those of the other actors and some stage effects.
Good actors rehearse and adopt the role before filming. In this way, they can arrive and interpret the lines on a constant basis, rather than trying to determine them on the fly
Step 5. Attend improv classes so you can improvise your reactions and acting on stage
This class will teach you the art of acting in the present moment. To be good at improvising, the character should always look natural, since the performance is in real time and does not follow a script. This will help you develop the vital skills of reacting to events in real time and not reading from a page. This will also increase your stage attention to the other lines, the actors, and the props.
- Many acting classes offer improvisation as a warm-up or a learning unit, so you can usually get a bit of practice on it with a "classical" acting class.
- When improvising, focus on creating the scene. This basically means that you should always agree with the other actors and then add a twist. To practice, answer each line with “Yes! and also…".
Method 3 of 3: Get Papers
Step 1. Accept as many roles as you can at the start, including commercials and student-made films
There are many more acting jobs than you might imagine. However, most of them will not make it to a movie or television. However, as a beginner, there will be no problem with it. You can gain experience, improve your resume, and at the same time get paid. Here are some good places to find presentations:
- university film departments
Step 2. Take some good close-up photos
These photos will be your business card. These consist of photos taken from the shoulders up showing your “look,” which audition directors use to create playlists for that purpose. If you are willing to pay them, have a professional take them for you. Otherwise, you can call a friend and take them on your own, for which you must remember the following key tips:
- Wear a simple background and flattering, simple clothing.
- Show your entire head and shoulders. Don't flip or crop the photo to give it an "artistic" touch.
- Use extra lamps and lights for even lighting.
- Take some smiling, some serious, and a few with an in-between expression. Any one of them could give you your best appearance.
Step 3. Participate in an audition for an acting agency in your city
Usually, all you have to do is send in some close-up photos for them to call you in for an audition if they are interested in your look. You will have to attend and read a short monologue, after which they will decide if you are suitable for the agency. An agent will be vital if you want to be a professional actor, as they will be the go-between between you and film producers, and most job opportunities will be sent to agencies, not the general public.
Step 4. Build a collection of the best roles you've ever played
This is a collection of all the scenes that you have performed in other acting jobs, which will have been edited on the computer to show your skills in 2 or 3 minutes. Not every job will require one, but this will greatly improve your chances of getting a job. When choosing video clips, use those that show you mostly in a variety of roles (monologues, dialogue, and action scenes). Here are other tips:
- Use the best quality footage you have, especially close-up. Home recordings are usually a bad idea, unless they are of high quality.
- Keep the video short. You should not exceed 4 or 5 minutes. It better be even shorter.
- Please update this video as you get more papers, so you will keep it up to date.
- Put your contact information and your name at the beginning and end.
Step 5. Practice “cold reading” to be successful in your auditions
This consists of receiving the script and performing immediately. Sometimes they will give you a few minutes to read it, but other times you will have to start right away. For practice, take a monologue or other book, or a newspaper story; and start reading aloud. Practice reading from scratch and spending 1 or 2 minutes getting ready.
Step 6. Consider the option of moving to a larger city (like Los Angeles or New York)
To be successful as an actor, you will have to be in a place with a lot of acting jobs. There will be more competition in major venues like Los Angeles or New York, but almost all major productions will host auditions there. Consider this option once you are comfortable with your skills acting in local commercials, plays, or videos.
- For many people, acting doesn't feel natural at all at first. There is no problem with it, as you will only get used to it through practice.
- Always ignore the camera or the audience, even if you think you've made a mistake. Nothing will make you lose your performance faster than remembering that you are only playing one character.