Archive for the ‘Top Ten Lessons’ Category

If you've been in acting for any amount of time, you must have SOME kind of accent or dialect that you can employ at will. Some of us have French, others love British, or maybe you've mastered the southern states, or have made a dive into the masses of Asia.

The accent doesn't matter. What does matter is trying it out with your material. Just reading it through with a different accent will provide you with insight into other ways to address the scene. This is especially useful when you feel like you're getting into a rut and are doing the scene the same way over and over again.

Doing it like your from Mississippi will change that for sure. The emphasis will be on different syllables, different parts of the sentence, you may even find a piece in there where there's a bit of humor that you didn't catch before. It a great, great discovery tool.

And hey it's pretty damn fun too.

Do you read every day?

You should be. Find something. Non-fiction. Something without a lot of emotion. Something that you're not going to ry to "act" by accident.

History books are great for this. The History of Acting, something like that.

Read four(4) pages, or about 5-10 minutes every day. Out loud. Don't stop for corrections, just make yourself keep talking. This does 2 things.

1 - it gets you used to reading off the page, so if someone hands you something, you're not stuttering through it
2 - it gets you used to hearing yourself. Half the time you're auditioning/acting, you too damn busy thinking, "Did that sound right?" When, really, it's got little to do with the actual words, and more to do with the feeling that delivers them. The words are just information. The real scene is in the emotion.

Oh, and DON'T read something all emotional. Get a history book, or someone's autobiography, or The History of Acting. It should be something that you're not trying to "put emotion into."


Read out loud every day. You'll be a better actor because of it.

If you're really listening to your partner, even if that's the casting director, you're going to have a better audition. You can use what they are giving you to color what you're doing and re-act what they're giving you.

Acting/re-acting, you know that one right? If not, don't worry, it's coming.

"But they're not giving me anything!" you say. Great. Make it about them not giving you anything. If the scene calls for some kind of desperation, anger, or resentment, that makes it all the more easy to use that lack of giving. Deliver the line as if you really want that person to hear & understand you.

If they are giving you a little bit, run with that shit. They're trying to help. They'll be the first to tell you they're not actors, but that doesn't mean they're not trying to help you out from time to time.

Also, listen to what they give you for notes.

So many times, casting will say. That was good, now can you do it more angry/sad/confident/whatever. Really listen and see if you can get a feel for what they're going for. Most of the time, they want to see something different, to see if you're directable, or if you've just rehearsed the shit out of it, and are now stuck in a rut.

Be open to change, and listen.


You go in. You have it all worked out in your head. You go in. don't embarrass yourself, but you walk out feeling like you didn't quite do what it was you set out to do.

This is probably because you were rushing. You blazed through the scene, you were the fastest one! Congrats! Woohoo!

Auditions are not a race to be won. Take your time, relax your shoulders, and DON'T RUSH.

It's far better for the casting person to say, "Let's give that another go, but pick up the pace." Than to give you a polite, "Thanks," because they didn't see what you were capable of. If you rushed, they didn't see it, they didn't have a chance.

Look the other person in the eye, relax your shoulders, and hit it, nice and easy.

Chill dude. Really. The more tense you are, the more you're going to look nervous and tense. And the more likely it is that you're going to walk out of that audition thinking "FUCK! That is not at ALL what I was setting out to do."

Sound familiar?

It is, because we've all done it.

The biggest reason you need to relax is that it's not that big a deal. It's not surgery, or a real gun fight. Honestly, it's just fuckin' around, it's playing. It's just that if you land it, you get paid for it.

Relax, and tear that shit up.

I don't care who you're reading with, look right at them, and do the scene WITH them. Not AT them. WITH them. Get them to feel what you want them to feel, to say things in a certain way.

Putting that effort in will go a very long way in developing a reputation as an actor that connects.