Compiled by Thembi Zikalala

Here’s a few tips on how to work on your “acting” muscles every month.

1. Read a play / Screenplay script

  • Reading a play or screenplay makes you a better actor and assists you in choosing monologue material.
  • A play puts you right in front of the characters in the narrative. The more plays you read, you’ll find yourself beginning to see and understand character archetypes.
  • You can also begin to see the intricacies and nuance of characters, and their motivations.
  • Reading a play every month develops your understanding of language and dialogue, as well as story structure.
  • So put your nose in a play and read it out loud.

2. Set a steady voice warm up routine

  • Tension and stress can stop you from breathing, thinking, feeling, and all these things that are essential to good acting. A good warm-up routine is important as it will help you relax and get rid of any anxieties. A steady vocal/physical routine will make an actor more limber up in preparation for the physical demands of a performance.

⁃ A few voice exercises to try :

  • Start by stretching your tongue. Stick the tongue out, point up and down.
  • Bend at the waist and let your arms hang freely. Begin shaking your arms while making the “AH” sound.
  • Making an “MMM” sound with your lips closed. Maintain the “MMM” sound steadily for as long as you can.
  • Read or recite your text aloud, focusing on your breath and voice. Change the exercise by over annunciating the words, whispering, and speaking loudly.

3. Learn a Scene/ Monologue every month and shoot it

  • If you can pick up a script and quickly identify the underlying forces moving the characters and the narrative, you will be able to bring the scene to life and give a true performance.
  • An Actor must understand how to analyse a scene and work out what you need to do to really bring something extra to the scene, this is what casting directors are looking for.
  • Basic questions every actor should ask when given a scene :

⁃ Themes : What is the script about ? What message or ideas is it trying to get across?

⁃ Circumstances : Where is the scene taking place? What time period is it?

⁃ Motivation: Why is your character in this scene? What are they trying to achieve?

⁃ Relationships: How is your character connected to the other people in the scene? How do they feel about each other?

Experimenting with scene study and shooting it, will increase an Actor’s ability to act three dimensionally.

4. Immerse yourself in the craft

  • Actors should consciously soak themselves in their craft and industry by watching films, theatre, and even real life people. The relationship between The Craft and the Actor should be a consistent and growing one.
  • Absorbing this content will help you find your niche, gather the industry’s history and you’ll be able to have an opinion.

5. Go to class !

  • Always be open to Learning, actors have to keep training so make sure you at least attend a Acting / dance workshop once a month (if not MORE).
  • Acting workshops are necessary as they will always keep you on your toes, keep you out of your comfort zone and help you to never limit your acting abilities
  • An Actor must always be in a constant state of learning, regardless of his/her experience in the industry and age.

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