Considering acting as a career? In this guide, we'll discuss all the skills for acting you'll need to master to be successful. Here's some of what's covered:
Skills for Acting
Actors are professional entertainers who play roles in movies, plays, and television shows. While many aspiring actors have visions of one day becoming a star, the day to day grind isn’t quite as glamorous. Actors read at auditions, memorize lines, compete with thousands of other performers, and frequently take odd jobs to support themselves financially.
While many actors make the move to large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles or New York, there are production companies all over the world that hire actors on a regular basis.
Acting can be a tiring career (both physically and emotionally), but if it's something you truly enjoy, it can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable career paths possible.
Martin Bentsen (author of this guide) is an actor marketing coach who uses “outside the industry” thinking to help actors book more work. He’s helped over 6,000 actors with their careers and actor headshots since 2009 and his photography studio City Headshots is ranked #1 on Yelp. He’s spoken at NYU, The New England Theater Conference, The Actor’s Green Room, and other venues.
Want to book more acting work by thinking different? Start with his free Actor’s Toolkit to create new opportunities right away, or visit his website at www.martinbentsen.com.
Some Additional Q&A
What are the 5 Key Acting Skills?
The five key acting skills you should work to develop include:
- Ability to memorize lines: There's no getting around the need to memorize lines as an actor. It's part of the job and the faster you develop this skill, the better off you'll be. Learn how to memorize lines quickly.
- Ability to take direction: Whether in an audition or on set, directors and casting directors will give you notes on what needs to change for the next time you perform the scene. If you can't take their direction or easily get offended, they won't want to work with you.
- Research & Comprehension: Many roles require you to read the entire script first to understand the character arc, and some even require you to read historical documents on particular groups of people or historical events in order to better understand them and give a realistic performance. If you don't enjoy research and have no interest in learning about particular character Types, avoid auditioning for them and focus on something you do have an interest in.
- Physical stamina: Most acting gigs require long hours and the ability hold draining emotional states (sadness, anger, etc.) for long periods of time.
- Clear speech: Speaking clearly and "projecting" properly is a must, especially for theater actors where there are usually not microphones close to your mouth. The audience needs to be able to hear and understand what you're saying, so proper pronunciation is necessary.
Is Acting a Skill or Talent?
Acting is both a skill AND a talent. Some people are born with the natural ability to act, while others are not. In either case, you'll need to work to develop your acting skills throughout the course of your life.
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