Instructables
If you've ever enjoyed a movie, been hooked on a TV show or been moved by a play, you've witnessed the power of acting. This timeless art form of storytelling has come along way from ancient Greek theater and has ignited many lives with its passion. Whether you're a theatrical tenderfoot or a tenacious thespian ( I enjoy alliteration too much) this, my first instructable will provide you with some tips and tricks for better acting.

Drama class is simply amazing, and while I have a few plays under my belt, I have never stopped learning new and wonderful thing about acting. Acting is difficult, rewarding, painful, and in my humble opinion some of the best fun you can have! Hopefully you learn at least a little from my tips. And they are only tips, if you're interested in exploring and establishing a thorough background or knowledge of acting I suggest you search via your preferred web browser.
 
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Step 1: Building a Character

Watch other people. Don't be a creeper, but seriously spend a day at a mall or park and just observe people and how they go about their merry (or not so merry) lives. You'll soon notice the variety of people and the quirks and mannerisms which really define them. Be sure to see what people do with their eyes and hands as these are very expressive features. Make note of any particular characteristics which strike you, if someone has a particular tick, a jump in their step, or a striking facial expression, then take some time to think about what they did and how you might be able to apply their behavior to create your own particular character.

We are always speaking with body language, often more so than we do with English. What do you think about someone who is always stiff and almost mechanical, or someone who slouches and leans constantly. When a person smiles or laughs a certain way, how do you react? Always realize
that we are constantly assessing one another, moods, status, reputation, esteem (self confidence), intelligence. People certainly can seem wealthier by standing a certain way,
or confident by the way they move through a crowd. How do we know these things? I'm not quite sure, but it just seems to be part of our collective human culture that we associate
certain appearances and actions with traits. A hobo could stand with a posture that make him seem like a king, and a Harvard Alumnus can have a facial expression which makes him/her
seem like a moron.

Keep studying; the more you watch, the more you learn. If anything stand in front of a mirror and practice various poses and expressions and think about how they make you feel and how you would feel seeing someone else doing it.

