Acting Tips

15 Must Know Acting Tips for Newbies

Marie Skillern| January 25, 2015

Auditions are like job interviews, so any aspiring actor has to have an idea about its nature by going over various acting tips. During an audition, casting directors, producers and directors are always hoping that the person, who enters the room, will be the perfect choice for the role. With the number of aspiring actors hoping to land their dream role, it would be difficult for them to do this.

In order to boost your chances of having an unforgettable audition, here are 15 must know acting tips for newbies:

 Take acting classes

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Even the best actors in the industry make it a point to seek guidance from their acting mentors. They do this to ensure they stay on top of the game.

The point here is that acting is not as easy as you think, especially if you haven’t had any real experience in it. Just like any other forms of art, it is a craft that should be mastered. So if you are a beginner, you have to be acquainted with the basics.

For you to do this, you need to give much time to hone your craft. You can watch actors perform or simply take acting classes. These classes will teach you anything you need to know – character development, stage direction, performance techniques, accents and vocal inflections, movements and a lot more.

Prepare a professional resume and a headshot

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You never know when you will be called in for an audition, and thus, you have to prepare a professional resume and a headshot with you all the time. It is like a pair of shoes. You can never leave the house without it. Although preparing these will take time, you can reap countless benefits from it.

A well-done resume is essential as this will be presented to casting directors and to people whom you will possibly be working with. If you wish to be considered for the role, make sure you include all important information casting directors might need.

When choosing a headshot, you have to make sure it portrays who you are now. If you think you gained weight, make sure your headshot shows it. You will never land the role when you look totally different in your photo.

 Decide what you are going to wear

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During auditions, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to show up in a cowboy costume when the casting directors are casting a cowboy role. Instead of dressing in obvious clothes, you can wear clothes that will make you feel comfortable enough.

By dressing up for a role without a costume, you are actually helping yourself stand out from your competition. Just make sure you avoid white and dark clothes, excessive jewelries and patterned clothes. If possible, cover any tattoos on your body.

Actors create a whole new persona, depending on what they are wearing. An elegant suit will make them look classy compared to wearing jeans and a plain shirt. Basically, anything worn to auditions will influence the decision of casting directors, and these can even be a deciding factor. So, you have to prepare with your clothes to visually portray the roles.

 Research in advance

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Enrolling in an acting class can take you way too far. It can help you explore and improve your abilities, make you stronger as you face challenges and in the long run, grow and become a professional actor. However, this isn’t really enough.

Out in the real world, the best actors do their part by researching in advance. They gather all relevant information about the project, the director and the production. This way, they will have an idea of what awaits them.

Sometimes, casting directors give you the chance to play any role that is much outside your height and age. Though you may be able to play all sorts of roles, it will be impossible for you to do so perfectly, unless you already know your limits and abilities.

Hence, it is essential to have a clear sense of what you want to do, so that when you walk into the room, you won’t appear like a laughing figure. This might take time, work and a bit of soul searching, but it will be of great help.

 Understand the character

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Know as much as you can about the character you are auditioning for. If you have any doubts or questions about it, you have to seek answers. However, you really don’t have to worry about this because all answers are found in the script. You can even formulate answers out of your imagination.

When you already have an idea about the way your character thinks, you will slowly understand why he or she reacts in such way.

 Connect to the character emotionally

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Professional actors connect to their characters emotionally. They relate every emotion to personal experiences so as to appear real. For them, doing so is beneficial to the success of the project.

Actors don’t just act out their roles based on the script. They also modify some aspects to make it seem real. There are instances when some parts are even changed to have a better flow within the movie. Whenever they commit mistakes, they don’t take it negatively. Instead, they think of it as a blessing in disguise.

 Practice and concentrate

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Now that you have an idea about the role, you need to practice it regularly. You have to get into the role and make casting directors believe that you are him. You have to concentrate and be imaginative onstage or in front of the camera to be able to do this. You should be able to see what the character sees. With enough practice, you will be able to take control of yourself and portray the role effectively.

