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u/not_kewl · 3 pointsr/acting

First and foremost, if you are ever, EVER feeling suicidal, please reach out to somebody:

  • Call +45 70 201 201
  • Visit
  • Speak with your parents (trust them, tell them how you feel)
  • Speak with literally anybody. A friend, the police, anyone

    Sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I've been there. I'm there frequently. A lot of us are. A lot of people who seem to have amazing lives and tons of friends are feeling just as much pain and loneliness as you. You are not alone. Sometimes it can feel like no one cares. Yes, lots of people are selfish and/or busy with their own stuff, but people do care.

    Know that your situation will change. Everything changes. Everything passes. You're feeling crappy right now, but hold on. Be strong. Be brave. Make some changes. If you do, you might blink and it be six months from now and you're having an amazing time in your acting classes, hanging out with a few people you really love spending time with, have forgotten all about your ex, etc. Everything passes. Bad times pass, so try to just ride the wave, roll with the punches, and know things will get better. But also good times pass. So when you're doing something you enjoy, or spending time with someone you care about, try really hard to be present and appreciate every moment, every detail. That's the beauty of life. It's transient. Nothing is permanent. Our species is not permanent. Our world is not permanent. It's a ride. It's a game. It's whatever metaphor you choose, but the point is things go up and down and round and round and in the end nothing really matters other than the fact that we have the gift of the present moment and the ability to try and enjoy little things here and there.

    I know you mentioned having seen a therapist and it did nothing. Hopefully that was just that one therapist. Sometimes it takes trying a couple months with a couple different therapists before you find someone who you really like. You just have to be open, honest, and trust that they are there to listen to you and there to help you. And give them time. There are very few quick fixes in life.

    There are things you can do for yourself, too. Things that will have a huge impact on your happiness, contentment, confidence, loneliness, motivation, etc. Most of the below is scientifically proven to help a lot. You don't have to do all of this at once, and you don't have to be an expert at all of this all at once. The important thing is to try. Bit by bit. Each day try one new thing on this list, and try to make a habit of it. Do it at that time, every day. Start small, with easier things, like doing stuff for 5 minutes, then next week up it to 10 minutes, and so on:

  • Exercise: force yourself to go for a 20-30 minute walk every morning, as soon as you get up. It will be hard at first, but you'll start feeling a bit better every single time. Start mixing things up, depending on where you live and what you have accessible to you, try one day doing your walk, one day going for a cycle, one day a swim, one day run instead of walk, etc.
  • Eat right: Self explanatory. Minimize alcohol. Minimize caffeine. Minimize sugar. Minimize pre-packaged/processed foods. Minimize/skip recreational drugs. Increase the amount of healthy stuff you eat. More veggies (fresh/frozen, cooked/raw, mix it up!), things like eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, etc. You'll find that the more you start changing this stuff, bit by bit each day, the more your body will crave it. When added to the exercise, you'll start massively craving good foods You'll finish a run and want nothing more than to chug a glass of water and eat a banana.
  • Meditation: Meditation is amazingly powerful, just like exercise. The gist is that it teaches you to be very present. When we're going over stuff that's in the past (an ex girlfriend, or what someone said to you, or whatever), we're wasting energy on things we can't do anything about, because they already happened. Same goes for worrying about or thinking about stuff in future. We can only ever play the hand we're dealt. And that involves only being able to do stuff RIGHT NOW. In this moment. Being present will massively help you keep relaxed, de-stressed, less anxious, and it will also help you enjoy things. Like when you're having breakfast or eating a snack you like, you won't blink and realize it's gone and you spent the whole time eating it but thinking about other stuff. Instead, you'll be present, in that moment, enjoying that food or drink 100%. You'll savor every bit. I hugely recommend getting an app like Calm or Headspace. Both have free trials for anywhere from a week to a few weeks. There's also a bunch of completely free meditation apps and youtube videos and things. These guided meditations help a lot because you don't have to look up "how to meditate" or whatever, you just sit comfortable somewhere quiet, put a pair of headphones on, and relax. If you practice this every day, first thing in the morning, and make a habit of it like brushing your teeth (or brushing your mind!), you'll notice a huge difference. It will help you calm any negative voices in your head and know that those thoughts will still pop into your mind now and then, and that's ok. You just let them drift past, instead of giving them any attention. Meditation is amazing. Try it for a couple of months!
  • Socializing: Humans are social creatures. We need to chat with other people in order to feel good. You said you're starting some classes next week. GOOD. Be brave, and reach out to make friends with the people you're in class with. Try and arrange to meet up with people after class to talk about what happened in class, and get to know each other. Organize getting together to work on scenes or exercises together and watch movies, go to plays together, and go get a cup of tea after and talk about them together. Also, try chatting to strangers more. Be brave. Ask someone about the book they're reading, if they've read other stuff by that author, do they recommend it? Take an interest in people, if you introduce yourselves then remember their name (and use it!). Be attentive to what they say and ask them questions. If they talk about something, ask how long they've been doing it, what they like about it, etc. Ask about it as if you're an actor researching a role where you need to know about or do that thing. A lot of people aren't used to this kind of contact and will kind of close down a bit. But try! But you'll be surprised, sometimes you'll have lovely 2 minute chats with people, and you might learn something. And for anyone who you're friends with who doesn't live in Copenhagen, reach out to them! Google Hangout is free and a great way to keep in touch with people. Use that or Skype or Facetime or something, and have little 15 minute or hour-long catch-ups with people you care about. All of this stuff will make a world of difference in terms of how connected you feel to people and how lonely you feel.
  • Reading: Minimizing your electronic device usage in bed will help you sleep better. Reading is a wonderful way to relax you in the evening. Take 30-60 minutes every night as the last thing you do before drifting off, to jump into a book. Try some novels that are in genres you like, try some novels that are in genres you don't like but that people rave about. Classics. Modern award winners. Novels engage your brain in a different way to other types of stimulation. They also make you more empathetic and emotionally connected. You can also switch off between a novel and something like this or [this] (, which are amazing books that will help you a lot on your journey to getting more out of your life and feeling better about things.

