The actor should have charm, a well-posed voice, the ability to transform into a variety of images and improvise on the go. You need a really good memory in order to memorize long roles, excellent health, to withstand hours of shooting days, and the ability to concentrate on work, leaving all your family worries and personal troubles abroad. You always need to be prepared for failures and irregular work schedules, periods of lack of money and the annoying attention of fans (if successful, of course).
We settled on ten recommendations that can help a novice actor on the way to professional status.
Get rid of stereotypes
If you want to become a professional actor in Newmark Theater, here are three unpleasant facts you should know:
- This is a very competitive industry. The number of theaters and the volume of films shot is very small, but there are many who want to try themselves in this field. Every minute of your career you will feel pressure from your competitors, “young and talented” will literally step on your heels.
- Units become stars. Often, luck does not depend on the effort expended, but on a simple set of circumstances. Perhaps you will never become as famous as you want. Or it will not happen at all when you expect it.
- This is a very unstable profession. You will definitely have periods (especially at the initial stage of your career) when there will be no new roles and you will have to switch to austerity mode. Think in advance about how you will support yourself during downtime – maybe it makes sense to get a second profession with more predictable incomes.
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- Appearance, contrary to a common misconception, is far from the main thing in the profession of an actor. Different roles require different types, it is not necessary to have a perfect face and figure in order to become a world star. In the end, theater and cinema are only a reflection of the surrounding reality, but in reality, not fashion models walk on the streets.
- Charisma is much more important than appearance. Not everyone by nature knows how to attract the attention of a viewer, but this quality can be developed over time.
- Purposefulness – you must be able to set goals and consistently achieve them. Failures, downtime, lack of money and disappointment are inevitable companions of an unstable acting profession. It is necessary to have a strong character and steadfastly withstand all stresses, because the black stripes are surely replaced by white and only the one who can not lose heart and “shoot” at the right time wins.
- The adequacy of the perception of criticism is an important factor. You will be criticized, scolded, sometimes rudely enough. Remember that an actor is a tool in the director’s hands, his point of view should be yours on demand. Any criticism must be turned in its favor and diligently learn from their own and others’ mistakes. High conceit and fragile self-esteem are the most harmful things for a creative person.
- Patience is one of the most important qualities required in a profession. Make-up, costume, rehearsals, dozens of identical takes are the harsh reality of acting. You should be prepared to spend the whole day at work without losing concentration.
- Lability. Good artists are people who are reading, interested, with a moving psyche, constantly trying to get out of their comfort zone and always ready to discover something new.
The acting profession requires at least some rudiments of talent. But talent can also be developed if you tune in to work and forget about laziness.
- Acting classes and theater studios. Any practical exercises bring tangible benefits. In short-term courses you will be engaged in acting, stage speech, vocals, dancing. These skills will come in handy even if you refuse the chosen acting path.
- Practice. Even the simplest amateur performances staged for friends and relatives will teach you not to be afraid of the stage and feel more confident on more serious projects. Courses or individual lessons with a teacher will help you prepare for admission to a theater university and get rid of “disqualifying” shortcomings that could interfere with your future career.
- Special literature. Keep on hand books on the theory of acting, psychology manuals, refer to biographies and experiences of famous actors. Everywhere you can learn something useful for work.
- Performances and cinema. Watch other actors, their speech, facial expressions, behavior in the frame and on the stage. Try to repeat the most successful examples, learn from someone else’s experience, learn from someone else’s success and notice someone else’s mistakes – this is a very important way to acquire acting skills.
- Develop your strengths. With the experience of speaking, an understanding of what works best for you will come. Strengthen your best qualities to stand out from the competition. But do not forget about the weaknesses – you need to gradually pull up all your skills.
Is it possible to become an actor without education? Of course, dozens of famous and sought-after actors did not receive any education at all – they found their way with the help of incredible talent, a combination of circumstances and great luck. If you think that all of this is in abundance, then you may not need this text. Everyone else, those who rely more on themselves than on a lucky star, has a direct path for special acting education.
In large cities, there are many lesser-known schools, acting courses and theater studios, but the above can give you the very “quality mark” that is quoted in the theater and cinema. If you are serious about achieving success in the profession, choose the best education.
But there is one very serious limitation: theater institutes cannot be entered at any age. Girls are usually taken up to 22 years old, and men up to 25-27 years old. If you encounter this obstacle, look for alternatives in acting classes or in commercial universities, where everyone is taken.
Admission to the theater university
Almost all actors recall their entrance exams as the most terrible moment of their life. Competitions in acting universities are going wild, sometimes reaching 500 people per seat, so it’s better to try to catch the full-time exams and auditions in several places at once. The chance to enter only once a year – you can not miss it.
