There are many, many occupations and professions in the world. While some professions are just that – professions, there are some professions that are much, much more. Some professions are more passion, desire and the need to showcase one’s talents than they are simple means of making a living. One of the best examples of such a profession is the profession of acting.
Acting is not something that a person does simply to earn money, at least not if the person is an actual, professional actor. Acting is something that a person does because they want to, because they can and because they do not want to keep the knack and talent that they have for acting to themselves, hidden away from the world. The acting industry is without even the shadow of a doubt one of the largest industries in the entire world, generating billions and billions in revenue every single year. In addition, the acting industry is also regarded as one of the most rewarding industries in the world as the industry pays its employees more than the average person could possibly imagine for each masterpiece they act in.
However, the acting industry is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. The acting industry also happens to be one of the roughest and toughest industries to work in. Not every single person who simply wants to become an actor and make it in the acting industry actually manages to make it in the world of acting. No matter how much talent a person has, how beautiful and magnificent they are in terms of their facial features, and no matter how amazing a physique they have, they will not be able to make it in the acting business unless they are a professional actor who is actually worthy of being a part of the acting world.
It is not possible for every person to become a professional actor, especially since becoming a professional actor is one of the toughest things a person can ever hope to accomplish. Becoming a professional actor is most definitely not an easy task, and almost every single one of the people who decide to undertake it can use as much help with it as they can possibly get. Well, there are an extremely large number of things that a person needs to learn, understand and be able to demonstrate in order to become a professional actor, but there are a few, relatively small, lessons which, when learned, can go a long way in helping a person become a professional actor and, consequently, make it in show business. The following are the five shortest and best lessons that can aid a person significantly on their journey to becoming a professional actor:
1. Study your character, understand your character, and be your character
Being an actor is all about being the very version of the character a person is assigned that the people creating the movie, play, television show, or any other form of visual entertainment want them to be. If a person is not capable of convincing the people creating the work of art they are acting in that they can not only play the character they have been assigned but basically are the character they have been assigned, they will never be able to become a professional actor and make it in the visual entertainment industry.
In order to make it as a professional actor, all a person needs to do is become their character instead of just playing their character. Any actor can play the role of some character on any stage whatsoever, but there are not many actors who can actually play the role of some character by actually turning into that character. If a person wants to act their heart out, they need to turn their heart into the heart of their character, their body into the body of their character, and their mind into the mind of their character, so much so that they don’t think of playing the role of their character as acting, but rather something that comes naturally to them.
What is most definitely one of the best, and also shortest, lessons that a person can use to become as much of a professional actor as they can possibly be is to study their character, understand their character, and be their character. An actor must study and analyze their character, figure out what the strengths and the weaknesses of their character are and how they can play them to their advantage. Next, an actor must understand their character. An actor must get into the same mindset as their character and basically make a copy of their character’s mindset in their own mind. Once an actor is done with these two steps, they need to become their character. An actor needs to adopt the mindset of their character, adopt the way their character thinks and adopt their character’s way of life. If an actor practices this regimen, they will undoubtedly be able to showcase and exhibit the best possible portrayal of their character.
Take the famous portrayal of The Joker in the infamous Batman movie by Heath Ledger. Sir Heath Ledger studied the character of the Joker, understood the character of the Joker and then molded himself into the character of the Joker, so much so that even the crew of the movie sometimes thought that Sir Heath Ledger had blurred the lines between himself and the Joker. Sir Heath Ledger went as far to become the Joker as to live in isolation for more than a month, all the while maintaining a Diary that he wrote not as himself, but as the Joker. Masterpieces such as Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker are not found very often nowadays, and if an actor can channel and showcase the same kind of performance that Heath did, they will undoubtedly be well on their way to becoming a professional actor.