    All of the above should be the priority here. Your health is #1. If you look after yourself emotionally and physically, you'll be way better set up to deal with all the BS in life and enjoy yourself and form and maintain good relationships with people, and to be motivated and energized about working on acting (or anything else).

    Acting is amazing. But it's very fucking hard. For most actors, it's a tough lifestyle. To pursue it, you have to be cool to roll with the fact that most of the time it's hard work. It is a job. You have to work at it. Actors get rejected all the time. It's part of the job. You have to work hard to be in a good spot emotionally and physically in order to help deal with that. So, like I said, for now, it may be worth putting a lot of energy into that stuff.

    I hope some of this is helpful. Sending you love and good vibes from the other side of the world. xxxx
u/mirrorsarereflective · 3 pointsr/acting

no matter how many classes you take. a coach can never teach you how to act. they can help you and guide you (which clearly your acting coach is not). I'm not saying to not take classes, but definitely there are things that cannot be taught in a 3 hour or so class. Your coach is not at all constructive.

I think you should consider working on these before taking more classes. for the love of god, I'd find a different coach too once you work on these things below first. she gave some good notes like with substitution, but again, if she told you that about your face, it's abrasive.

A few things I think was mentioned:

  • voice work:
    I never realized how having good voice work helped open up my emotional range and the way I spoke. I was always a soft speaker because I always had tension in my neck from bad posture and improper breathing. When you arent using proper voice work, it's not just your voice that is improperly used, it's your entire body.
    Most people can speak adequately, but that is not enough for acting. especially if you want to broaden your range.
    I could never and always felt uncomfortable going big in an emotion because I never had the relaxed voice to do it. I would recommend reading this book, but also look at some articulation word exercises like tongue twisters. A lot of nuances get lost if you don't have a strong voice work.... Try saying things with different subtexts to change the intonation. If you said "hello" to a creeper you want to dismiss, it'd be very different from if you were saying "hello" from a hot guy you want to flirt with.

  • emotions/empathy: this is something no one can teach you. This involves a few things. Imo you need a strong sense of imagination in order to feel empathetic. Reading fiction or just going out and having experiences with friends and whatever helps. Also an exercise I find helpful is to film yourself doing a scene, and choose 1 emotion. You want to go from smallest of that emotion and bigger and bigger and even if you think you did the maximum, go even beyond that. I think a lot of the times, most of us don't have these hardcore lives and we're not arguing and running away from a serial killer in our daily lives. this means that your body isn't use to recognizing what it feels like to be scared shitless or yelling at your boyfriend. So practice this at home so you get use to it. It helps to imagine and try to access in your personal life times that you felt that particular emotion. Sometimes you can't access such an emotion genuinely because you've never been scared so shitless... if that's the case, try remember a low level of scared and try faking it to make it bigger but also trying to keep in believable. Then watch it back and try to see if it seems believable. You gotta be careful here because I've seen some people confuse big with cringey.

