5 Basic things you should learn early in your acting career!

Acting is a passion and a craft that offers an exciting, rewarding creative path for those who can make it work for them. Getting there can take a lot of hard work and dedication. Some key steps to becoming an actor involve perfecting various skills that those entering, or wishing to enter the profession, need to know. These skills can give you an edge in your craft and getting these right early is arguably the best way to start an acting career.

Voice

Training your voice is the most important tool an actor can possess.  Extending your vocal capabilities is a skill you can get better at and can open you up to more roles and help propel an acting career. Reading aloud, recording yourself and playing it back to see how you sound, working on articulation, studying accents, working on breathing all help. Getting a voice coach can be key.

Preparation

In any role, audition or any task in life preparation is key. Find your own take on the role, home in on the best approach to take before you arrive, it just makes sense. From the emerging artist to the experienced Oscar winners and acclaimed actors, everyone needs to prepare before they begin any role or audition. The degree of preparation will vary with the role they are taking. Research into your characters history, your own emotional and psychological vagaries and the story you wish to tell is of paramount importance to landing any role

Presence

It’s an elusive term, and everybody has it, it just needs to be worked on. It’s the ability to leave an impression, command the attention of an audience. It is that extra something that draws your eye to an actor, the x-factor they bring to every performance. Being in the moment is the best way to achieve presence. Using the space around you is part of getting this. Connect to the space, be it a studio theatre space, film location or a stage; understand the depth, breadth, and perception of the entire space. Connect to your scene partners, understand your relationship to them and what you need from them, let the audience see you are a real person by “living life under imaginary circumstances” Sanford Meisner

Kinesthetic awareness

Kinesthetic awareness can be defined as how we sense our body and the way it moves. It gives your body the ability to coordinate motion and the ability to perform almost any activity. A strong physical presence is crucial to the professional actor. People can have different levels of natural kinesthetic awareness, and it is definitely a skill that can be lost without use. There are many movement techniques that can be studied to improve this and are worth investing time on.

Emotional availability

This is key to the success of any actor to be believable. Actors are often required to be emotionally available, in situations ranging from an early morning acting class, to filming a scene well past midnight after a full day on set. With live performances there is an expectation to deliver the right emotion every performance, and in film, when the camera and crew are ready. Actors who cross genres also need to learn how to adjust for the emotional nuances of each. Emotions need to come across as authentic and real. Accessing a range of emotions is a true skill. Acting for the stage may require a different approach than the screen where cameras can get up close.

These 5 areas are a great place to begin. If you have a passion for performing arts and acting, check out our Bachelors of Screen and Stage Acting which includes both practical acting classes, and the theory and technical skills behind the discipline.