When I talked about training in my previous blog I talked about the importance of practice. As they say 'practice makes perfect'. After all acting is your passion so why wouldn't you want to do it as often as possible? Practice anything enough eventually you become an expert, or at least get better, become more confident and learn to trust your judgment and instincts.
Acting buddies are great for practice but they are also amazing when it comes to just doing it. Get a group of passionate actors together and film your scenes. For actors without a professional demo reel this may give you some footage to showcase your acting chops until you have enough professional footage for a demo reel. Filming yourself gives you the opportunity to watch it, and if you are like me you will hate seeing yourself on film. I must admit with practice, I have learned to be more subjective when viewing my footage and focus on watching the 'character' I'm playing rather than concentrating on me. It took awhile and I still prefer to only view a couple of times then I'm done. Filming your scenes and learning how to edit is also very important for all your self-taped auditions. Yes, self-tapes! Even if you live in the 'city of angels' you will have to self-tape as casting may be in New York or Canada or anywhere really? Sure, if you have the time and the money you can travel all over town to get someone to do it for you but more convenient if you can do it yourself...with a reader of course!
Personally I love stage!
I believe every actor should try stage at some point and what better opportunity than when you have the time for rehearsals and performances. That instant feedback from the audience and believe me the audience can be very encouraging or unforgiving. There is no director calling CUT or editor to make your performance look more polished. It is all about raw talent and exposing yourself to the audience. If something goes wrong, say you forget lines, or don't deliver them as you'd rehearsed there is no second chance. Well at least not until the next performance and then it's a whole new audience to entertain. You learn to think on your feet, so to speak.
ACTORS SUPPORT - AA for actors!
I have noticed a greater focus on actors to be more versatile. Actor support groups are very popular in Los Angeles. Typically a group of actors will meet on a regular basis and make films, either short films or new media for YouTube and such. Each actor will bring to the table different skills, some are happy to act however others may want the opportunity to try their hand at the many aspects of filmmaking. For example, some actors are great writers or have great leadership skills so directing may be more their thing. Once you establish the skill set, or strengths and weaknesses of the group other filmmakers may be invited to fill the voids. You're probably thinking but I only want to act why would I want to join this type of group? The answer is simple...to act! Create your own opportunities! And learning other aspects of the filmmaking process will give you far greater respect for filmmakers...or who knows, you may unveil a passion you never knew existed.
Expand your knowledge. There's acting and then there's acting. Being a well-rounded actor is essential. It's not fine to just act. Things to consider are comedy (comedic timing) vs dramatic acting (emotional triggers). You may consider improvisation...very popular for thinking on your feet and a great tool when you're in the audition room. Specific training for cold reading and audition techniques is always helpful. Maybe voiceover is your thing, so many animation movies being made nowadays, great for commercials and narration as well. Learning and perfecting accents! So many actors overlook the importance of perfecting the accent. Remember if you want to compete on a world scale you need to be at the top of your game. Know your type! Not who you think you are, but how your perceived by others. Are you the nerd, the mean girl, the bully, the character actor or the lead actor?
Please feel free to discuss any points I have covered in my blog. I would love and welcome your feedback!