Friday, 29 April 2016

Are you Nervous at Auditions? 5 Solutions by Top Directors

A typical film audition scene
A typical film audition scene

A typical audition scene in a Bollywood film or TV audition:

Fierce competition! A long queue of hundreds for a single role in audition! “Hell! Everyone is looking better than me! My chances are poor! What to do?”

This is a common experience of many, especially new actors. They enter the audition room with a scared face with sweat trickling down the neck.
The result is disastrous. In nutshell, this nervousness just screws up all your efforts and preparation.
Stress and anxiety are factors that an actor has to deal with when they audition for a part. But it’s important that an actor knows what to do with their nervousness so it doesn’t prevent them from getting what they want.
Based on my own experience and the recommendations of top casting directors, here are 5 invaluable techniques as solutions to fight nervousness and anxiety

1. Stop Negative Thoughts. Take a break. 

Sometimes an actor gets stressed out before they have to perform. When this happens, a person must give an auto suggestion with Saying “Stop” to self, should take a deep breath, say “I’m confident, I’ll do the best”, just smile for self and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things before auditioning for a part.

2. Read motivating quotes, something uplifting your mood. 

A technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive quotes; statements that make you feel good. Whenever you come across a motivational quote, being positive in life, statements by great Hollywood or Bollywood actors, how to manage anxiety, etc., write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking before going on stage or set.

3. Visualize the audition scene before and practice. 

Sometimes we can get anxious over an upcoming audition just for the heck of it or perhaps because we don’t know anything about it.
There are 2 options:
• If possible, visit the place before a day and try to inquire about it. If it’s a casting director’s office try to meet few concerned people. This will help you to reach at the audition place without hassles on time on the day and mentally you may be in a relaxed mood.
• Before the big day comes, imagine yourself doing the audition using your mind. By doing this, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

4. Worrying only makes things worse. 

A lot of times, our worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and if something does not work out, learn to take it in stride. Just say to yourself “If they don’t select me, the loss is theirs’s. They lost a good actor for their film”. “Hahaha”

5. Take help. 

Take advantage of the help that is available around you if you get really anxious in your auditions. If possible, talk to your school teacher or a professional acting coach who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.

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photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Ghatkopar East
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Acting coach , Actor , Short Film Maker , Film Story Writer , Blogger

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Why Most Actors Fail in Audtions, and Films | Solutions

Famous Director Mira Nair points on actor's performance
Famous Director Mira Nair points on actor's performance 

1. Why average actors fail in auditions and enacting a scene 

They just memorize lines and just “act”. In their efforts to play a character they struggle and the moment they try hard, it looks fake. 90 auditioning actors out of 100 in the line do this and fail.
The moment a casting director says “Do it in a different way” or” kuch aur tarike se kar ke dhikaye”, they just speak with a different volume or speed and fail. They cannot create a different character or play different emotions or attitudes. Their voice, gestures and movements remain the same.
The result is that a casting director in an audition or a director in a scene gets irritated and fed up seeing the same lackluster performance again and again in majority of actors.

 2. Why this happens?

As an individual you have your own unique personality-your voice, gestures, physical movement style, looks, expressions and a fixed attitude (shy, aggressive, positive, negative, suspicious etc).
Do you know who you are? Your personality and habits? If a page or a slate is full, how can you write anything new on it? The same is when you portray a character, a new life.

3. Solutions

Your biggest enemy is your own self. Your fixed personality. Unless you free yourself with your “self” and make yourself “Blank”, you cannot bring a new life, a character in you. This requires you to be AWARE of yourself, for example, how you stand, your walk, any hand gesture, the way you nod, your head while talking, your  looking habits, an peculiar walk of yourself, your voice (speed, diction, quality), mental makeup (nervous, confident, shy?) etc. Once you become a blank personality, it will be easy to be in a new created character and be ready with options. Your own profile will not come in the way to portray a new life.

Who creates a character for you?

