Find your tribe, and work together to achieve your goals as individuals, and as a collective. The best way to stay focused on your acting is with a weekly class. The routine of working on scenes or monologues on a regular basis forces you to focus on your craft. Seek out what you need. It might be your screen skills that are letting you down, find a class that focuses on screen work and take that for weeks. If you find a class you like, stick with it. Read: finding weekly acting classes. Masterclasses can be expensive, and often too short-lived to get any lasting change.
But they are great to get a whack of inspiration. Usually you are working on a new technique, or with a well known practitioner, and it can be a great catalyst to completely change the way you look at acting. Prioritise, and definitely head along when a great teacher comes to your town. When I was starting out as an actor I was terrified to go to an acting class.
Usually I would get a friend to come along because I found it too intimidating. I always recommend learning in a class environment, but for some actors learning at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home can be a great starting point. It has been a huge success, and a really viable way to learn acting. If you are going around in circles in your career, you may need the formality of a drama school. Drama school training is equivalent to 10 years in the industry.
You learn a bucket tonne about acting and it will also open up doors, especially if you study at an elite academy.
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Drama school graduates certainly have an edge over other actors. I recommend drama school to most actors who are looking at getting serious about their career.
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Training can be as simple as working on your acting every day at home. Here are some ways you can practice acting at home :. Get together with like-minded friend and put down a self tape or a scene each week. The act of doing is training enough. More on working with friends. Read and watch plays regularly. This simple act of reading and watching plays will have a strange way of making you a better actor, without you even realising it.
This is great for cold reading skills and a lot of fun. Making your own work is a great way to become a better actor. Shooting a short film , or putting on a play will be such a rewarding experience. You become a better actor when you have to really own your work. You will also learn about other areas of the industry, which is invaluable as an actor. Learn on the job. This is where we really get better as actors. Every project you work on, try to learn something. If you have a learning mentality you will continue to grow as an artist. Each project will make you a better actor and offer unique lessons.
Are you not memorized enough? Are you not listening or connecting?
Lessons from the shoot....
I've seen too many tapes have to be redone because of these things which are totally in the actor's control , and it doesn't look good for the actor who didn't take it seriously enough. Agents and managers take notice, and it makes them more reluctant to trust you. There are many things outside of an actor's control, but this isn't one of them. If you get a "self tape audition" for a job, why wouldn't you give it your all, and cover everything you can on your end, be as professional and prepared as possible as if you were stepping into a producer session , and blow them away with how great you are on tape, and what a great actor you are.
Don't you agree? Self taped auditions are new pre-pre-read, meaning casting directors are deciding who to bring in for their few precious spots based on self-tapes. This means you need to level up, understand the game, and also put yourself in their shoes, and imagine what it seems like when they scroll through hundreds of tapes sometimes thousands for big open call castings. The first seconds matter, both in the acting and the production value. Don't give them a reason to skip over your tape that you put that all that work into.
I'm currently coaching on the set of a very popular show, filming out in Montauk for the week. Yes, I'm bragging. I'm talking big budget--green screens, stunts, well known actors, beautiful locations, incredible food, the most expensive cameras, equipment, lighting, "do as many takes as you need," and a crew of about I spent most of my day sitting around, doing some coaching, observing, and asking lots of questions about lenses, cameras, and watching how all of these insanely talented people come together to make a small scene come to life in an extraordinary way.
This one was way more fun. Everyone took on about 5 different jobs, and there was no sitting around and waiting. Money was burning, actors were getting tired, we were losing light and patience , and I wouldn't change anything about it. So what's the point of all this? Why bother creating your own work? Well, unless you are one of the lucky people who gets cast on network TV shows all the time, you are going to spend a lot of your time sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, hoping to get an audition for one line on a TV show.
Thousands are submitted, 10 are selected to read.
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Do you want to spend your time competing with those odds? I've been listening to this amazing podcast lately called "Off Camera with Sam Jones," which I highly recommend. They interview writers, directors, actors, and they discuss the process, and the importance of putting your own work out there. Listen to the one with Mark Duplass. Here is the link. Then listen to the one with Matt Damon and Vince Vaughn. They all put their own work out there at the beginning of their careers. They weren't getting the jobs they wanted, so they created the work themselves.
What are you waiting for? We have all read scripts, we know what we like and don't like, what sucks and doesn't suck. With a short form narrative a short film , it doesn't need to have a 3 act structure. Keep it simple, keep it interesting, and do something completely weird and nuts that hasn't been done before.
Go further than what you think is okay you can always pull back in the edit. Learn to wear a lot of different hats. Learn about lenses, about aperture, about directing actors, about how editing can change the pacing of the scene, learn about lighting a scene with practical lighting, learn about types of shots, and educate yourself on all sides of the business.
As Mark Duplass says, "Don't be precious.
Be prolific. There is nothing more satisfying than coming up with an idea, writing it down in a short narrative with a few scenes, raising money for it, producing it, hiring a crew, directing it, casting it, and starring in it. Sound difficult? It's not. You just have to get off your ass and be diligent about getting it done.
Spend 10 minutes a day writing. Show it to your friends, read it out loud with them, write about what you know. Push the envelope. What is the story that only YOU can tell? Once you have a solid page script, raise money and film it. I have done this three times very successfully through Indiegogo.
You don't need much. You need quality control, and you need someone to show you the ropes.
- So You Want To Be An Actor?;
- How to become a professional actor without going to drama school - StandBy Method Acting Studio.
- Reasonable Doubt (Mills & Boon Love Inspired) (The Mahoney Sisters, Book 1).
- Indian Story and Song from North America.
You need to make something LOOK amazing, even though you don't have the money. You need to know how to cheat, have great sound always spend money on a good sound person , use the right cinematic lenses, rent the right camera for the look you want, come up with an amazing shotlist most of which you will throw out the window during filming. So you filmed it and now it's in the can. Now what?
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Submit to festivals? Do it all over again? Take everything you have learned and start all over, now with more knowledge. Learn by doing. Become an expert.