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Acting Tips?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Technology' started by bubbles123, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. bubbles123

    bubbles123 Guest

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    I'm in my school's Shakespeare play this year, which includes several short scenes from different plays. I haven't acted since I was little because I'm super shy about it. I won't even do it in my own home alone because I feel awkward. I decided to be daring (since we didn't have to audition). I have a small part that I like, and I've been okay reading it alone with the two people I'm working with, but I'm so nervous.

    I have a hard time not being wooden, and most of the time I don't even know how I sound because I'm thinking about saying it well too much. And I don't even know how I'll do in front of others. Also, a large portion of my scene is spent with me watching as the others talk and I don't know what to do with myself during that time so as to not look awkward.

    Any tips?!
     
  2. schaussey

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    I like to record my monologues when I practice them so I can review my inflections because people are often unaware of the actual sound of their own voice -we've been hearing it constantly for all of our lives, after all- and where my voice doesn't reflect the best character choices.

    As far as watching others talk, react to what they're saying. Watch bootlegs of Broadway shows (particularly musicals with large ensembles) and see how the nonspeaking characters react to what's being said.
     
  3. killswitch0029

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    Video-taping yourself helps. If you have a camcorder that's a good way or you could just tape your phone to a wall and position it till the camera catches you well. Watch it and listen to it a few times just for the sake of watching it and then watch it a few times to be observant. How do you make use of body language? How do you use inflection in your voice? Do you seem to fidget? Do you use "filler words" (um, like, you know).

    Getting in control of your body is just as important as the spoken word aspect of acting. You can have the greatest control over your voice and language but if your body language or facial expressions are crap acting will be a bust.
     
  4. bubbles123

    bubbles123 Guest

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    Thank you guys for the awesome tips!! I'll definitely try videotaping myself.
     
  5. killswitch0029

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    I meant to say this earlier but I can't edit my post now. When you do your observations of your acting it'll help if you write out what you see. That makes it easier to notice improvement from taping to taping when you look back and also make note of any consistent quirks that you need to address to strengthen your acting skills.
     
  6. ForNarnia

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    This is a pretty long reply, so bear with me :wink:

    The most important step is learning the lines and your cues. Be sure to know all of your lines off by heart, and to remember what line or action comes before you speak.
    Good acting starts with reacting.

    In the same way that if someone says ''Hey, how are you?'' your reaction is ''Fine thanks, and you?'', you should respond to the other actor's line as though it was second nature. If you need an accent, it takes a little more work, but it's manageable. While it's important to be loud and clear, try not to make it sound forced, instead imagine you are talking to the person from across the room.

    It is always helpful to get someone else to read the lines before and in between your own, so you can get used to saying them in reply.

    Shakespeare allows for something a little more extravagant, which can sound wooden if you don't own it. No matter whether you choose to be serious or over the top, always own it. If you're getting in your own head worrying about the lines, the audience sees it, but if you come on stage with a very ''This is what I've got, deal with it'' attitude, even if you stumble, you can usually carry it off.

    Anyhoo, sorry for the huge paragraph. In summary, learn your lines and cues, don't be afraid to own your performance. Also, it may help to look up a 'translation' from Shakespearean English to current English. If you understand the words, you're likely to do better.

    If you need any characterisation, it's always good to come up with a list of motions (twiddling thumbs, tapping pens etc) that you can do at random that make your character more believable.

    Choosing a stance can also help to drastically change your performance. Choosing a specific way to stand not only improves your characterisation, but helps to convey your character's personality.

    Break a leg!! :slight_smile:
     
  7. bubbles123

    bubbles123 Guest

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    Wow! Thank you guys so much! These tips are all so helpful and I'll definitely use them. I'm feeling a bit better about it all now:slight_smile:
    Thanks a TON!
     
  8. Daydreamer1

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    I haven't done acting since I was like eight (for a class play), but maybe I can help. I can relate to you being afraid of feeling wooden--which is how I feel as a writer and eventual director. Something my friends who are writers or have worked in the industry told me is that doing "table reads" can help you relax and get more into the spirit of the character.

    If it helps, try rehearsing with a friend to help you ease into things. If you're worried about how you sound, you can always try recording your session on your phone or a camera. I feel that understanding your character can help you get into the role so it feels more natural.

    Do they have any struggles or inner demons?
    What are their motives or goals?
    How do they carry themselves?
    Are they extroverted (ex: Mercutio or Mark Antony)?
    Are they introverted (ex: MacBeth or Claudius)?
    What are they like around others?

    If you aren't too sure, you can always look over your source material more or even cliff notes to see what they say about your character. You can always refer to your teacher and ask them why your character would behave a certain way in a given situation. As for not being sure what to do with yourself, that's something I hear is a common problem with people who are non-actors or just in general when doing productions--since when people are in a group, most of the time you aren't standing there doing nothing.

    If it helps, you can see if you're able to do something you keep you and your hands preoccupied--like maybe you're eating a piece of fruit, sweeping or sketching. See what's appropriate for the scene and if it would be okay to throw in.

    I hope this helps!