Who is an Actor
Who is an Actor ?
In simple words – Actor is a person who reacts.
There are two types of Actors – Professional & Amateurs
A professional actor is someone who is paid to act.
Professional actors sometimes undertake unpaid work for a variety of reasons, including educational purposes or for charity events.
Amateur actors are those who do not receive payment for performances.
Not all people working as actors in film, television, or theatre are professionally trained. Bob Hoskins, for example, had no formal training before becoming an actor.
What as an actor we need to take care
1 Relax Great actors spend their entire careers learning to relax the muscles in their face and body at will. Tension is very obvious when you are on stage. Your voice will sound thin and wavering, and your movements will be jerky and unattractive. To avoid these stiff and nervous displays when you’re acting, it is essential to remain as relaxed as possible. Even a scene involving high drama calls for measured and calm concentration from the actor. So, act dramatic, but be calm inside, and don’t work yourself up
2 Focus your attention on something on stage. It could be another actor, a prop, etc. Keep yourself in the moment and never stare off into space. It is obvious to the audience if you are spacing out and it is very distracting. Keeping in the moment enables you to remain in character and enhances the believably of the role and the play itself. Also, try not to play with your clothes, or use other nervous gestures, just look at the back of the theatre, or your focus point, if you are tense.
3 Immerse yourself in the role completely. Forget that you are pretending and try to become the character you are playing. Envision how that person reacts to life, how that person dresses, walks, thinks and converses with others. Don’t be afraid to act like someone else, Draw on these visualisations when portraying the character. Always stay in that state of mind when acting. If you try to pretend to be sad, it’s an effort; if you
4 Remember that everything is exaggerated on stage. If you’re up on a stage, you need to enunciate your words (speak clearly). All the emotions on your face need to be formed in a more intense manner but remember to stay relaxed. If you feel like you’re over-acting, then you’re probably acting just enough. Eyes, smile, facial expressions, gestures, etc., need to be more expansive and dramatic than you would ever make them in real life. Be careful if acting in front of a camera, however. Here you must be more subtle, as in real life, because a camera picks up subtleties very easily and broad and exaggerated movements suitable for stage acting often look “hammed up” on film.
5 Treat the little things as being very important If you’re performing for an audience either live, or on film, you need to do everything you can to make the audience believe the character that you’re trying to be. If the script says that someone is talking too much, then portray a look or annoyance on your face and perhaps accompany that with impatient tapping of your foot. If you’re supposed to be near tears, blink hard, look downwards and fiddle with your clothes, and try to stare without blinking until tears come. Little actions are amazingly noticeable, including very expressive facial features. Include as many of the senses as possible, such as playing music, putting on make-up, turning on some lights; anything that can make the room happy or sad to fit the character and role that you are trying to present. This includes changing your voice, this can be done by spending time with people who have the desired accent, learn the language and or get a voice coach. There are also CD’s and books to help you master that accent!
6 Work on projecting. Invest in a cheap recorder (tape, CD, flash drive, whatever you are comfortable with.) Set the recorder far away from you, at least twenty feet( 6 meters), press record, back away. Speak a simple sentence, such as “My shirt is blue and my eyes are too!”. Keep trying different sentences (“How now brown cow” is a famous one). Listen to how you sound in the recording. Kick up the difficulty by backing further away each time, causing you to project more.
7 Breathe and alliterate. Do numerous vocal warm ups to ensure that you do not strain your vocal cords. Concentrate on enunciating your words so that your voice comes across clearly. Try a complex sentence such as, “Why, oh why haven’t you seen those rambunctious twins, Jill and Bill?”. Try speaking this with or without emotion. Then replay the recording. Speaking clearly is very important, so, practice by “E-Nuh-Nnn-Css-Iii-Ay-Ting” each syllable. Remember, however, that when you actually act, you can’t do this! It simply an exercise that should be done in front of a mirror for practising purposes.
8 Concentrate on your expressions Facial expressions are very important and combining facial expressions with vocal responses is an important art of timing. Say a very simple “Oh!” in front of a mirror, each time watching your face and voice. Try the following moods: Sadness, awe, anger, fear, excitement, and any others you can think of.
*Practice your lines incessantly*
Make many copies. Write them out or print them out, so that you can just find a copy anywhere. Keep a copy in your bag, your desk drawer, next to your bed, in the bathroom, at the kitchen table, on the wall, in front of a favorite window.Read your lines at every opportunity possible – before you go to bed, when you wake up in the morning, waiting for a bus, cooking dinner. Recite the lines over and over again, remembering to include intonation and expressions so that these become second nature when you perform them on stage.When you find a long passage, say the first line until you are comfortable with your intonation and phrasing. Then add the next line to the first. Practice your delivery on the first two lines until you are ready to add the next (or start with the last line, then the two last lines, so that by the time you get to doing the entire thing you will be very familiar with the last bit). Once you are comfortable with the lines, you can further explore the meaning of the passage and refine your delivery.
10 Meet people Get to know a diverse group of people. You can’t possibly act like someone you’ve never met. Talk to people you’d normally not think of spending time with; they can teach you more about different kinds of people and different perspectives on viewing our amazing world
11 Learn from other actors It is not cheating or losing your own voice to learn from others. Watch other actors and see what they do with the parts they’re given; by doing this, you will learn a lot. You can see things they do that you might help you to further develop your own acting style and give you ideas for overcoming aspects of acting that you might be finding strange or difficult. Ask them questions and ask them for help. Most actors will be more than willing to offer you some advice
12 Use the stage lights to kill stage fright If you have a fear of acting on a stage, don’t worry. When the house lights go out and the stage lights go on, you won’t be able to see the audience, except possibly one or two. It’s clear skies after that.