Applicants to theatrical universities usually pass four entrance tests: assessment of acting, interviewing, exams in literature and the Russian language. You will need perseverance and patience – it is likely that the first time you will not succeed, you will need to try again and again until you achieve the desired result.
Prepare a program for creative testing responsibly and individually for you. Minimum set: fable, poetry and prose. Have backup options and learn them by heart — the commission often asks for a few “things” to be shown. Even if you don’t sing and dance, still prepare the simplest song and simple dance, because you will probably be asked to demonstrate vocal and plastic.
Studying at a theater university
Your education largely depends on what kind of master you will be able to attend. Each of them teaches in their own way and gives unique skills that distinguish you from colleagues from other “workshops”. In any case, a diploma of an acting university with your last name will mean that you have received the minimum necessary set of skills for future work and have passed the responsible selection of the best of the best. You have literally been taught what it means to be an actor. This is a reliable way to enter the professional community, get practice on the stage, make the necessary acquaintances and show your talent to those who are really interested in it.
The portfolio is based on quality photographs. At the first stage, it makes sense to contact your fellow photographers who will help save a lot of money for shooting. There are few requirements for a photoset – portrait photographs should be bright, clear and adequately reflect your appearance. Use a minimum of makeup and look directly into the lens – at the stage of assessing your appearance, you do not need to show your ability to get used to complex images.
Once the photoset is ready – create your account on a free site. Enter your data without cheating, indicate your experience, add photos. The more original your portfolio is, the more likely it is to interest a prospective employer.
The acting profession is unfriendly to introverts. To succeed, you will certainly have to communicate with dozens of strangers, smile and be able to present yourself correctly.
Maintain active accounts on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, create a YouTube channel with recordings of your successful performances and roles. Maintain active contacts with film industry workers, do not be lazy to attend thematic events – no one knows where future casting directors and directors will find you.
The flip side of openness is the annoying public attention and the inevitable appearance of ill-wishers. People will judge you by how and what you say, what you dress and what you do besides your work. You must be prepared for this integral part of the profession.
- Improve your memory. This is one of the main tools of the actor. Long monologues, stand-up performances, poems, songs – learn large chunks of text by heart and then you will become a welcome worker for any director. They really appreciate the ability to play from memory without a teleprompter.
- Expand your acting range. Practice different accents and dialects: emotional Italian, severe Siberian, hot Caucasian. Complete them with characteristic gestures and facial expressions, peeped in foreign films or videos on Youtube. Such training will make you a universal actor and will allow you to master new useful images.
- Put a voice. Your speech should be clear, loud and beautiful. This is especially important for performances in the theater, where the director does not have the opportunity to slip you a microphone on a long bar. Practice vocals with a good teacher or take oratory classes. Avoid cigarettes and alcohol, which adversely affect the vocal cords.
- Acquire related skills. Go in for dancing, pantomime, fencing, some kind of general developing sport. This will help you keep fit and add to your competitive advantage.
- Practice constantly. Do not stand idle – even if at the moment you are left without work, do not allow yourself to relax. Agree to the smallest roles, practice in amateur theaters and avant-garde productions, where you can be invited to play for free. This is the only way to gain experience and improve your skills.
Samples or casting is stress for any actor, beginner or experienced, unknown to anyone or famous around the world. But this is an integral part of the acting profession, especially if you are at the very start of your career. Do not miss a single opportunity to try even for the most insignificant role – look for roles in advertising and series, graduate works of novice directors and even in some free projects. Not to miss the next test will help actor sites. Here are a few universal, purely practical tips that will help increase the chances of going through a casting:
- Get help. Do not be too lazy to find out the maximum about the upcoming role – what kind of scenario, what kind of hero, how you can match him as much as possible. Look at the previous works of this director, try to understand how he wants to see his actors. Ask your friends, maybe they already tried to go through this casting – why did they fail.
- Get ready. Learn the material – reading from paper will kill half the talent that you want to demonstrate.
- Show respect. Come to the casting in advance, turn off your mobile phone, talk politely and modestly – exactly until you are asked to show what you can do. Listen carefully and try to do exactly what is required of you.
- Do not worry. Drop constraint, concentrate on the desired goal. Speak confidently, clearly and loudly, do not pinch. Show that you are truly the best fit for this role.
- Stand out. Be different from others, give the director a reason to cling to something – bright speech, movement, some unusual wardrobe item will make you remember. But do not overdo it, you should not build a star from yourself either. Even if you do not get this role, next time your chances will be higher.