Here are some points to consider when approaching a film-acting role.

 

 

Know Thyself. Become aware of how you actually move, speak, and respond. Do not criticize or look for validation about it, just notice. Not only will this help you to see what roles you are most castable in, but also how you can make specific adjustments to play a greater variety of characters.

 

Choose to be interested. Don’t try to be interesting. Now that you are rehearsing or performing in your scene, focus on other people and things in the scene. Listen. While a play audience will focus on the character with lines, a film audience watches the listener more.

 

Experience each moment. Don’t convey. While film is more show and less tell, your job as an actor is to live in the moment. The camera will show it. The camera will even pick up your unspoken thoughts in a close up if your eyes are in the shot.

 

Make your choices few, personal, and specific. If you’ve ever heard “You can’t be everything to everyone”, that is especially true in film acting. Does your character have specific likes and dislikes about food, clothes, their town, jobs or hair color? If you’ve already made those choices, your lines will have more reality in them. Example - SCENE PARTNER: Would you like some tea? YOU: No, thank you. That line will come out very differently if you are thinking “You know I hate tea,” or maybe you’re thinking “ Who cares about tea when you look so beautiful!”

 

Let the director direct. You’ve got a scene partner or a director that has “no idea what they are doing!” How exhausting. Yes, I know you could solve it all if they would just listen to you for a minute. Remember -You only have control over your choices. Most directors love actors who contribute their point of view. But hopefully, you’ve already had those discussions before you’re on the set. That’s an expensive time to hold everything and talk about why your character comes in that way.  Even if the director tells you to play it completely different from the brilliant detailed way you rehearsed and created your character. Just say, “No problem!” If you’ve already made personal, specific choices for your character you can do it again. Maybe the director sees things that you don’t see. If worse comes to worse and the director really is that terrible, call your agent and find a way to get out of the picture. Do it nicely. It’s a small world.