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MORE HOMEWORK – THE FUN KIND!

Homework!

Go to the movies. As often as you can. And puh-leeze don’t limit yourself to one genre of film (action, dumb buddy, horror, romance, whatever). Expand your horizons with a variety of types of films, even if you can’t stand some of them. You will be absorbing and thus learning (we hope) different styles of acting, all of which obviously landed the actors involved on the big screen.

Watch television and we don’t mean reality shows. If you wanted to be part of that nonsense, you wouldn’t need to devote yourself to learning how to act, now would you?! We mean primetime dramas, comedies, old films, Movies Of The Week (MOWs), ANYTHING created for HBO or Showtime. Observe the various acting techniques and absorb.

(All actors in Hollywood are instructed by their agents – at least the smart, caring ones – to watch at least one episode of every new show that airs on TV, every season. Why? Because each and every show has its own particular style and mood and if you call yourself an actor, you’d better damned well know the difference between the various programs. If, for example, you think that the acting styles of “Boston Legal” are the same as those of “Law & Order”, you’re going to be in big trouble when you have to audition for one or the other of them.)

Read. Anything and everything you can get your hands on. An informed actor is an interesting actor. And read out loud every day, even if it’s the ads from Sport Illustrated while you’re sitting on the john. It will improve your cold reading skills.

Memorize. You must keep your brain in top shape for memorizing and doing it quickly. The easiest things to memorize are probably poems or the lyrics to songs. Try to memorize something new at least every week, if not more often. Once you get the hang of memorizing rhythmic, rhyming pieces, graduate to prose: Passages from books, magazines, newspapers – it really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you can test yourself for accuracy (use a friend or a recording device to check yourself). If it in any way simulates the dialogue from a role you may one day perform, that’s what you want.
(Needless to say, the older you are, the more difficult memorization becomes, but hey! it’s good for you, so do it!)

Observe your fellow human beings. They will be your “role models” (pun intended) when you need to create new characters. Observe their facial expressions, their body language, their speech patterns. Trust us: This will make you a better, more versatile actor, even if you never consciously use any of it.

These are some basic things you can do both before and after your Hollywood life begins that can serve to better both your acting chops and your life in general.

About Kris Malone

Kris Malone is the nom de plume of a longtime Hollywood talent agent. Kris created this website as a way for actors to improve their chances of making it in Hollywood, not as a way to reach the agency for possible representation. Kris wishes all of you actors out there the best of luck, laced with a big dose of reality and plain old common sense.

5 comments

  1. Tracy Rice…I like what you said…that was up lifting to see people encouraging other people…I lived in Hollywood for 7 years right after high school and didn’t do a damn thing there but get into relationships…i eventually left not even trying even though people thought id make it because i looked like an old Hollywood star & was a drama queen. I was more into wanting to be a musician. People are Ruthless there and don’t give a crap and thats the honest truth however, I am drawn to going back there and trying acting 8 years later now because i have thick skin after what life dealt me since leaving Hollywood…Thank you for your post…what you said inspired me to work hard and kick ass…

  2. Acting sets me free….Advise to anyone who wants it : Audition..audition..audition as much as you can..practice Improv…pick a word a day and do a 30 second commercial…cold read anything…read about acting, actors , show, movies, etc…eat right..exercise…rest….be the best you can be….take any workshop you can..most of all, be you. You are unique and you do not need to be anyone but you….Sty positive..support others and SMILE….God gave you this talent so use it. If you love it..Do it…the why is your passion.

  3. So I have this form to fill out for an audition, and I just reached the section where I have to answer the question, “Why Do You Want to Act?” I have been thinking about this all day, and searching the internet for an appropriate answer, I stumbled upon this site, which to my amazement has lots of “Crap and Stuffs” I didn’t know. Then I realized how little I knew about Acting and Hollywood.

    It’s the search for the next Hollywood star. And this has been brought right to my doorstep. It almost feels like God has answered my prayer to a long awaited dream. Auditioning for a celebrity acting coach like Tracey Moore, I think I’ve got to do some serious homework. Thinking of which scares me.

    I’ve loved movies all my 21 years of existence. And in fact I could watch a whole DVD collection in a day or two. Most of the movies I watched had left me sorrowful with tears; a typical example is ‘The Color Purple’.

    So you can understand when I say these alongside other things has made me develop a niche for acting, and a deep appreciation for movies over the years. But you will agree with me being born with the skill and capability to act, and learning to act are quite two different things. And I am yet to know to which of the two I actually belong. Recently there’s been a tremendous increase in the number of musicians and actors. And amongst these you can only count a few artistes and professionals.

    In my country (Ghana, West Africa), movies are soap opera-ish with terrible editing. While we’ve seen a surprising improvement in our music videos over the past couple years, it’s sad enough we can’t say the same about our movies. Sometimes I get scores of laughter just watching them, and at other times I simply get sickened or bored to death. But then and again, I keep wondering how it would be like to act in such movies…or even edit or direct them. So the question is asked, “Why do you want to act..?” I know most people would want to act to acquire fame and wealth. But aside these there should be something more.

    I can’t seem to find the right answer to this question, and I’m hoping you would be kind enough to give me some pointers to finding the right answer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  4. I want to be an actor i am good and was part of a movie as an extra can you help i also watch movie every day no lie i have a collection of movies and go to the theater every Friday.

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