What’s your motivation?
In acting, your motivation is the reason you (as the character) say the words in the script and move where the director tells you to move, the reason you DO what you do in front of the camera. For when you do anything in front of the camera that is not “in character” it is not believable; the audience sees YOU, the actor, rather than the character in the scene they are watching. Once the audience is conscious of YOU the actor, rather than the character, they can no longer suspend their disbelief–and accept that you ARE the character–as they watch the scene.
An actor must move when and where the director says to, but never BECAUSE the director says to. An actor must find an inner motivation for her character to do everything the director says that the actor must do.
Have you ever done something because you were told to do it? There are times in your life when you must do something because someone a parent, boss, or doctor tells you to do it. But if you do it BECAUSE you were told to do it, you get very little out of the experience. Instead find a reason that motivates you.
Though I sincerely hope that each and every one of you get the chance to walk down many red carpets, accept your well-deserved awards, and give the speeches you’ve practiced over and over in the shower while holding a shampoo bottle as a mic, it’s equally important to remember that most of your career (and life) will happen outside the bubble that is awards season.
What happens when awards season is over and instead of standing in the shower giving your Oscar acceptance speech, you’re standing there trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for both class and headshots, and why your agent isn’t sending you out? Excitement leads to frustration and the motivating factor of red carpets leading to huge paychecks seems out of reach. You may be just as talented as the guy who won for Best Actor but if you can’t get the opportunity, no one’s ever going to know.
Even in your classes or survival jobs, you must enjoy the process. Maybe you’re not wearing an amazing designer gown but look at the amazing people around you who share that same bond, dream, and drive. The guy standing next to you may one day be producing your latest series. That funny girl with the accent may be up for the same Golden Globe as you.
Take the time to be present, to support one another, and to experience the highs and lows and the joys and sorrows that this crazy acting journey places in front of you together.
To be successful as an actor, you really have to embrace and enjoy every moment. Whether you’re filming your first speaking part in a TV show, creating your reel, walking down a red carpet, or making a standing ovation shower speech, don’t forget to enjoy the process.
(See below for an excellent example scene)
Start your acting journey at Perth Film School, our next popular course, the “Introduction to Screen Acting” every Wednesday for 4 weeks, starting the 4th of September 6 to 8pm.
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