2. In acting, confidence is the key to success
How confident a person is defines how successful they are in life. This is true in the case of almost every single profession in existence. If a lawyer goes to court without any confidence, they are bound to lose the case. If a business tycoon goes to a business deal negotiation with little to no confidence and low self esteem, the party at the other side will most definitely trick them into agreeing to the deal that does not benefit them in any way. This is also true in the infamous profession of acting.
Until or unless an actor has confidence, they will not be able to deliver their best performance on any visual entertainment platform, and they will certainly not be able to become a professional actor. Almost all professional actors agree that, in acting, confidence and faith in one’s self and one’s abilities are the key to success. Any person who wants to make it in the acting business by becoming a professional actor must first build up their confidence, preferably to a level where their faith in themselves won’t be undermined regardless of how much of a beating they take in the acting industry and how many times they fall down.
3. Improvisation is instrumental
There are many different aspects to the art of acting, and one of the most important ones is improvisation. Improvisation is the skill of knowing what to do in the event that an actor forgets their lines. Improvisation is basically reading the context and coming up with responses that are best suited. Every actor needs to know what to do in the event that they forget their lines as that is most certainly a looming possibility, and in case this possibility ever becomes a reality, an actor needs to be completely ready to deliver lines that would most probably have been in the script.
Improvisation is extremely instrumental to an actor’s arsenal, which is the reason why it is highly recommended that an actor learns how to improvise, especially if they want to have any chances of becoming a professional actor. Being able to improvise is considered to be one of the most valuable skills a professional actor could possibly have. Take Sir Robert Downey Jr., for example. Mr. Downey’s infamous ‘Iron Man’ character has been reported to consist of only 30% of actual lines from the creators of the movies that include the character, and over 70% of Mr. Downey’s own lines that he came up with as a result of improvisation. Basically, Sir Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man minus the awesome armor but including the kickass wit and highly amazing attitude.
Improvisation is such an important skill that most acting schools all over the world offer specific courses and classes that are designed to do nothing but teach students about improvisation, how to improvise and why it is important for a professional actor to be able to improvise.
4. Acting is all about passion
Acting is one of the very few professions in existence that are more passion that they are profession. Acting is all about the passion that a person has for displaying their acting talents to the world. As long as a person has a bright fire of passion for acting burning in their heart, nothing will be able to stop them from becoming a professional actor and making it in the acting industry. In order for a person to be able to make it in the acting industry and become a professional actor, they most definitely have to have passion as without it, they will be destined to fail in their quest.
Actors need to have passion, not only to become professional actors but also to act the way they are supposed to. If an actor wants to be able to accurately portray any character whatsoever, they will have to have the passion required for them to really get into the role and turn themselves into the character they want to play. Without passion, an actor is not an actor, and that is especially the case when it comes to professional actors. For actors who do not have passion, becoming a professional actor is completely out of the equation. How good an actor is can be easily measured by the amount of passion that they have for acting, something that they display in their dedication to the characters they play and the amount of hard work that they put into playing a specific role.
5. Drawing from personal experiences makes for some great acting
If an actor truly wants to become a professional actor, they need to be able to bring their performances to life in such a way that even the harshest ant toughest of critics are impressed by the work of art that they showcase to them. There are not many ways that a person can bring their performances to life, and one of the simplest yet most effective ways is to draw from personal experiences.
Personal experiences, memories, and all the feelings that flow through a person’s body when they recall something from the past, are all extremely strong mediums, mediums which a person can use to channel performances from. If an actor’s performance is influenced by their personal experiences and the memories that they have, it will grow tenfold in terms of how good it is. The best of the best of the acting business in the world today have admitted that they played some of their best roles by simply drawing from personal experiences and channeling their feelings about their past into their performances.
Drawing from personal experiences makes for some great acting, probably some of the best acting that an actor will ever exhibit throughout the span of their entire career. This is the reason why, if a person wants to ascend to the throne of a professional actor and actually make a name in the acting industry, they need to learn the craft of being able to draw strength, feelings and emotions from the personal experiences that they have had in the past.