As a director who is just entering the film business, I can't tell actors what to do. But I can take the lessons I've learned in filmmaking and running my business and try to apply them to acting, because everything I learn has either a positive or a negative effect on the direction of my career.
One thing I've learned is that if I can get really good at one aspect of any craft, the rewards will follow.
I believe half of becoming successful is promotion, and the other half is craft. There are many other smaller factors, such as your personality and who you know, but those are much harder to change, so I won't discuss them in this article. Instead I will focus on craft.
Remember, anything you do will only make you better at doing it.
This is something that is extremely important to remember, in life and in your acting career. Because humans are psychologically wired to become better at tasks as they practice more often, no amount of practice will hurt you. The question is:
How much practice should I do on one technique before moving onto another?
Practice makes perfect, so after perfection comes, should you move onto something else? The real key is to know that nothing can ever truly be perfected. Therefore, actors should practice as often as possible on one key skill that they like the best. Of course you must be proficient in all areas of acting if you want to stay competitive, but if you can focus on one specific type of character, or one specific type of dance, and you become so good at it that you have branded yourself, you will likely become much more successful.
Remember that those actors who have become typecast typically find more jobs because their name starts floating around the industry.
Practice as often as you can, and master something specific. Keep other skills in case you need them, but if you get typecast into a specific role you will get your name known, and people will start searching you out for jobs.
Dont be a jack of all trades, master of none. It won't help you. Master one, and success will follow in all others.
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