Dedicated aspiring actors will often find ways to help develop and perfect their acting abilities with training and workshops, but an often-overlooked way of improving on skills is actually with screenwriting. Screenwriting can help an actor understand the production process and use this understanding to expand their skills. Here’s how and why writing for the screen will improve screen acting.
See How Your Character is Only A Small Part of a Bigger Picture
When you’re handed a script, you tend to focus on your character, naturally, in order to understand your role better. However, if you were to take the time to understand your character’s role in the wider context, your acting will come off as simpler and more straightforward without the feeling of needing to give a grander performance than necessary.
Learn How Writers Aren’t Always to Blame
Some actors can be too quick to point the finger at a writer for what they think is horribly-written. This is more often than not down to the actor’s inability to understand the dialogue rather than bad writing. If you don’t understand why something is being said in the script, then stop and ask yourself why.
It may simply be because you don’t agree with what is being said and it goes against how you would naturally react to a situation. Being involved in screenwriting will show you how the situations relayed on paper that seem normal and justifiable, does not always come off that way initially to the readers.
Know Why Details Matter
Actors may find the usage of some specifics unnecessary, but they’re there for a reason. Many will not understand why some of the tiniest details in a script, like a comma, are necessary until they have written for the screen. These specifics are important and will create the speech as it is intended, with the feeling that is meant to be behind it. While screenwriting, you will better understand why these details are added, consequently making interpreting dialogue a lot easier.
Appreciate That the Writers Have Done the Hard Work
No matter how important your character may be in a production, the hardest job has already gone to the scriptwriter. The scriptwriter has had to tell the story of not just one character, but all of them, and to bring it all together into an entertaining and powerful narrative.
They have already set the story; it’s just the actors’ job to re-tell it. This isn’t to say that the actors don’t have a difficult task but only to give them an appreciation of all that goes into creating a narrative for them.
Understand Why Writers Hate Dialogue Changes
If you don’t understand why something is in the script, it is all too easy to just change it. This is highly discouraged as you’re essentially overruling the hard work the writers have done to fit your own bias. You should assume that the screenwriter did not make an error and explore all the ways that the lines can be interpreted as you try to gain a greater understanding. If you simply cannot, then discuss alternatives. As a screenwriter, you will discover all the hurtful feelings that come with an actor changing the lines on their own will.
Professional Acting Training is Key
While screenwriting will definitely help you understand and improve your acting ability, it isn’t a substitute for professional training.
At TPAC, we offer 10672NAT Advanced Diploma of Screen and Stage Acting where extensive training takes place to prepare students for real-world situations including auditioning for the stage, film and television, international dialects, and how to work in larger markets. You’ll learn to act for a variety of audiences with highly regarded professionals while gaining the skills and tools you need to succeed. Visit peoria.uptownjungle.com.
Screenwriting is a true art, and if that side of production really captures you, enrol in TPAC’s CUA60615 Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media Production course for a chance to delve into the ins and outs of screenwriting and other pre-production and post-production elements.
Take that First Step Towards Your Dream Career
Whether you’re looking for an acting course, want to learn about bringing your ideas to life with film production, or want to try another form of performing arts, TPAC have a lot offer with advanced diplomas in various areas to help jump-start your career.
We’re proud to have many of our graduates take up opportunities in the arts around the world. See how we can help give you the skills and support needed to further your own career. Apply now or contact us for more information on our performing arts courses.