Step 1 of 7 Acting Tips: Building a Character by Aleator
If you’ve ever enjoyed a movie, been hooked on a TV show or been moved by a play, you’ve witnessed the power of acting. This timeless art form of storytelling has come along way from ancient Greek theater and has ignited many lives with its passion. Whether you’re a theatrical tenderfoot or a tenacious thespian ( I enjoy alliteration too much) this, my first instructable will provide you with some tips and tricks for better acting.
Drama class is simply amazing, and while I have a few plays under my belt, I have never stopped learning new and wonderful thing about acting. Acting is difficult, rewarding, painful, and in my humble opinion some of the best fun you can have! Hopefully you learn at least a little from my tips. And they are only tips, if you’re interested in exploring and establishing a thorough background or knowledge of acting I suggest you search via your preferred web browser.
Watch other people. Don’t be a creeper, but seriously spend a day at a mall or park and just observe people and how they go about their merry (or not so merry) lives. You’ll soon notice the variety of people and the quirks and mannerisms which really define them. Be sure to see what people do with their eyes and hands as these are very expressive features. Make note of any particular characteristics which strike you, if someone has a particular tick, a jump in their step, or a striking facial expression, then take some time to think about what they did and how you might be able to apply their behavior to create your own particular character.
We are always speaking with body language, often more so than we do with English. What do you think about someone who is always stiff and almost mechanical, or someone who slouches and leans constantly. When a person smiles or laughs a certain way, how do you react? Always realize that we are constantly assessing one another, moods, status, reputation, esteem (self confidence), intelligence. People certainly can seem wealthier by standing a certain way, or confident by the way they move through a crowd. How do we know these things? I’m not quite sure, but it just seems to be part of our collective human culture that we associate certain appearances and actions with traits. A hobo could stand with a posture that make him seem like a king, and a Harvard Alumnus can have a facial expression which makes him/her seem like a moron.
Keep studying; the more you watch, the more you learn. If anything stand in front of a mirror and practice various poses and expressions and think about how they make you feel and how you would feel seeing someone else doing it.
One key factor that I really find helpful and enjoyable is watching professional actors do their thing. Live theater can a fantastically fun and informative experience. Go see some plays at your local theater or if plays are unavailable, then rent some “classic” movies and just study what the actors/actress do. Don’t plagiarize their techniques, analyze how they use their techniques to come across as a “better” actor, body language, voice inflection, volume, etc. Also, be sure to watch “bad” actors, or people who in your opinion didn’t do a good job; did they somehow break character? smile or smirk? Look directly into the camera? Try and observe as many examples of both the good the bad to try and asses your personal conception of ways to perform better.