Acting is a doing word and unless you are continually practising you will lose the skills you have already accumulated.
Establishing any kind of routine and repetition will be advantageous for your skills.
If you went to the gym once a week for a year, you would be fit, but no one can argue that going 5 days a week for a smaller amount of time can make you fitter! It’s called compound interest, and you can collect that interest all year round.
It’s the same with acting muscles, if you practice 5 days a week for 20 minutes it’s going to be better than practising once a week for 2 hours.
By all means, go to acting classes, take acting courses and for now… Here are 5 tips that will help you be a better actor and improve your acting skills.
1. Establish a morning routine.
It doesn’t have to be long, just 30 minutes!
Write for 10 minutes, expand your imagination and creativity by writing (not typing) continually for 10 minutes barely lifting the pen from the page. Just write, it doesn’t matter what you write just spew forward all your thoughts onto the page. It’s difficult at first but after a while, you will begin to love it and see your creativity appear on the page. It will go a long way to making your acting more expansive.
Meditate for 10 minutes, and I don’t mean sitting cross-legged and chanting (or though if that’s what you like then go for it) but spend ten minutes watering the garden, do a repetitive task and while you are in the space of moving meditation concentrate on your breath and just listen to it (no need to change it, just be aware of it) then think of three things or people that you are grateful for. After 10 minutes you will be feeling a lot freer and happier, trust me!
Move your body for 10 minutes, stretch, walk, run, dance or shake your body! Just get that heart rate up, make it race! The endorphins that will be released by this simple act will get you raring for the day.
Acting classes, courses or, in fact, actual plays and films require stamina, so start now.
Acting requires us to look inside and see what we are made of, but we must become good observers of the outside, of humans and human nature. If we want to recreate human behaviour on stage and be truthful about it, we need to observe, watch people, family, friends, strangers and see how they work. Note down peoples eccentricities and habits, no matter how strange.
You will be amazed at how this kind of research and observation will help your acting skills in the creation of characters and their habits.
3. Be You
Just like any tradesperson or artists toolbox contains tools, brushes and paint, the actor’s toolbox contains an emotional and physical life.
Fill it up with experiences. Go to the theatre, read plays and autobiographies, watch documentaries and movies, visit museums, listen to music, look at art, immerse yourselves in other cultures at festivals and have interesting conversations with just anybody (everybody has a story to tell).
Write down what makes you feel good, bad, indifferent or inspired.
Your unique life is your greatest asset when becoming an actor.