  • A casting director or a director in a film has no time in helping you to create a character. They expect you to do this. Perhaps you may be told briefly by your coordinator or a guy from direction dept. Therefore, you have to create.
  • Do you know this? How can you create a character unless you have analyzed the script (or your lines) like objective and how your character helps in achieving the objective of the story? What are the options of physical, mental and social profile of a character?
  • Once you have decided options, learn and practice and practice. Then decide the best option. Apart from the fact that you are ready now, this will bring in A GREAT CONFIDENCE in you 

4. What really can help an actor to develop a character?


-There are certain things that all great actors share: talent, dedication, and courage, to name a few. Another thing I have found that many great actors who I’ve known over the years is the passion of a rich and vibrant imagination.
Using your imagination is a wonderful, creative exercise. It is essential for you as an artist to recognize and cultivate the part of the brain that sees beyond what you see and is able to create a different world around you. Like any other muscle, you need to work it out so it stays alive and strong.
The easiest way to do so is to combine imagination with observation. Unfortunately,  our powers of observation can get a little rusty given the pace at which we live and the amount of things we have to distract us. In Mumbai, we run the risk of being further distracted and isolated by the time we spend in running around meeting coordinators, casting directors, going for auditions and other social activities. So, it’s a good idea to set aside time to be out in public. Take yourself out to a museum, garden, local railway platforms, bus stops, and the zoo or on beaches, be still, and look around. Pick a person. Let your imagination run wild and create some new worlds. It is essential that you dream and create back and future story of the person, animal or anything. Don’t bother whether it’s true or not
For example, you could pick a person and watch them closely. Notice all of the details of what they’re wearing: their hair, the pitch of their voice, their laugh, etc. Now, imagine where they would live. House or apartment? How is it furnished? Are there a picture of people in the living room? If so, who are they? What job does this person have? Do they like it? What kind of money do they make? Are they comfortable or do they need more? Are they lonely or do they want more time alone? What do they dream of at night? What do they long for? And on and on – as many questions you can think of asking until that person comes alive for you in a specific, real, and heartfelt way. Now, do it again and again until your eyes and ears are razor sharp from observing and your brain aches a bit from the exertion of all of your imagining.
What a wonderful way to spend a morning, afternoon, or evening, and what good you have done your creative soul and brain! When you take the time to wonder what life is like for others in this detailed way, you are expanding the parameters of your own imagination, and there are so many ways that an active and well-oiled imagination can help your work. Your concentration is improved, your focus is laser sharp, and all of your decisions are more specific.
Next time you get a scene or character that you’re having trouble portraying,  you can remember how great fun it was to imagine someone else’s life and you do the same for the character and  when you speak the dialogue you’ll feel energized and excited, ready to show stunning possibilities of the role to thrill a casting director or a director instead of being frustrated by your limitations.
Imagine that!

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photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Ghatkopar East
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Acting coach , Actor , Short Film Maker , Film Story Writer , Blogger

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Monday, 11 April 2016

7 Tips to Express on Camera without Dialogs to be a Star

Great nonverbal communication on camera by a great actor
Great nonverbal (silent no dialog) communication on camera by a great actor

Non Verbal Communication

Conveying your reactions, views, thoughts, emotions and attitudes without dialogs in the front of a camera is called as a superior acting technique of "Non Verbal Communication", a hallmark of great actors.

Should  aspiring actors  to be a successful learn this technique?

The answer is a BIG yes.

Communicating silently in front of a camera makes up anywhere from 60-70 percent of our communication. An audition requiring only a reaction from you brings it to 100 percent. Since we are in the acting (communication business), it makes sense that all actors master this nonverbal, the language of silence
To be successful in auditions and give a stunning performance in a scene, remember my words “It’s what you’re not saying within the silence that often speaks the loudest”.

A. A slight clamping and lifting of the corner of the lip can send a message of disagreement, contempt or criticism.
B. The rate of blinking can suggest interest, hostility, or distress. Your scent, what you’re wearing, and your posture are all sending messages and are interpreted by casting. It’s this nonverbal information that differentiates the skilled actor from the unskilled or unprepared.