  • higher stakes:
    a lot of the times people will try to play it natural. this sometimes can be good but also comes off as low energy. I think for now, maybe make the stakes higher. like if you found out your boyfriend cheated on you, don't be like "oh well we only dated a few weeks", be more like "I cant believe I was gonna marry you and you slept with my best friend you asshole, and this was my last chance to get a husband to have a child because my eggs are drying up".

  • script work:
    I know you probably know this already... but i think what happened in your tape you showed us.... It seems like you didn't layer thoughts into your mind while listening. I think this goes back to stakes. Like how is your character suppose to be reacting in this context? Is she hyperaware of what the guy's response is because she really wants to go to california to escape her dad who molests her? I understand that sometimes we are very neutral in real life when we listen to others talk, but in acting you kinda want to layer meaning into what your partner is saying.
    Here is an example. Notice how both actresses when the other is speaking have some kind of reaction when listening? It's clear there is some kind of significance and history layered into the conversation. When she says "i should have made sure you gone to college"... the other girl is looking up and down as if a thought just triggered in her head, which then she reacts by saying "you know, I don't need your guidance..."

  • character analysis: this kinda is an off branch of the script analysis... but try to see the difference between the character you are playing versus you. Don't play it as you. maybe there are parts of you like the character, but know the difference between how you would react versus your character. Like if some idiot told me he loved me and wanted us to start a family at age 17. I would tell him to fuck off. but if my character was homeless, had abusive family, and desperate for love.... I would say yes because he is the first guy who has ever been nice to me. I think for now, try making your background of the characters more rich and embellished but believable. interpret the characters with high stakes for now. The most liberating thing I ever had was realizing that the character i'm playing is not me. maybe parts of me, but definitely not me. i found i stopped trying to force myself to feel what the character would feel after i did this. instead I started thinking, what can i use to "substitute" for an emotion my character needs but also if I can't substitute, I will just re-enact how my body felt with x emotion.

  • random:
    I'd noticed you had watery eyes in the scene. This is gonna sound a bit contradicting to what I said about "empathy", but sometimes you can't connect with a character on an emotional level on the spot, and instead you re-enact those emotions based on memory or how you remember your body felt when you had such emotion for that particular character. don't try to force yourself to cry, it will make you appear stiff because you are more focused on that than the scene itself. This is why I think going through a wide emotional range in the safety of your room is a good idea, but make sure it's believable. You don't necessarily have to genuinely feel what the character feels, but sometimes it does happen. also i would try to pick scenes from plays and not so much scenes from films with well known cast. sometimes we try to copy the actors who did this scene before us or sometimes we won't do all the work (script analysis, character, objectives) because we have already seen it in a movie.

    Try these out first for awhile before you sign up for a class. No class will ever go into details about this stuff, so you gotta do it on your own and it shouldn't feel like a chore. most of these things are quite fun imo. voice work helps a lot in your life and i find people take me a lot more seriously now because i no longer speak softly and i can easily raise my voice when needed. reading is fun too imo, and it is great for exercisisng your imagination and seeing from a character's perspective.
u/BrotherPoole · 2 pointsr/acting

Doing a monologue for an agent, reading commercial copy, or even addressing an audience. The trick of it is that when you're talking to that lamp, you're still talking to a person. They couldn't make it, but you're talking to them any way. There's a couple ways to do this, but I'll detail one that works pretty well for me, with a TL;DR at the end.

There's a technique called "practical aesthetics" that I haven't seen mentioned on here more than three times, but it's invaluable for auditions and relatively simple to study, especially with what you've described. It's a four-part system, and you should definitely check out A Practical Handbook for the Actor. What you'll mainly want to think about is the as-if bit, used in other methods as well. The things that come before it are important, and I can go through that too, if you like, but here's a go at the essential action and as-if:

When you have your objective, translate that into terms of the essential action of the scene. What is the main thing that you are doing in order to get what you want? Let's say you have a monologue directed toward your boss. The text says that you're asking your boss for a raise, so your objective, conveniently is "I want Larry to give me a raise." Well, how would you do that? "Make them feel like a million bucks," to show them your value? "To get what's owed me," because you've worked hard for your money and it should already be yours? That could be very dynamic. So there it is, your essential action for the scene.

