So you want to be an actor?
Who doesn’t? Imagine a job where we get to pretend to be someone else for a living, get paid lots of money, and never have to step foot in an office, factory or restaurant ever again! The possibility exists, so if you are ready, here are a few pointers to get you started…
#1 Acting on Camera
The camera never lies. Never has there been a truer statement. Everything we do in front of the camera will be there forever, or until civilization collapses and there is no longer any power to plug our computers into.
In the world of YouTube, everything put on there can be easily found, played for our friends and family. So, you want to make sure you do a good job, no matter the material. Acting on camera is the time you want to be most prepared. If you stumble over your lines, bounce your head nervously like George Clooney used to do, or fidget nervously, the camera will pick it up.
Be comfortable, relaxed and cool, and your performance will shine!
#2 Learn Your Lines!!
I can’t stress this enough. Whenever I was to lazy to learn my lines, my performance suffered. I was nervous and had the hardest time keeping up with the other actors.
We want to create the feeling that what we are doing is real life. No matter if you are playing an alien, a widower, a baseball legend, murderer, cop, the list goes on. If you know your lines, you will be believed.
#3 You are Your Character
Every actor we love has something about them we love. For example when we pay for a movie starring Christian Bail, we know its Christian Bail. He may be playing a totally different character then his last movie, but as the movie begins (if its good) till it ends, we forget everything and become invested in the ‘reality’ of the film.
How is this possible?
Its possible because he is being himself. Wether we use different accents, wigs, glasses or makeup, we have to be truthful. We have to put some of us into the work. This is what people connect with. I’m sure
none of us has murdered anyone, but it doesn’t mean we can’t play a murderer. The trick is to immerse ourselves into old memories, or emotions we may be uncomfortable with. I’ll get into this more later. The point is, if we totally abandon ourselves, so will the audience.
#4 Know Thy Self
I started “acting” many years ago when my friend asked me to be in his student films. I didn’t know what I was doing. Little by little I got comfortable in his goofy movies. What I discovered later on looking back, was I
was not comfortable in my own skin.
I had a ton of insecurities. I was worried what people thought about me, and it was crippling. I didn’t know yet what it was I wanted in life, what my capabilities were, or why I felt so insecure.
As time went on I realized not everyone was going to like me, and I started to become ok with that.
The more I sought love from everyone, the more I repelled people. Once I figured out that I was average and human, I was able to connect with others. Now I show people the truth of who I am. I’m fragile, emotional and uncompromisingly human, just like you. Find out who you are, and we won’t be able to stop watching!
#5 Its all Pretend, so have fun!
To quote Sir Ian Mckellen from the show Extras, “I stand where the director tells me to stand, say my lines, and pretend to be a wizard!” This basically sums up what an actor’s job is. We say other people’s words, pretending in that moment that we are the character. Some actors are better at doing this then others. The trick is fully letting go of our fears and our insecurities. We must allow ourselves to be ourselves.
When we dance at a party or laugh with our friends, we don’t care what others think about us, so put this same mind set in your performance. Don’t worry, let go.
If you did the work, you will have the time of your life. There is nothing better then falling into rhythm with another actor. In that moment, wether it be on stage or in front of the camera, everything else falls away. The people, the bills we have to pay, the loves lost, they disappear and only you and them remain. Treasure that feeling!
Cause the truth is only a handful of people will ever reach the top-a-most of the pop-a-most, to live foot loose and fancy free. The rest of us thespians will barely make enough money to survive. That doesn’t mean you should quit. Act for the love of acting, and have fun. Let go of the thoughts of making it and do the work. You will love it so much more!!
See you at MilkStop Creative where you can be yourself and act like someone else if you like!
Lloyd Bonafide stars in the Leonard Bocx Production of The Permit and can be seen regularly in Out of Tune Confessional
Written by Lloyd Bonafide. Lloyd is a MilkStop staff writer