Do you find your days look a bit like this? You’re in the right place if you want to know how to live your best “acting” life.
10,000 hours. This is what it takes for someone to be successful at something. Whether horse riding, playing tennis, or woodworking, it takes hours upon hours of practice and hard work to be good at any skill. Actors seem to believe that this rule doesn’t apply to them. Actors spend their time waiting on the phone to ring or scrolling through Instagram, thinking Instafame is an easy way to get a career in acting. While it may have worked once in a while, it will not lead you to a sustainable, fulfilling acting career. Rant over. Let’s get to the point.
Actors’ bodies are instruments, and actors’ voices are an integral part of those instruments. It must be tuned and worked on every day. You don’t just have to practice on audition days, but every day. A cellist does not practice only for 20 minutes before going on stage. Actors shouldn’t do just a warm-up because they are performing some actions that day.
Incorporate a vocal warm-up into daily life. Although it might seem difficult initially, you will find yourself getting up earlier, finding time, and making space. It can also become boring, so you should ensure it is important. Do a class, purchase voice books and get private coaching. If you don’t know where to begin, some resources can help you. You can be sure that the most successful and busy actors do a vocal warm-up every morning.
Homework Perform a 20-minute vocal warm-up each morning.
Physical Warming Up
As an actor’s vocal cords are an integral part of their instrument, so is her body. Don’t let your instrument go flabby. While you are getting up in the morning to do your vocal warm-up, add a physical warm-up at the end. Whatever suits you best. Yoga can be used as a part of your physical warm-up. If you are a fan, consider signing up for classes or doing a few sequences at home. Increasing blood flow, oxygenating the body, and energising your muscles are important. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start. The internet is a wonderful place…
Homework – Do a 20-minute warm-up each morning.
StageMilk has been a constant source of banter about actors reading plays, and I will continue to bang on about it until more actors are reading every day.
Many actors I know haven’t read a play or a book in months. The problem with modern society is that we take our cues from the Newsfeed and learn from it rather than from books or evidence-based facts. Social media is a place we turn to for inspiration and information. It is curated to show us what’s most controversial and entertaining in the last 30 seconds. It’s terrifying.
Homework Reading a play each week and a novel every two weeks
Keep an eye out
So much content is available, whether it be film, theatre, or documentaries. Yet, I have met many actors loyal to the material they love. E.g. Rick and Morty and The Bachelor… While there are always places for trashy television, I enjoy it sometimes when I need to switch off and not think. We only have so much time on this planet and little time to read stories. So why not make the most of it all? Expand your horizons and commit yourself. Watch something new, not a blockbuster hit or something older that went unnoticed.
Homework: Watch 1 documentary, 1 new/challenging/different film, and 1 play every 2 weeks.