Next, your as-if. You've gotta use yourself now. "Who's someone that I might feel owes me something?" Let's say you've worked your whole life trying to get love from your dad, but he's never really given you the time of day. You really feel like some love is due after all these years. Would it be kind of fun to vent all of that frustration and hurt and rage and sadness all at once to get your dad to finally admit that he loves you? Good, because this is the part where I need to set some rules. First, it has to be fun. If you're gonna have a problem recovering from an as-if, use a different one. There are other techniques that have no problem with this, but this isn't one of them. Second, it can't be a conversation that's happened. It's gotta be spontaneous. Third, it can't be a significant other. I'm really not sure why, but I have never seen this work. Fourth, it can't be about acting. You'll get self conscious. Okay. Ground Rules set, moving on. You can now phrase how you're going to talk to this character. "It's as-if I'm confronting my dad about his lack of affection for me."

Now you've gotta practice. You've by now got your monologue memorized (rote if you can), so how about we start by sitting in a chair across from that lamp you mentioned. A nice lamp, truly. Close your eyes, and picture your dad in your head. The wrinkles that have developed on his forehead from years of stressful work, the grey around his temples, his eyes, his nose, or his ears you share. Maybe think about what he sounds like, the expressions he makes, what he does. Work up the courage. State your essential action to yourself ("To get what's owed me"), open your eyes, and start talking to him. "Dad... I... well. What the fuck, for starters? Are you ever gonna tell me you love me? You sure told Val. It took me long enough to figure out that you weren't just rubbing it in when you told her. And I get that she's your little girl and you don't think that boys need that sort of thing, but god damn. What do I have to do?" You'll notice that he, like the lamp, is not answering. Maybe try a different approach? "I'm sorry. I love you, dad, and I know you love me. You've proven it every way you've known how. You worked your ass off, you put a roof over our heads, you helped me buy my first car may it rest in peace, but I really need to hear it." Do this for maybe a minute, drop it, and launch into your monologue.

This might seem a little far fetched, but to lookers on, what you've just done is created a complex and nuanced relationship with your boss in the scene. What is your boss to you? Christ, he's a Titan. He gave you a chance when you didn't deserve it, he's a mentor, he's someone you look up to, it's almost a father-son relationship even though he's younger than you. And right now, you need that raise, but oh my gosh it's not just about the raise, it's about your self worth. You've created years of history with this person simply by relating it to your own life. It's quick, it's fun, and it can deliver some really great results, especially when you need to get something from a lamp.

TL;DR: When you speak your monologue, do so as if you're speaking to someone you know.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/acting

Understand Shakespeare

The writing of the time is essentially a different language than Modern English, and you'll want to learn that language.

While reading, should you not understand a word, you must look it up. The internet usually has the definitions of such words, but just in case: Shakespearean Lexicons Volume I & Volume II

Learn iambic pentameter.

Learn how to spot operative words. How I do it is to look at a sentence, find the most important words, and see if you can maintain the basic meaning of that statement whilst only using the operative words. As a rule of thumb, operative words are generally not negatives (e.g. never, not, etc.)

Learn how to perform scansion. Scansion is essentially writing out the iambic pentameter and underlining the operative words.

Shakespeare was a poet and was very lyrically gifted, but his stories are often weighed down with non-existent fluffy interpretations. For example, the famous "TO BE... OR... NOT... TO BE!" monologue from Hamlet is too-often used in auditions and is too-often made overly dramatic. A writer/casting director friend of mine said he has only been impressed by one audition of it. The actor walked in, and casually delivered the monologue, hitting the operatives, paying attention to real iambic pentameter, and not over-dramaticizing it. tl;dr Shakespeare may sound like music, but it's not always music... sometimes it is. Be honest with intention.


Auditioning is a subject in and of itself, but I'll attempt a "quick" guide:

Stay calm and concentrate on the story.

