Landing an acting role is a very big deal particularly if it’s a speaking role. It’s your chance to show the world that you’ve got what it takes to be a success and perhaps take on some more challenging roles.
But acing the audition is one thing, prepping for the role is another matter entirely. This is especially true if your character is a lead or appears in multiple scenes. You’ve got lines to learn, actions to master, and you’ll need to know how to follow the director’s instructions.
Luckily for you, we’re here to help. Below we’ve outlined a simple step-by-step process that will put you on the right path. A process used by some of the most famous actors on the planet. Yes, even those big Hollywood stars who have a few Oscars on the shelf at home all go through this same simple process.
Now that we know it works, let’s begin.
Read your script
Yes, it’s so very simple and seems like common sense, but this is the first thing that you really should do—read your script. And we’re not just going to read your own lines. If possible, you should read all the lines in your scenes. This helps you to understand not just what you need to say but why you are saying it and how you should interact with the other characters.
Most adult actors will go ahead and read the whole script so they understand the story behind the production. However, we understand that this is pretty much impossible for young child actors even if mum or dad read it out to them. So in this case, it’s a good idea to get a synopsis of the script. This is basically a summary of the storyline and it really helps you to understand your character better.
And speaking of your character…
Research your character
Getting to know your character is so very important for any role. This means really diving into who they are and their background. You’ll want to know who their family is, what kind of things they like to do, and, of course, their personality.
Understanding how your character is supposed to think and feel will give you a great chance at delivering a believable performance once the camera starts rolling. There may be times when you have no way to understand what a character is going through as it may be something completely unrelated to anything in your own life. A good way to get around this is to tie the emotion that your character is feeling to something in your own life that makes you feel that way. It’s not any easy skill to master which is why we hold workshops and have dedicated courses on acting with emotion in Bubblegum Academy.
If you can master that skill, you’re already on the road to success.
Get in character
Did you know when Margot Robbie landed her role in I, Tonya she actually went out and learned how to ice skate? She spent twenty hours a week training so that she wouldn’t need a stunt double on the ice. That’s the kind of dedication to her role that saw Robbie pick up an Oscar for her efforts!
There are even stories about actors spending weeks on end speaking in the accent their role requires when at home just so they can get into character.
So how would you do this? Well, we’re not suggesting that you spend all that time training like Margot Robbie did, but spending some time at home in character at home is a very good idea indeed. You could try staying in character during mealtimes or for an hour at a time. But try to do it without speaking the lines that you are supposed to learn for your role. Instead get in character and do regular things around the house like playing or eating your dinner. This way, you’ll be able to improvise in character when on set—a very impressive skill to have.
Practice, practice, practice
You know what they say about how practice makes perfect, right? Well, this is so very true in the world of acting. You can do all the character research in the world, but if you don’t practice your lines, how can you play the role?
Much like you do when prepping for an audition, you should spend as much time as you can practicing not just your lines but your actions and expressions too.
Ask your mum or dad or someone else in your family to be your rehearsal buddy and practice with you regularly. It helps if it’s the same person each time as you can both try to get into character. Another tip is to ask your rehearsal buddy to randomly drop into the script at unexpected times. This will keep you on your toes and really helps with remembering those lines.
Follow this simple process and acing your first role should be a breeze. The hundreds of Hollywood legends who have done it before you can’t be wrong, eh?
And if you need any help with your acting skills, be sure to check out our range of courses available through Bubblegum Academy.