|Why am I failing as an actor? What can I do?|
Don't Just Dream To be Actor | You Will Be Foolish And Destroy Life
- Do you have some inborn acting talent?
- Have you as a kid, performed in parties, school plays, with friends?
- As a child or even now, do you like and enjoy to observe, mimic and copy people?
- As a young aspiring actor, have you taken an extensive acting training preferrably from a personal acting coach or a good school?
Most acting problems stem from
- We think of acting as the process of copying life of the character as portrayed in a script, narrated by the writer or briefly explained by the director. What does that mean? Simply this: in life we laugh, cry, and say things with a certain amount of emotional investment, so if we duplicate that emotional attributes and say our characters’ words, we will do Great Acting!
- And when that doesn’t work out the way we think, we are baffled: “I thought that if I said it just like I do in real life it would be REAL.”
The Fact No 1.
However, most acting problems stem from
- That we forget our own inborn or learned essence (archetype), our type, style- our physical attributes, physical movements, voice, language, gestures, body language and our emotions and attitudes.
- That as a "life" our glass is full, our slate is all written with no place for anything new
- That when we try hard to live a new and imaginary life of a different character than what we truly are, to the audience it looks labored and fake. People identify easily that the actor is not truthful and is "bad".
- To dig deeper, the problem with that line of thought is this: we can’t copy the appearance of life, in the same way, that we can’t take a photograph of something and present it as the original and "live" itself. The photograph may be an external representation of the subject photographed, but that’s about it.
So how do we solve this problem, or what are the true underpinnings of great acting?
A. First and foremost, observe yourself keenly, know your type and undertake exercises (Michael Chekov) to learn to get rid of your type and how to be neutral to be able to create a new life of a character.
B. Acting for the camera and for a stage. The different techniques and how to market and promote yourself as a product in a highly competitive market where every aspiring actor is better than the other.
Then what's an acting technique?
- Acting technique is the process by which you create the appearance of life (a character from the story) by creating spontaneity and emotionally truthful behavior as you tell and show the story you were hired to tell.
- Learning acting is understanding and practicing this process by triggering the power of imagination and getting to the NEEDS and ACTIONS underneath the outward appearance of a character's behavior.
The Fact No 2.
The human behavior we observe around are too diverse, leading to a creation of people of different attitudes with underlying emotions. To transform yourself into this unique and dynamic character truthfully becomes difficult, may be practically impossible if you don't have at least some inborn power of imagination, and on the top of it, may get compounded with the lack of knowledge and training.
You’re shooting a scene and your director tells you – “More anger!”. OK, so how do you do that? You decide to be louder and FEEL the way you do in life when you’re angry. The director yells “Cut!, What the f*** are you doing? That’s terrible!”
You’re baffled and also in a panic – if you don’t get this right, you’ll never be hired by this director ever again or his friends. But if you have been learning acting, and at the right school or with a good personal coach, you will have a way to solve this. You will know that what the director really wants is more intensity, more emotions of action. Meaning that if you fight for whatever you’re fighting for in the scene, anger will happen naturally, if you are feeling the situation in a scene as 'happening really' rather than trying hard to generate an emotion of increased anger.
The result will be believable, your director will be happy, and you will keep your job.
- The point is, you need to understand and learn the process of acting (especially developing the power of imagination and creating a physical and emotions generation center within you.
- You will be shocked how very few directors understand that process and rely on YOU to understand it and give them the results they need in order to move on to the next shot.
So a word of advice, it’s OK to call yourself an actor before you are one, but also "Know How To Do The Job".
You may get acting jobs because of your looks and body or with excellent communication skills but how long? Without learning and mastering the fine craft of acting, If you’re just faking it, you will be found out and it won’t be pretty. You may fool them for a bit, but eventually, someone is going to ask you to act and act well.