How to Become a Better Actor or Actress: A 5-Step Guide to Improvement
Are you wondering how to become a better actor or actress? And what do you need to do to advertise your creative talent? We give you the low-down here!
You know that your acting technique has a few weak spots. You’re not getting callbacks, and even when you get in the room, you barely even get to finish your monologue before you hear the casting directors shout, “Next!” You want to learn what you’re doing wrong, and how you can improve your skill set. In this post, we’ll tell you the five most important steps you need to take to learn how to become a better actor. Read on to understand how you can go from an extra to a starring role.
1. Try out Different Methods
The first step in learning how to become a better actor?
Start trying out as many different methods as possible. You don’t even need to follow one technique blindly. Instead, the idea is to create a toolbox of different parts of acting methods that work for you.
For example, from Method Acting, you could realize that watching a sad film before reading an emotional scene makes you more vulnerable. From the Linklater method, you could realize how developing your breathing and posture allows you to perform eight shows a week. From Stanislavsky, you can learn the importance of script and character analysis.
Look for training programs in your city, and don’t be afraid to network with other actors and directors online to find out about upcoming workshops and classes.
2. See as Many Shows as You Can
Understanding how to get better at acting also means immersing yourself in the world of theatre and other forms of performance.
You don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars a week on theatre or movies to learn from people onstage.
Seek out local community theatre productions, rent older movies with celebrated performances, or even tap into the underground art scene. You’ll learn what kind of material you gravitate towards, as well as the kind of acting that you want to emulate.
Look for productions that offer talkbacks, so that you can learn more about the process from both the actor and the director.
3. Understand Your Talent
We know that you want to develop your acting skill set to the point that you can play any part with ease.
However, the reality is that most casting directors and even agents look for “types” throughout the casting process. To improve your craft and get more auditions and roles, you need to identify what your type is as early as you can.
Think about the way people describe you in real life. Also, consider your physicality. This doesn’t just mean the way you look, but also the way that you move. Ask your friends to describe you, and look for commonalities.
If you’re lucky enough to have a one-on-one acting coach, ask them to identify what they feel your type is.
For example, are you more of a character actor, someone who plays the part of the clown? Are you the ingenue, the young love interest? Are you the “wise friend” who always has the best advice? The troublemaker or rebel?
Then, look for opportunities to play that type. Don’t be afraid to start small.
Once you’ve proven yourself, you can take things to the next level.
4. Read More Scripts
If you want to learn how to become a better actor, you need to be able to identify what’s motivating people in a certain scene.
You need to understand what these characters want, and what (or who) is standing in the way of them getting it. The best way to start learning how to properly analyze the obstacles and expectations of scenes is by reading as many scripts as you can get your hands on.
You should also watch films or even one-act plays, and attempt to identify the needs and tactics of the characters.
This also means taking the time to observe real people and conversations. In other words, become a professional people watcher.
Understand how people’s body language changes when they talk to others. Look for imbalances of power, and how that impacts things, too.
5. It’s All About Who You Know
We hope the previous pieces of advice have helped you to better understand what makes a good actor.
However, there’s one aspect of reality that even the most amazing actor can’t ignore: in this business especially, it’s all about who you know.
Consider becoming a member of Actor’s Equity or SAG, so that you can make the right connections with other people in the business. Look for actor meet-ups and clubs, so that you can rub elbows with all the right people.
Take an active approach to networking.
Connect with producers and entrepreneurs who have experience in helping actors build up their online presence. Meet with people who work in film marketing and branding, and pick their brains for ideas and opportunities.
How to Become a Better Actor: Wrapping Up
Learning how to become a better actor isn’t something that happens overnight.
It takes a true dedication to your craft, the ability to handle even harsh rejection, and a tireless refusal to give up. It also takes the right contacts.
We can certainly help you with that.
Check out the Celebrity CEO series to learn more about pitching your ideas and developing your skill set. Understand what works, what doesn’t, and how to get out in front of common industry roadblocks.
Now is the time to take the first step in getting your entertainment career where you want it to go.