Thursday, 27 April 2017

MY ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS

In the last blog, I gave you a list of questions that every actor should answer. If you have printed the questions and answered them, they will become very useful to you in your journey as an actor.
If you have not answered them, please try and do that. 
These are my own thoughts and answers. They have helped me through my journey for over two decades and have kept me relevant since then.


  1. Acting is a full time obsession: YES! If you are not obsessed with acting, then it becomes easy for you to ditch the profession when challenges come. The people in the industry can always tell when you are not passionate about acting. The best actors live and breathe acting. They go to bed and wake up thinking about their work and how to be better.

  2. No one can give you a single route to breaking into movies: YES! There are so many different ways to break into movies(acting). It's no longer necessary to drive to auditions, some casting directors prefer video submissions. Other people have made their own skits and loaded them on YouTube
    Viral videos
    have created opportunities for upcoming actors. Others just invite producers and directors to their self directed stage productions and catch their attention. The most common one is actors attending acting classes facilitated by casting directors and producers. When they stand out, it creates a good impression on the facilitator who may decide to give him an audition opportunity or even a reading for directors. The internet and technology have made it faster and easier to get the right attention.
  3. People are obligated to hold your hand and take you to a producer: NO! Nobody owes you anything, they are working hard to get booked. As an actor you have to keep pushing, learning and sending out your headshots, resumes, reels and cover letters. If you keep waiting for someone to help you, there is a chance that your career might never kick off. Do all you can to make your talent and skills visible.

  4. Great actors don't have to audition for big roles: NO! Even the biggest actors in Hollywood still audition for roles. If you watch behind the scenes of some movies or read the interviews of the stars, you will find that they had to audition more than once for the role.

    Auditioning is not just for newbies contrary to popular belief. It is also not a degrading practice for celebrities. It is just the way the industry works. The only difference is that they do not have to stand in line like every other person.
  5. A film actor must be able to dream his character's dream: YES! If acting means BECOMING your character, you have no choice but to dream the dreams your character would dream. You must think your character's thoughts and feel the emotions of your character. YOU ARE THE CHARACTER.
  6. If you are naturally gifted in acting you do not require training: NO! If you have ever heard the saying TALENT IS NOT ENOUGH, then you know exactly why I said NO.  For every profession in the world, regardless of how naturally talented you think you are, you need training.

    Everyone needs to acquire the skills necessary. Know the terms, the rules, the techniques and the methods. You need to keep learning and upgrading your skills. This is the only way to remain relevant for a long time. The profession is the same but the styles, mediums and scripts are changing regularly.
  7. If you find someone "ACTING" in a movie, that actor is doing it wrong: YES! It is wrong for an actor to act like his character or perform his role, or even imitate his character. That is bad acting. An actor should BECOME the character, that way he does not seem like he is acting. You KNOW he is the character.
  8. If an actor is performing for the character then he has done a bad job: YES! First of all, film acting is not performing as far as the actor is concerned. It is BECOMING. Secondly you should not perform for the camera, in fact the camera should not be in your thoughts at that point. When you know exactly what the blocking is, the rest should be as seem less and as natural as possible.
  9. In Acting, a drunk should make a huge effort to appear sober: YES! In real life, people who get drunk don't easily admit or accept that they are drunk. Trying to play drunk sometimes becomes slapstick. But when you play drunk and try to seem sober, it creates a healthy obstacle that actors need to challenge themselves. Great performances happen when the actor tries to overcome an obstacle or a challenge.
  10. An actor should always play to favor the camera: NO! When an actor is properly trained for film, he knows the difference between acting for film and acting on stage. You should not look for the camera, it can find you.
  11. It is the strong lines and not the reaction that gives every moment its potency: NO! The lines are not the most important at all. The actors reactions and expressions tell the most compelling stories. An actor can have all the lines but if they are not backed up with the right emotions, body language and expressions, it will not have any impact.
  12. Listening is the same thing as hearing: NO! They are not the same in acting. Hearing is receiving the information that the other person is giving you. Listening is processing the information with all your senses which creates the MOMENTS in acting.
  13. Emotional memory is as important as knowing your lines: YES! Acting for film requires you to do as many takes as the director wants. It could be for the different camera angles or different shots for each actor. The actor cannot afford to do the first take with an accepted emotion, then change it for the next. The editor will have headaches editing the scene. Consistency and continuity are very important to the actor. If it's an emotional scene where the actor has to break down and cry, the energy level and body language has to be the same. The build up has to be the same. So as an actor, you will need to learn and train the technique of emotional memory.
  14. Do not learn your lines for the whole film before you start shooting: NO! It is okay to learn your lines which is different from memorizing. Learning the lines means that you understand what your character is doing and saying for each scene way before filming commences. Even when there are slight changes on set, you can always adapt because you have become the character and you know exactly what you are doing. A few line changes will not change or confuse you.
  15. Every actor must have a headshot, reel, resume and cover letter: YES! For every profession, you will need to have work experience, qualification or proof of skill before you are hired.

    The same goes for acting. An actor needs the headshot that casting directors will use to match him up with roles. They need to know what you look like before they can consider you for different roles. You also need to have a resume with what you have done before. Even if you are a newbie who does not have any experience, they still want to see where you were trained and who trained you, they want to know the different things you are capable of and your statistics as well. All of this should be in your resume. The reel is for those who have done work before and those who were smart enough to record their own skits, monologues or video introductions. The cover letter is what the actor needs to get the casting directors or agents to look at their headshots, reel and resume. If you want to be considered as a professional who is properly trained, you need to have all these.
I hope you find my thoughts and responses useful as you continue on your journey. 

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