In an acting technique, the nonverbal information we send out through our body, voice, face, and appearance is called “nonverbal behaviors.” Such nonverbal behaviors spring from our attitudes, cultural upbringing, and our reactions to things we consider important in our interest (or in a character’s interest) to communicate either in a positive or negative way.

The following is a quick overview of 7 types of unspoken communication and behaviors that you can use, after analyzing a script and creating a character for your next audition or for actual filming of a scene.

1. Your face

The majority of your silent communication will come from your facial expressions.
A. Some facial expressions are just random muscle movement without meaning and only serve to confuse the viewer. However, facial expressions associated with surprise, fear, happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, and contempt are universally recognized.
B. Practice 9 emotions and if used appropriately, they inform the viewer what you are feeling at any given moment. Some facial reactions are also used for punctuating words or phrases, such as raising your eyebrows to comment on how big something really was.

Use parts of your face like forehead, eyebrows, nostrils, lips, twitching of a facial muscle, clenching of teeth, subtle shaking of the head to communicate yourself well without dialogs

2 Your eyes

Looking, staring, and blinking, is an important nonverbal reaction. When an actor in a scene faces people or things that they like, the rate of blinking increases. On the other hand, when angered, the gaze gets harder and the blink rate will decrease or stop completely. An increase in the blink rate for no apparent reason sends a clear message that you are either not prepared, not connected, or experiencing high anxiety

3. Using your hands

Movements that express some kind of thought or process of thinking are called gestures. Some gestures occur with speech, such as using your fingers when counting out loud or perhaps to emphasize a word or phrase.
Recollect how a politician, a public speaker, trainers or a good TV anchor uses his/ her hands. I would strongly suggest observing foreign TV speakers. Gestures are expressed primarily with your hands, however, can occur in the head, body, or even your face. This may include nodding your head “yes,” a shoulder shrug implying that you “don’t know,” or a wink of the eye suggesting “secret”or "I'm lying"

4. Your body

Unlike facial expressions, body language doesn’t tell viewers what emotion you’re feeling, but rather, how well you’re (a character is) reacting, responding and coping with the emotion he/she has felt after hearing something.
Things that we find frightening or distasteful, we tend to move away from. Heavy swallowing or licking your lips, touching your hair or sprawling out on a couch can be signs of stress, interest, or feelings of superiority.

5. Keeping space (Distance)

The amount of space you or your character needs is influenced by a number of factors including social norms like
Relationship with people or the items in a set: The distance you maintain with a co actor or a thing in a scene would depend on factors like a particular situation,personality characteristics, and level of familiarity. For example, just a slight moving in towards your partner, reader, or the camera can enhance intimacy. A big boss may maintain a formal distance with a subordinate rather than a drunken close friend at a party.
6. Your touch. Communicating through touch is an important nonverbal behavioral cue to think about. Touch can be used by a good actor to communicate a range of information and feelings such as affection, familiarity, sympathy, desire, etc.

7. Your look

The choice of color, clothing, hairstyles, and other factors affecting how you look fall under the category of appearance.  Your appearance as a character can also change scene partner or viewer’s reactions, judgments, and conclusions.  Think of an appearance of a gangster, policeman, businessman, college girl.
In our real life, how do we judge people? Just think of all the opinions, judgments we quickly make about someone based on his or her appearance.
Remember!  The first impression you make in your audition is important and lasting.
As a good actor, it’s how you react to an event or situation—your attitude or behavior under certain circumstances, like when there are no dialogs—makes your performance memorable.

A sure success formula?

When chosen (from the above 7 ones) and prepared correctly into your audition, or into a filming of a scene can bring more depth, colors, and meaning to your actions, reactions, and the words you don’t speak.

Still don’t know how to prepare? Join our coaching

Inspired by own experience and this article

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photo of Kiran Pande
BestActor Academy
C12, New Natraj Apartments, Pestom Sagar, Road #6, Ghatkopar East
Mumbai , Maharastra , 400089 India
Acting coach , Actor , Short Film Maker , Film Story Writer , Blogger

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