Have monologues with variety, but make sure they are characters you could fit in.

Remember, the people casting the show want you to succeed. They are cheering for you, whether you know it or not.

GOTE or Goals Obstacles Tactics Expectations, and for good measure S for Stakes. What are the character's life goals, play goals, scene goals, and moment goals? What are the obstacles for every goal? What are the tactics used and how often do they change? What do they expect to happen and how do they react?

Most importantly, I am one person. One actor. I can defend my expertise, but still... I am only one opinion. There are no rules in Acting, it is an art. There are good pieces of advice... but that's about it.

Also, everyone loves it when someone usually on the outside of Theatre participates with us! :D I am in love with science, but I pursued my art. We love it, so don't be afraid of us. My only note is that you must treat it with absolute respect. Many of these people are risking absolute destitution, psychological despair, and never-ending passion for a very lofty goal. We have to study as much as anyone else (even those who seem to have the mysterious talent.)

As long as you care about your performance, I'm sure you'll do just fine.

Break legs. :)

EDIT: I seem to have formatted incorrectly earlier. I believe I've fixed it. Sorry. :P
EDIT II: Fixed The Scottish Play*

u/DecadentDisarray · 2 pointsr/acting

Awesome, good for you. That is what I did in college, after two years, completely switched majors and went the theater route and am so glad I did. Don't let it overwhelm you. Get to know the people in the department, some of the best advice I got was from friends I made in the department. Also, get to know your profs. really well. Take them out for drinks or dinner or whatever and pick their brains. the best way to learn about acting is to watch as much as you can and do it. Work scenes with your friends even when you don't have a scene due for class. Study and perform monologues for your friends just for the fun of it. Just enjoy it and it won't freak you out. One of the best books I have ever read about starting out is called [ Audition] ( by Michael Shurtleff. It approaches acting in a very unique way and really teaches you how to introduce yourself to the character. Best of luck and most important thing - Have fun, don't give up and don't take it too serious.

u/thisisnotarealperson · 2 pointsr/acting

I glanced at your post history and saw that this may be from more of a writing angle than one of acting, which makes a little more sense. You might want to take a look at Actions: The Actors' Thesaurus. It may not be the best fit for what you're looking for, but as an actor I'd rather read something in a stage direction like:

BILL (stabbing): OK, I'll leave then

rather than

BILL (loud and quick): OK, I'll leave then.

The second one feels like a line-reading which we as actors tend to look down on, and the first is something more actionable. Though really, if the writing is good enough the need for stuff like that is pretty minimal anyway.

I might be off on your intention, but hopefully that's helpful.

u/frankieh456 · 1 pointr/acting
  1. Tell your parents

  2. Try it as soon as you can. Audition for some local community theatre or student/short films. If you know people who create, let them know you are interested. There also may be some acting classes in your area. Try one. It may be worth your while to see if there are any acting facebook groups in your area...actors there will be able to get you up to speed on the local scene.

  3. Don't switch your major immediately, but yes, like someone else commented, see if there is an acting club of some sort at your school. It also wouldn't hurt to try to schedule a meeting with some of the theatre department heads to ask what the program is like. Maybe they would let you sit in on a class.

    If you are interested, you should give it a try and see if you enjoy it. Don't waste time thinking about it. We all have to deal with our shyness and uncertainty, especially at the beginning.

    There are also some books worth reading, maybe? Here are some foundational technique books:

    On Acting by Sanford Meisner

    An Actor's Companion by Seth Barish

    And maybe a good biography of an actor. Charles Grodin and Jenna Fischer (Pam from the office) both have informative books on their journey in acting.

    Nothing beats experience though! Find a place to perform, whether it's stand-up, an audition room, an open mic, a short film...and act!

    Good luck!
u/TheLastGiraffe · 6 pointsr/acting

I agree. Your hunger is an incredibly good thing. But you should always be training and stretching If you're interested in some books on technique here's what I've been reading.

A Practical Handbook for the Actor by a bunch of interesting people. It's a practical, repeatable, and analytical way of approaching acting. While it is best practiced in a classroom with a knowledgable instructor, the text is good enough to stand on it's own.

History of the Theatre by Brockett is a longggggg read. But it's detailed and a great perspective on what was happening when in relation to plays. Also you can older editions for way way less.

