It’s been suggested many times that actors don’t need 3 years formal training. You can either act or you can’t!
We, here at The Audition Technique, tend to agree with that way of thinking, though drama schools definitely have their place in the world of actors.
After all, where else can you learn the nuances and magic of Shakespeare and Ibson for example?
But if it is a screen career you’re after, maybe it’s better to do your one off short screen courses and get yourself known in the industry.
Apart from the 5 things listed below you cannot under rate:
- Working behind the camera
- Being a parent.
These are all life experiences that feed into being a truthful and emotive actor.
Now lets unpack the 5 things that you MUST do if you want to be an actor without doing the 3 year formal training:
- Read Read Read and Study Study Study
There is so much to learn in this industry.
Read books on the various masters of acting technique. You’ll find they are all different, and they all offer various techniques which will either resonate with you or will not. Toss those out that don’t and learn and extrapolate from those that do. Books we suggest:
The art of Acting by Stella Adler
An Actor Prepares by Stanislavski.
To the Actor by Michael Chekov
These are well worn acting teachers that have supported many actors through the years. Me included.
Read a play or script a week. Become well versed in what makes a great play and script. Learn about characterization.
Agents – what makes them tick? How to choose which is the right agent for you. How to get an agent?. How to prepare for your first meeting with an agent. Part of our Actors Handbook series http://www.theauditiontechnique.com/auditions-meetings/ goes into getting your first agent and how to prepare for that all important meeting in detail.
Casting Directors – What exactly does a CD do? How important are they in the scheme of things? Who are they in your city and what type of productions do they cast? Are they suitable for your particular talents? Again in our Actors Handbook Series we investigate the best way of finding out and understanding who these illusive people are and how they can help you and vice versa. And yes…. It’s abut learning how YOU can help them!
Learn about characterization and script analysis. Do workshops, acting short courses, screen courses, seminars and network, network, network.
- Don’t rush in too early. Be prepared. So many times we see young keen (and not so young and not so hungry) actors come in to our studio not having the first clue about the industry. They get themselves a low tier agent and call themselves ‘actors’. Don’t fall into this trap. You are your reputation and your aim is to be remembered at all times favourably. Whether that be at an actors networking event, a theatre foyer, a meeting or an audition. The more you know about the industry, the more you will be remembered. Remember – being memorable is your aim of the game!Again our Actors Handbook video courses are great guides here http://www.theauditiontechnique.com/networking-in-the-digital-age/ and http://www.theauditiontechnique.com/auditions-meetings/
- What makes you different? What are your unique skills? Are you a trained nurse? School teacher/ horse rider? Musician? Whatever your skills are, be sure to highlight them. These are all the attributes that make you ‘special’. Concentrate on these special skills when selling yourself to your agent. Research the type of shows the CD does and do they fit your skill base?
Our Creating Compelling Characters course
http://www.theauditiontechnique.com/creating-compelling-characters-2/ provides you with the tools to create characters that leave an indelible memory to Casting Directors.
- Don’t take short cuts. When you see all those drama teachers online saying ‘Your deserve the red carpet’ and ‘Become a rockstar actor’, understand these are marketing ways to get you to click and buy. There are no short cuts in this industry! Yes there is luck but not too many actors have become successful through luck and luck alone. You must work and keep learning and training. The best actors are constant students.
- Last but certainly not least –MARKETING: You must learn what makes you unique and how to market yourself in todays social media world. There is much to learn about promoting yourself on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. All offer different ways to promote yourself and you must become well versed in all of them. There are ways to do it and there are NOT ways to do it. It is a fine line and a line that all actors must learn. In todays world it is vital you have a website and a Social Media profile.
Some actors with no formal training:
– Tom Cruise
– Robert Downey Junior
– Matthew McConaughey
– Johnny Depp
– Steve Martin
– Jennifer Lawrence
– Channing Tatum
– Michala Banas
– Rebecca Gibney
– Claudia Karvan
– Michael Caton and many many more……..