Meryl Streep Says, “Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.”
In a way, it is a tip for actors to find a connection between themselves and the character they are playing.
Train Train Train:
Although you may be a natural born actor but it is always advisable to take at least some acting classes. Joining acting classes will not only broaden your knowledge of different techniques, it will also give you a chance to act and react with other fellow actors. It will also expand your network.
Actors use a number of different techniques depending on their training or personal choice. I am mentioning some of them below:
- Stanislavsky's System
- Meisner Technique
- Stella Adler
- Lee Strasberg's Method
- And so on and so forth
Learn about these techniques and see what tickles your fancy.
Build a relationship:
You can learn and use whatever technique you like but if you can not create a relationship between the story, the character that you are playing and the viewer who is watching the movie, you have missed your chance.
Watch and learn:
I do not mean that you ask your director to play the role for you. Learn from other people, your friends, your colleagues. Be curious about them (up to a limit mind you) Your character is supposed to be a real person. Learn what scares them and what makes them sweat. What gives them happiness and what drives them crazy. Study them and think how would it be like to be them.
Action vs reaction:
Every actor dreams of that iconic role that will turn him or her into a legend. They want to be delivering the dialogues that will be on everybody’s lips but remember that great actors not only deliver powerful dialogues. They have the ability to stun you with their silent reactions too. So do not just deliver your lines. Live the character and the situation with your reactions.
Understand your purpose:
Remember that you are there to move the story forward. So, always ask yourself (or the director), what happened before and what will happen once I am done with this scene? What impact am I here to create? What is my relationship with the other characters on set? How is my behaviour in this scene going to move the story forward? Once you know this, you will know exactly what to do when the camera rolls.
Nerves? It’s ok:
Bollywood Superstar Amitabh Bachchan says that even after being one of the top stars for over 4 decades, he still feels butterflies in his stomach before walking onto the set. Nothing wrong with that. This simply means that you care about what you are going to do. I used to be a nervous wreck myself but a good friend of mine taught me an exercise. It worked wonders. I will be revealing this trick in our acting classes soon.
Do not quit:
I have always believed in this saying, “Whatever is yours, will come to you, no matter what.” So, if you have tried hard but have not got a role yet. It is simply because what is yours, has not arrived yet. Keep going and find what is written for you. I know that is not easy but this is why Paul McGann (Dr. Who) says that “Only the people that can’t possibly be dissuaded from acting should be doing it. That’s almost the minimum requirement.”