I'm just now reading Sanford Meisner on Acting and that's been an interesting so far, it has a lot more of a narrative which is enjoyable to read.

Hope any of that helps someone!

u/MoonSpider · 5 pointsr/acting

I'd like more directors to read and understand Judith Weston's book. You might just need to take a different approach to get them out of their funk, and the Weston book offers a lot of different tactics for working with actors to bring them to a safe creative space, even describing how different approaches to communication can resonate better with certain actors depending on age, training, and temperament.

Anyway, if you want to understand the difficulties of acting, take an acting class. Seriously. Be on the other end, without the safety net of your own writing and your own set, being evaluated and stared at and trying to find truth in the moment. It'll make you a better director, because you'll know what your collaborators are going through.
Here's a basic primer on what actors go through. Read it the whole way through.

Back to the 'difficult' actor thing. Mostly, 'difficult' actors should be weeded out during casting. That's square one. But if an actor's being 'difficult' on set, something is off in the creative relationship, someone isn't feeling full trust or safety or respect in either direction (or is a callous asshole, always a possibility). A problem actor is probably too much in their head and feeling offended/disrespected (whether justified or not). You need to get them out of that headspace, give them another target to focus on, reconnect with their scene partner, and give them an area where their work feels 'important.'

I was once working on a television show where a very well-known actor was having a 'difficult' day. It was late into a sixteen-hour shoot day, he was tired, he was frustrated, he disliked the section of the scene they were working on because he thought it was sappy and dumb, and he was having trouble and tripping over the exact sequence of words in his speech, we couldn't even get a master of the whole section. You could see it building into a situation where he was closing himself off from everybody. We could have sat there and stewed in the difficulty, but the director came up and went at him a little obliquely.

He said, "Hey [BLANK], I actually just want to get a good look here for the first part of this line, we're gonna be on [SCENE PARTNER]'s coverage anyway for that next bit. Don't worry about the rest of the speech, can you just give us the first half of the line a couple time so we catch that moment where you put him in his place? [SCENE PARTNER'S CHARACTER] wasn't really listening a second ago, so just stop him in his tracks with that opening phrase."
Well, of course he could commit to half of a line even if he's frustrated with the scene as a whole, sure, whatever. So we went back on a bell and rolled camera, called 'action.'
The actor started the line, trailed off, started it again by kind of teasing his scene partner, who pushed back a little, smiling. He did it again, this time really demanding the other actor's attention. He had something important to say, so he'd better listen. His eyes lit up as he spoke, the weight of the long work day fell off his frame and his whole demeanor opened up. Instead of a cranky man having a rough day at work, I suddenly saw that performer I'd watched on the screen as a child, saw him play. For a little while at least. He got through most of the first line, (well past the halfway mark) and had a little hangup on a word at the end of the sentence.
"Great, wonderful. [SCRIPT SUPERVISOR], how did we change the wording of that joke that comes after this? Thanks. Hey [BLANK], we'll be on his coverage there anyway, but can we do the back half of that line transitioning into the next bit? We won't need all of it, but just run that little section before you tell him [whatever the next line is]."

So we did the next section and saw him manage to open up again, this time fully present for the second half of the line and the following sentence. We moved forward, bit by bit, until we had captured him being engaged in each part of the coverage of his little 4-line speech. Then we went wide, got him entering and exiting, and sent him to his trailer.

That was about as 'difficult' as a professional actor can be on the basics--not knowing his lines fully, getting locked off, angry and frustrated, but the director guided him into something workable, got him off the set, and got us back on schedule. He had to give his editor less to work with than he'd like to and live with what were essentially pre-decided cuts, but because he'd planned well and worked at not embarrassing or overloading the actor who was being a bit of a diva, production was able to move forward. When the episode aired a few weeks later, the sequence flowed fine.

u/Pennwisedom · 3 pointsr/acting

I would highly suggest either Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual or any of the other books listed in the sidebar of /r/improv Or Improvisation For The Theater

The UCB manual is mostly concerned with Long-Form Improvisational Comedy, but it'll have good insight for any other kind of work.

