It depends who you ask!
Some may say you need to sing and dance. Others say learn a musical instrument, learn a language. All are valid.
But if you don’t know how to communicate with genuine rapport then you are way behind from the beginning. Communication and relationships are more important to an actor than any other profession. After all, that’s what we are here for – to communicate other peoples/ characters stories, thoughts, feelings and emotions. To convey that with honesty and genuineness.
To be an actor you must be inquisitive and innately curious and be genuinely interested in other people and how they tick. Not a passing interest but a real genuine interest in people and their lives. Who are they and how do they tick?
Find out what you love doing and bring that unique passion into the room. You may be a gymnast or a music teacher or speak 10 different languages. Be sure all the CDs know about your passion. Obviously if your passion is musical theatre then it’s a pre requisite to be a master at singing and dancing.
My family motto is Tenax de Prepositii meaning ‘Tenacity of Purpose’. I believe every actor must possess tenacity to succeed.
Talent is one thing but skills are what gets you there. And without tenacity in being the best at those skills you will never get there!
As an example did you see ‘Shine’ – the Oz movie about a pianist played by Geoffrey Rush? This was the role that pivoted him to a lead man position. There is no way he would have played that character if he could not play the piano.
I assume you’ve all seen Christpher Walken dance? If not check him out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCDIYvFmgW8
Obviously possessing a basic, strong level of fitness, flexibility, and coordination are pretty essential too so that you are ready to apply yourself to whatever may be thrown at you.
And before you go anywhere, Social Media is becoming more and more an important tool for the working actor. Did you happen to catch our webinar on our Club TAT in ‘The strategies for Actors using FaceBook’? https://www.theauditiontechnique.com/membership/
I’ve listed a few things below which I believe may be helpful in gaining you the audition, though it’s up to you to bring those unique assets to the mind frame of CD’s:
- Musical instrument
- Horse riding
- Weapons licence
- Drivers licence/ bike licence
- Learn a language
- Learn to dance
- Learn to sing
- Gymnastics and or circus skills
- Improvisation and or/ stand up comedy
- Dialects and accents
Embrace your unique traits and cultivate your skills, then keep an eye out for projects that may launch you and for what makes you different.
Stop trying to second-guess what other people want. Be who you are! Be loud and proud!