What is Acting? The Art of becoming somebody else? Inventing the life of another person onstage? Is it to live, breathe, pretend to be somebody else? Everybody can answer differently. And every single answer can be right. Within the verb, Acting lies the word Act. To Act – to do! It is an Action! That’s why the director shouts “Action!” before the scene starts.
But how exactly can I start to become an Actor? Acting is about exercising the proper actions, behaviors, tools to achieve an objective. It’s the same in our lives. I want to be an actor, so I have to do adequate acts to achieve the goal of being an actor. And what are the best, time and energy-efficient methods, or actions, to develop my practice, my enactment of the role I am to take on?
The decision is the first step. Are you sure you want to be an actor? Is it your passion? Is it something you want to sacrifice for in your life? To both whole-heartedly submit and commit to the role of becoming an ever-greater Actor, is to adopt meaningful, dedicated, and focused actions into your daily routine. We will speak to this process in the next article – “Do you really want to be an actor?” – learn more here! But back to THE DECISION. So if you have decided to become an actor, you just finished the first step.
2. Start Doing Something
Everybody can feel called to approach this process differently. Some may start with taking an acting class, and I think this is one of the most important tools to employ. Start to study Acting. Even though you may have attended theatre or art school, keep yourself busy with classes, readings, workshops, and schools related to Acting. Acting is never-ending studying. Somebody can also start recording monologues on the phone, begin reading screenplays, or watch movies and search for actors and directors’ information. Nothing is wrong. Just do something. It could be a small step, but do it now! Do it today. Do it tomorrow. And continue with small steps every single day.
And if you don’t want to take on any of these methods – don’t worry. The significant advantage of being an actor is you can do whatever you want, and everything counts. So long as you have made your decision, any experience in your daily life can be brought to use under the context of acting, on and offstage. Acting is creating life onstage.
3. Be Present
It is essential to be conscious of the present. Just live! Our lives are so fast, then we forget about Now, about being in the Now, enjoying all that is Now. It is the nature of human beings. It may not come naturally, but upon practicing this simple, free, accessible reminder, it so feels intuitive. It’s not about thinking about your past or future all of the time. No! There is so much value and aliveness in this other time, and it is called the present.
Try to enjoy yourself while waiting for a bus, and it still has yet to arrive. Try to enjoy just Being. Look around you, feel your body, smell the smells around you, notice freshly sprinkled leaves on an old wrinkled oak tree. What taste do you have in your mouth? Be focused on a conversation you are having with another impatient, waiting man about the statistics of rat’s deaths during World war II, or whatever may come up in this rather magical, remarkable moment of engaging with one another. Remember all the details and be focused on every day’s actions.
When you are conscious of your efforts, it will be easier to bring them onstage. And also, it will help you with your internal growth. Just Be. When you start to create a character, you have to bring it the truth! The truth of life. The situation creates emotions, and emotions have to be truthful to be believable.
But where can I feel, discovery, and embody honest emotions when Acting? I think you already know the answer – Being in the present.
4. Be vulnerable
Don’t block your emotions. Experience them. We are human beings, and we need to feel emotions not just as actors but as human beings too. So let them flow when they show up in your lives. Let them express and remember everything, you felt, you saw, you smelled, everything to recognize the situation with that specific emotion. Learn more about emotions in our article.
Don’t push, take it easy, and live! It will come when it is supposed to happen. And that’s it! Now you know four essential steps to being your journey towards that big, exciting, rewarding goal of being an Actor.
Break a leg!
About the author:
I am a never-ending fighter for the perfect ART, enjoying the process of unperfectness. I am many things and nothing, but my main focus is acting. I've studied at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts. I've been an actor in Theater Around The Corner, Moravian Theater Olomouc, Theater DiGoknu, or Mlada Scena II. And I am working hard on my craft.