Depending on who you ask, you can get different "tenets" of Improv. But the most basic things two I'd say are:

1.) Yes And - It is not just about literally saying yes, but about agreeing and adding information.
2.) Don't Deny - Again, this isn't about saying no, but about not denying the reality which has been created. As in, if you're in a scene where it is established that you're on normal Earth, don't just start going "Hey, I'm flying!"

u/actingasevan · 1 pointr/acting

First off thanks for asking this question, I am very similar to you in pretty much everything said - landing auditions but I'm also somewhat stiff during them and wanted to see how to help with that.


Along with what others said about training and dancing, I looked up potential resources that may help with movement in acting and purchased these 2 books - I haven't read either yet but you may find interest in them.



u/maclincheese · 3 pointsr/acting

One book that I learned a lot from was Kristen Linklater's "Freeing the Natural Voice". If you can pick up a copy from Amazon or something, it's so worth it. There's lots of useful techniques and exercises for getting down in your gut even if your natural inclination is to be restricted to your upper level. She talks a lot about the core and nature of animals to make noise from their gut.

Link to the book on Amazon.

Link to her Wikipedia page if you want to learn more about her

Give it a try :) If it doesn't work for you, there are plenty of voice coaches out there who would charge a reasonable fee to get you where you want to be.

u/hobskhan · 3 pointsr/acting

A fun one that I love and have also given as a Secret Santa gift: 'How to Stop Acting' by Harold Guskin.

It's an alternative 'non-technique,' and also a nice followup if you think they may have already read more major Meisner and Uta Hagen books.

u/kahvi_4 · 1 pointr/acting

Two useful books I always use are Actions: The Actor's Thesaurus and A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English

Useful for a lot of people and not technique specific. Basically great reference books.

u/RuthIessChicken · 1 pointr/acting

Lazzi the Comedic Routines of Commedia dell'Arte is a great resource…I've already plugged this book once today. I highly recommend it.

u/howaboutgofuckyrself · 1 pointr/acting

It's not that you shouldn't do that, but you want to replace it with an action. This doesn't necessarily mean doing something physically, but if I assume correctly that the narration in the video is your inner monologue, there needs to be some kind of response to that. You are listening to the voice, so you are engaged by it. Having your blocking be as simple as sitting and listening is fine, but there needs to be a connection between your thoughts and your blocking, which is sitting in the shower/tub.

To fix this, you need to realize that in this scene you have two characters. There is the character of your Inner Monologue and the character of Your Character (physical you). Your Inner Monologue wants one thing, and You want another (again, an assumption, but I assume this because all scenes are built on conflict - if you both wanted suicide, that would happen and there would be no scene to speak of). What do you want the voice to do? Do you want it to stop? How will you make it stop? This page has a breakdown of what objectives are and how you play them.

If you still continue to sit and listen, that's totally okay! But there shouldn't be a disconnect between the two characters in the scene. There should be a give and take, an action and a reaction, a response. Then the other character plays from this response.

I strongly suggest the acting book The Anatomy of a Choice by Maura Vaughn. This has helped me in many situations as an actor. Also, read lots of David Mamet. Read his plays, read his essays on acting. Another book I find helpful is A Practical Handbook for the Actor (written by students of Mamet) and The Art of Acting by Stella Adler. Reading is an actor's greatest tool other than just getting out there and performing.

Understanding objective is the first step toward becoming a fully invested actor. It will change the way you look at the stage and screen.

edit: added a thought

u/haleym · 8 pointsr/acting

Unless you're doing some sort of highly stylized melodrama or something along those lines (which it doesn't sound like you are) you don't "act" emotions. That's going to come across as superficial and unconvincing. For the type of naturalistic acting your project is most likely going for, you act objectives, obstacles and tactics and use "what if" to stimulate your imagination and get yourself into the situation. Then the emotions come naturally.

In this case, your objective is to get to safety. This is very high-stakes; if you don't get to safety, you die. So what if you were really in that type of situation? Imagine if suddenly, right now, right behind you, you caught in the reflection of your screen the image of a man with a giant butcher knife about to stab you. You're going to freak out, right? You're going to scream, run, pull out your phone and call 911 and/or your friends and family and do whatever it takes to get out of there and get help and be safe again. Start out by practicing as if that was the scene. Have someone stand behind you as if they were the killer, then run screaming and shouting with reckless abandon from one side of the room to the other, yelling the names of all your most trusted friends and family for help, as if this was the one moment in your life you need them most of all. It doesn't matter how you look doing it, it doesn't matter if anyone's convinced, the only thing that matters is that you, Ahmed11105, get away from the person that wants to kill you as fast as possible and get to a safe place. Feel what it's like to go after that goal with everything you've got.