One key factor that I really find helpful and enjoyable is watching professional actors do their thing. Live theater can a fantastically fun and informative experience. Go see some plays at your local theater or if plays are unavailable, then rent some "classic" movies and just study what the actors/actress do. Don't plagiarize their techniques, analyze how they use their techniques to come across as a "better" actor, body language, voice inflection, volume, etc. Also, be sure to watch "bad" actors, or people who in your opinion didn't do a good job; did they somehow break character? smile or smirk? Look directly into the camera? Try and observe as many examples of both the good the bad to try and asses your personal conception of ways to perform better.
RollerBot2 years ago
Is that you in the picture above?
Aleator777 (author)  RollerBot2 years ago
That was indeed my 17 year-old self (My pre-mustache and goatee years)
srobarts2 years ago
Excellent article, the importance of body language never ceases to be underestimated! Watching people is an invaluable way of picking up little bits and pieces for a myriad of characters. It's also a good idea to establish early on when initially learning to act that one of the most important things to realise is that your character is driven by his or her own desires, and not by a desire to simply communicate an emotion to the audience! I cover the issue in the 5 simple steps on my website www.learninghowtoact.com - once again, kudos on an informative piece! =)
Aleator777 (author)  srobarts2 years ago
Yes, absolutely! Thank you for the feedback :)
sjones553 years ago
All what you are saying is common sense to me.. maybe I'm made for acting lol
Aleator777 (author)  sjones553 years ago
That's a good thing! I just tried to cover as much of the basics as possible; it's often the simplest things we overlook when learning a new skill.
bobobob12306 years ago
we use the same pen.
I used the same binoculars O.o
 I now know what happened to my nioculars.. and how i keep getting those pictures of myself..
Omg I have the same pen aswell, I love it.
bounty10124 years ago
Here is an easy way to remember lines: Write them down once, if you cant remember them, then write them down a few more times, and read over them a few times, then once you have to recite them you'll know them. 5/5
This is a great tip that I have tried and it really does help!
shadowfluid5 years ago
Another little tip or four: Be quite backstage. If you must speak, whisper, and try to make your feet roll with your steps. Unless the script instructs or infers that you do otherwise, say your lines a little slowly, (so that the audience and hear clearly and understand every word), and loudly. PROJECT your voice! Also, while on stage, try to think of nothing other than what is going on in the story. Don't ponder on life outside the theater or even what is going on off-stage. Try to think of what your character would be thinking or what you would be doing were you in the scene's situation. This helps you really get into character and makes it less likely that you will zone out thinking of something, sometime, or someone else and miss a cue, line, or action. One last note, unless script or director permits it, avoid rocking back and forth, holding your hands behind your back, or hunching your back while on-stage. these actions subtly imply nervousness, cluelessness, (if that is a word), and an eagerness to get off-stage and back to normal life. Definitely not good qualities for an actor.
Aleator777 (author)  shadowfluid5 years ago
Lol, unless you live in So Cal I doubt it's the same girl :P. Thank you for the additional tips, I knew I didn't mention everything and what you mentioned are essential pieces of advice.
umm... actually, what a coincidence, So Cal is my home! haha! but it doesn't look that much like her in the other photos though. idk.
shadowfluid5 years ago
I swear that short girl in the red T-shirt looks exactly like my friend Cameo in the second-to-last photo. (middle-right)
a_traceur5 years ago
Thanks for your tips! I remember my first play experience. I was trying out for the part of John in the play Peter Pan. And the directors in my tryouts made me try the main role. And i got it! And I ended up using these tips even though i did not even know instructables existed! So these tips are great, especially for memorizing the lines!
Aleator777 (author)  a_traceur5 years ago
Congratulations on the role! I really appreciate the comment because I think this is what this website is all about, and if we manage to help anyone in the smallest of ways then its all worthwhile.
Cooshinator6 years ago
This is a really nice 'ible. I always thought that building a charecter was one of the most important parts of acting. I was going to try out for my school play, but i had cross country at the same time as the try outs and a couple of the practices. I hope you win the burning questions thing. once again: awesome 'ible!
Aleator777 (author)  Cooshinator6 years ago
Maybe you could work something out with your coach, In the past two plays Ive been in there were Cross Country runners, it was a stretch but they never regretted it! thanks Cooshinator.
August Nox6 years ago
I read your article more or less as a guest to this website. After reading it I thought this might be a good place to get tips and information on how to become a better actor. I've just started out with the whole pursuing the acting career. My first intention was to be a model, however I believe I have some issues expressing myself or working with different facial expressions in front of the camera. So in essence I joined Drama in school to help me with that. I explained myself to the drama teacher who understood and I was allowed to skip drama one starting off in drama two. I auditioned for the play at our school and for some reason I somehow managed to land the lead role. The play is "Twelve Angry People" (or a bit of a more diverse "Twelve Angry Men"). While most of what you said doesn't help me, the little bit that does I'll take into essence. I'll most certainly go buy a recording device when I get the chance, and maybe 'spy' a little on a naturally crowded mall.
Aleator777 (author)  August Nox6 years ago
Congrats! and go for it. once again, isnt it all great fun? I'm glad you got a little inspiration outta this, in that case my job is done. thanks August
Ah, you're quite welcome. After all should good work go unnoticed? I believe not.
This is great! I've been in a few plays before, and they're so fun. Great jod explaining everything.
Aleator777 (author)  LuminousObject6 years ago
Thanks for the enthusiastic comment Luminous, and a good "jod" to you too, lol
Whoops! Typing a little to fast there.
I would like to add that you should really read your lines and not paraphrase. If you can record a rehearsal and listen to it for continuity and put yourself in the perspective of someone who has never heard the script. things generally sound a lot better. .
Aleator777 (author)  joejoerowley6 years ago
take note everyone who reads this: thank joe, he makes a good point!