13 Block out the audience. Whether it be a live audience, a camera, or your mum when your rehearsing with her, try to pretend that there’s a wall between you and the audience. This is called ‘the fourth wall’. You’re no longer on a stage or a set, you’re in your world and the audience doesn’t exist. But never, ever, turn your back on the audience.
Some plays require you to speak directly to the audience, and this is called ‘breaking the fourth wall’. When you are required to do this, pretend you’re merely looking at them, but you’re speaking to your fellow actors on stage. It may also help to look above their heads.
5 Things An Actor Should Know Early In his/her Acting Career
There are a lot of things you need to know as an actor, but here are five lessons I wish I’d learned early in my career.
1. Know your “type.”
Sure, in school you learned how to play any role—to stretch, to challenge, to grow.
Out in the real world, you are unlikely to be able to play much outside of your general age, height, weight, etc.
It is very important to have a clear sense of who you are when you walk into a room and what that means in terms of the roles you can audition for.
This takes work, soul searching, and asking friends, teachers, agents, and casting directors to give you some hard opinions about your type, and your head-shot should reflect that person.
You may very well be capable of playing many other kinds of roles, but you won’t get them unless you first get the jobs you’re right for.
2. The first year is the hardest
If you thought college was hard, wait until you hit the real world.
What I hear from former students most often is, “I knew it was going to be hard. I just didn’t know it was going to be this hard.”
This business is not for the faint of heart.
It takes a lot of hard work and belief in yourself to even feel like you’ve gotten a hold of the bottom rung of the ladder.
Learning to be patient and wait your turn are skills you can work on every day.
3. You need to work at it every day
If you want to get through those first difficult years, you have to work at it every day.
If you leave it to chance, you will always be able to convince yourself that you will have time to do those mailings, make those calls, and read those trades “soon.”
You have to start by scheduling at least an hour every day that you are working at your business—and it is a business.
Any day that you have done at least one thing for your career is a good day.
This includes auditioning, doing mailings, etc., but it also includes working out, eating healthy, seeing plays, movies, new TV shows, etc.
Your job is to learn the business.
It’s “learnable,” but you do have to learn it.
4. Agents, casting directors, producers, and directors are not the enemy
Yes, the whole manager, agent, casting director system is set up so that many, many people have vetted you before you get in front of the person who will actually decide to hire you: the director, producer, or both.
However, they really do want you to be good.
It makes their job easier.
Remember if you nail it in the room, then everyone in that system looks good.
The director will trust the casting director to present new talent. The casting director will trust your agent to pitch new actors. Your agent will look to the school where you trained for new talent next year.
There is truly nothing more exciting in an audition room than when someone you’ve never met before comes in and knocks it out of the park.
Your job is to be that person.
When you are, you make everybody look good—especially you.
It takes a while to really believe this, so keep reminding yourself.
5. Being a good person is just as important as being a good actor
At a certain level, any of the five people up for a part could do a good job in the role.
Are you someone I want to be in a rehearsal room with for a month? A movie set for six months? A TV series for seven years? It takes time to build a reputation.
The way you do that is by treating everyone with respect and trying your best to do good work.
It takes persistence to have a life in this business.
If you really are going to spend your life as an actor, then the fact that the first year or two was hard is a drop in the bucket.
What an actor needs to do…???
Watch other people.
Don’t be a creeper, but seriously spend a day at a mall or park and just observe people and how they go about their merry (or not so merry) lives.
You’ll soon notice the variety of people and the quirks and mannerisms which really define them.
Be sure to see what people do with their eyes and hands as these are very expressive features.
Make note of any particular characteristics which strike you, if someone has a particular tick, a jump in their step, or a striking facial expression, then take some time to think about what they did and how you might be able to apply their behaviour to create your own particular character.
We are always speaking with body language, often more so than we do with English.
What do you think about someone who is always stiff and almost mechanical, or someone who slouches and leans constantly. When a person smiles or laughs a certain way, how do you react?
Always realise that we are constantly assessing one another, moods, status, reputation, esteem (self confidence), intelligence.
People certainly can seem wealthier by standing a certain way, or confident by the way they move through a crowd.
How do we know these things?
Not quite sure, but it just seems to be part of our collective human culture that we associate
certain appearances and actions with traits.
A hobo could stand with a posture that make him seem like a king, and a Harvard Alumnus can have a facial expression which makes him/her seem like a moron.
Keep studying; the more you watch, the more you learn.
If anything stand in front of a mirror and practice various poses and expressions and think about how they make you feel and how you would feel seeing someone else doing it.
One key factor that really finds helpful and enjoyable is watching professional actors do their thing.
Live theatre can a fantastically fun and informative experience.
Go see some plays at your local theatre or if plays are unavailable, then rent some “classic” movies and just study what the actors/actress do.
Don’t plagiarise their techniques, analyse how they use their techniques to come across as a “better” actor, body language, voice inflection, volume, etc.
Also, be sure to watch “bad” actors, or people who in your opinion didn’t do a good job; did they somehow break character?
smile or smirk?
Look directly into the camera?
Try and observe as many examples of both the good the bad to try and asses your personal conception of ways to perform better.