Perth Film School

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Step 6 of 7 Acting Tips: Showtime by Aleator

Live theater:

Hold for laughs. If you or one of your fellow thespians cracks a joke or performs a comedic action and the crowd chuckles or erupts into laughter be sure to pause a little until they quiet down; this way your lines don’t get lost in the sea of noise.

Don’t rush when you don’t need to. Once I was backstage holding glass of wine my character was drinking, I hurried too quickly for my entry and collided into an unfortunately placed sub woofer, which caused me to spill the drink onto my costume. Thankfully the stain was conveniently unnoticeable on my wine-colored toga, and the sub woofer was unharmed, but I got lucky. Take your time, to avoid injury and possible set damage!

On the spot: If you find yourself in a situation where your cast mate or yourself has forgotten a key line its time to improv! Perhaps the cheapest but fastest way to get someone else back on track is to add a reassuring line , that is if their missed question line was “What are you doing?!” you might fill in the silence with a quick “Are you interested in what I’m doing?” or if their missed line was a statement such as “Wow, she’s beautiful” then you might fill the void with “Don’t you think she’s beautiful?” and if your partner is really drawing blanks then you might potentially have to skip their lines up to a point where someone else speaks so as to maintain continuity. When it come to your own memory loss, always remember to STAY IN CHARACTER. breaking character during a performance is theatrical suicide and you must keep your calm. stay in character and respond in a way that your character would respond not the way you would respond to a situation. Hopefully, you will recognize your cue and the lines will come back and all will not be lost.

DON’T LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE! Unless it is in the script, never look at the audience. You setting is the only location your character is aware of, you, on the other hand are the only one away of all those people staring at you.

Remember, this is a one shot deal, there are no bloopers allowed during a play and no one yells cut.


Due to the magic of editing, all your flops and follies can be cut out of the final production, but they should still be avoided for the sake of time. When you’re in front of a camera a lot of people are spending time and money to be there, so every moment is precious and you should still strive to do your best every take.