Once you've done that, once you're feeling that urgency and immediacy, start adding in the given circumstances to the exercise, one at a time, and see how they create obstacles to your goal of getting to safety, and how you have to change your tactics to get there. For example, instead of right behind you, the killer's in some unknown place nearby. How does that affect things? Can you still risk screaming for help, or will that alert him to your presence? Can you still run in a straight line, or do you know have to pay more attention to your surroundings, since you don't know where he is? Now imagine that you've forgotten who you are. How does that affect your character's situation, feeling that instinct to find someone to help them but not knowing if any such people even exist? How does that influence the choices the character makes? Remember, underneath everything your prime focus is to get to safety - these are just added obstacles that are standing in your way. It's the tension between the character's objective and the obstacles that stand in the way of that which create the emotion in the actor's body.

Read up on Method/Stanislavski/Etc. for further info about how to develop this sort of technique (the sidebar's a good start, I also highly recommend "Practical Handbook for the Actor" as a great crash course in this stuff), or, better yet, take an actual acting class, and this all makes a lot more sense if you have an experienced teacher guiding you through exercises that teach these principles.

(*Edit: I guess that "Practical Handbook" link is only the first chapter, but here it is on Amazon.)

u/lovegod_lovepeople · 2 pointsr/acting

You could try looking into different techniques, perhaps something like Meisner. He was all about acting as a result of the moment. Learning the lines in rote (no emotion added, just memorizing the words) and then using the moment to bring out the expression in the phrasing. Might be worth checking out.

Edit: he's got a great book out there

I read it and could feel a difference in my acting.

u/rickyslams · 1 pointr/acting

I bounced around without a lot of clear focus until I read the book “How To Stop Acting” by Harold Guskin. Now I more or less practice the technique from that book on all my projects. What made it “click” for me was that it clearly described and gave a structure to things that I already recognized in myself. With other techniques I found they would often just lock me up or make me overly heady, but this one made me feel more like myself and put me back in contact with what I like about acting. Any system that works for you should make you feel empowered in the work you’re doing!

Link here:

u/xenophobias · 3 pointsr/acting

You should read this book:

If you are choosing emotions to act, chances are you are playing out those emotions instead of acting. Instead, you should be choosing actions and what you want from the other person from the scene, and letting the emotions come from that... I'm not sure where or if you're taking acting classes, but that's pretty 101 stuff.

u/potatoyogurt · 2 pointsr/acting

Good advice, but those aren't the best translations of Stanislavski. This more modern version is supposedly much truer to the original. There's also a reading list in the sidebar.

u/TarantusaurusRex · 1 pointr/acting

I believe that reading and practicing Freeing the Natural Voice by Kristin Linklater is one of the best things an actor can do for him/herself. I studied the Linklater Method in my university studies, and it not only ameliorated my performance technique, but it changed me as a person. This is stuff that one can practice in numerous scenarios, not just in preparation for performance. It is absolutely worth a look, and isn't expensive on Amazon.

Sorry for the link, I am using a French keyboard and can't figure out how to make brackets.

u/silkk8 · 2 pointsr/acting

adding onto this: I recently bought this mic for self tapes.

It's a super affordable option, and sounds 1000% better than my iPhone mic. Nothing fancy but it does the job. I just tape it to the inside of my shirt and plug it into my phone and it works great. Before I used this mic, the volume on my tapes would go in and out depending on if I or the reader were saying lines (making the take unusable). I think my phone had trouble picking up the sound from two people. Problem fixed.

u/saintbenny · 1 pointr/acting

I just ordered this and I haven't received it yet, but I'll still go ahead and recommend it to you:

u/King_Theseus · 1 pointr/acting

Watch this:

And then read this book (you would likely find this book on pretty much every acting conservatory's reading list):

u/Throwawaywts · 1 pointr/acting

Currently reading The Audition Bible: Secrets Every Actor Needs To Know. It almost reads like a reference book, so you can just look at the table of contents and find an answer to a question you've always had.


u/Mygo73 · 1 pointr/acting

Check out the Viewpoints book by Anne Bogart. Her techniques are an invaluable resource for movement on stage