Rather than practicing and memorizing the script alone, you should also put yourself into it. You don’t want to appear fake in the actual project.

 Be on time

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As part of the preparation, you have to find out the time, date and venue of the audition or if you already landed the role, you have to know the filming schedule. A day before, you have to visit the location so that you will know how long it will take for you to get there. Doing so will give you an idea where the best parking spaces maybe. You can even boost confidence and ease your anxiety.

Whenever you fail to do so, make sure you know where you are going. It would be best if you have the directions set up on your phone. If you are still doubtful about the location, it is always a good idea to bring a friend along for protection.

For an audition, be mindful that casting is not an easy process, and casting directors might get tired and become grumpy at the end of the day. There are chances that they might even want to go home early. If you don’t want to take the last audition times, you have to be on time, if possible, earlier.

 Memorize your lines and do not start over

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Obviously, there are lots of actors out there who don’t memorize their lines and try to nail it. In the end, they all fail miserably. You don’t want this to happen to you. If you are still starting, you have to spend time preparing your lines. However, you should not just prepare what you are going to say. You must also prepare how you are going to say it.

If you haven’t memorized the material yet, do not pretend you have. The directors would appreciate hearing the material written with the papers rather than hearing you make up stuff to look as if you tried.

Whenever you commit mistakes and screw things up, go on. Do not even start over. As long as you did your best, they will be fine with it.

 Make your first 15 seconds count

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In an audition, the first 15 seconds matter a lot. This is the time when casting directors see whether you are fit for the role. Thus, even in this short span of time, you have to do the best that you can to leave a lasting impression.

 Listen

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During the audition, casting directors might ask you to do certain things. They might give you a bit of direction to help you out. If you want to impress them, listen to what they are saying and be prepared.

In case this happens during an audition, do not panic. They will be more than happy to give you enough time to prepare. Through this, you can prepare and incorporate the things they are asking you to do. If you need more time, don’t be scared to ask.

For actors, just because you already have a name doesn’t mean that you should do whatever you want. As much as possible, you still have to listen to what you are being told.

 Be honest and don’t make excuses

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Sometimes, you get caught in unexpected situations that will make it hard for you to memorize your lines. Casting directors don’t want hearing you were late because you were stuck in traffic. They don’t want you telling them you had to rush to the hospital and you forgot your script. In reality, nobody cares that you had gone through all these awful incidents.

Things happen for a reason. Whenever something goes wrong, you have to accept whatever the decision might be. If you are given another chance to audition, then be thankful for it. If not, you have to accept it and learn from it.

 Believe in yourself

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With constant practice, you will build confidence in yourself. If you think you lack this aspect, you can always refer to self –help books. You can also ask friends, relatives and fellow actors to give their honest opinion about you and the aspects you lack. This way, you will be able to believe in your abilities and yourself.

 Perform whenever you have the chance

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Whenever you are given the chance to perform, grab it. Regardless if this is local or not, you have to take it. This might open up opportunities for you and give you an idea how it’s really like performing in front of a crowd.

By performing over and over, you will be able to master yourself. And you will get free practice as well. You will then be accustomed to acting in front of an audience. Sometimes, you even get the chance to work with directors and get free acting tips.

 Accept criticisms positively

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In the industry, the competition is really tough. Acting is an extremely competitive profession, so you have to expect rejections and criticisms. In order to succeed, you must not allow rejections to stop you from reaching your goals. If you aren’t able to deal with this, it would be impossible for you to go on.

Nobody really wants to be criticized. However, the only way to improve is to take criticisms and feedback in a positive way. Whenever casting directors tell you to organize yourself, that’s what you need to do. Trust the criticism for you to improve yourself.

Auditions can be the toughest part as an actor, but preparing ahead of time will help you stand out against your competition. With these 15 acting tips, you will be prepared for your audition and increase your chances of getting a callback.

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