Sunday, December 2, 2007

Want to Act on TV? Here's What You Can Expect as a Working Actor

TV has been around for many decades and since its first appearance in our living room, it has become an important part of our lives. Can you imagine not having a TV when man first walked on the moon or not seeing what is happening as leaders of two great nations meet? No wonder television never ran out of reasons to stay on the air. And with all those programs on TV, you also have more opportunities for acting jobs. Here's what you can expect when you're acting on TV:

There are plenty of job opportunities.
From a background extra in a crowd scene or as a witness on a crime TV series, there are plenty of roles to fill when you want to work on TV. There are hundreds of programs needing actors for a variety of parts. Open casting calls are common, especially when casting directors are looking for ensemble casts. You also get to work in a lot of genres, from crime and suspense to drama to sci-fi. Plus, there's plenty of work for actors of different ages.

You're not limited to a series or mini-movies.
If you're idea of acting on TV is landing a role in a soap opera or a series, think again. There are other acting jobs available such as documentaries and TV commercials. Documentaries often hire professional actors to act in dramatizations of real events so you'll have some very interesting characters to play.

Don’t scratch commercials off the list, either. There is always a need for fresh, new faces for ads and since TV ads enjoy a lot of air play, you’ll get more exposure as an actor. This is especially true if the ad runs nationally. There are plenty of actors who have been spotted by casting directors in a commercial and have been asked them to audition for roles in a sitcom or mini-series.

Another possibility if you want to work on TV is a voice over assignment. This is a popular acting work for many actors who lend their voices to animated characters, commercials, dubbed films and narrations.

Don’t expect overnight success.
Even Jennifer Aniston had her share of not-so glory days. But it took only one very successful sitcom to launch her to stardom. As a working actor on TV, expect a lot of auditions, refusals, holds and a lot of call backs before you book an assignment. Furthermore, expect a lot of competition. However, don't let these things get between you and your dream. Acting on TV can be an exciting career and if you find steady work, it's even better.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Realism: The Contrast between Acting on Movies versus Acting on Stage

On sober reflection, people readily admit that films are like buildings, books, and symphonies or artifacts made by humans for human purposes. Yet, as part of an audience watching an enthralling movie, people may find it difficult to remember that what they are seeing is not a natural object, like a flower or an asteroid. Unlike theater, cinema is so captivating that people tend to forget that movies are make believe.

An understanding of the differences between acting on movies versus acting on stage or theater depends initially on the recognition that film is produced by both machines and human labor, while theater is more of a reflection of real life.

Understand the Differences between Movies and Stage

In order to understand the differences between portraying a role in a movie and a theater, it is important that you know the difference between a movie and a play.

Watching a film differs from viewing a stage performance. A film presents its audience with images in an illusory motion. For cinema to exist, a series of images must be displayed to a viewer by means of a mechanism, which presents each image for a very short period and inserts between successive images an interval of blackness.

If a series of slightly different images of the same object are displayed under these conditions, physiological and psychological processes in the viewer will create the illusion of seeing a moving image. Like most human artifacts, a film depends on particular technological factors.

This goes to show that the quality of acting in movies may not be as intense as those delivered the theater. In theaters, naturalism and realism take the stage. That is why some critics say that most people often go to the theater to use their brains, not just to be entertained.

Acting in movies depends so much on the script, hence the term scripted whenever somebody wants to refer to things that are too good to be true.

In theaters, acting sometimes depends on the wits of the actors. They also have scripts but there are times that the lines of the actors on stage should be sharp and witty so that the audience will be entertained.

Boiled down, the main discrepancy between acting in movies versus acting on stage is realism. Acting in theater faces life as it really is. With movies, you can have as many takes as you need to come up with the emotion the director wants to convey.

Acting Monologue: How to Come Up With a Good One

Monologue is the art of producing a dramatic sketch of exemplary acting performance by an actor. It can be a long speech, a soliloquy, or a skit designed for only one actors performance. Most people consider monologues a form of soliloquy, the act of talking to oneself. When used in a play, it is more identified as a monologue, where the actor is directly speaking to his audience.

If you want to start your acting career, you can start with monologues. Most actors prefer to commence on this kind of acting job because this is where their talents are best reflected. So if you want to start acting monologues, here are some tips to follow:

1. Know what you want

Don’t be the typical jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. Before you start acting monologues, it is best that you know what kind of monologue you want to pursue.

There are many kinds of monologues available for you. You can try Shakespearean if you are more poetic, comedy if you have a good sense of humor, or dramatic if you can project intense emotions with ease. However, some actors try to perform all kinds of monologues just to show how versatile they can be as an actor.

2. Practice

To acquire skill in speaking in front of an audience, you should practice before a mirror. Try to practice skits from a previous play and see how well you can deliver the lines using your emotions and superb acting performance.

Keep in mind that you will be able to give a very satisfactory performance with your monologue if you put your heart into it.

3. Choose your skit

Choosing a skit or a speech that you will use in your monolog is, of course, your first problem. You may want to write your own monologue, using an original plot. Or perhaps, you would like to dramatize a favorite story or poem. Just be sure to ask the publishers permission to use it if you will be using a published speech or skit.

Be sure that the speech or skit you use is right for your age and skill. Remember that talky, sophisticated speeches are a poor choice for young performers. Moreover, if you aren’t into comedy, then avoid using speeches like that.

Indeed, acting monologues can be pretty difficult for first-time or amateur actors. However, these can be great stepping-stones to success because directors or producers will definitely see you as a great actor.

What You Need to Know About Acting Headshot Basics

As you prepare for your acting career, don’t forget to create an effective acting headshot. Acting headshots can make your future in acting life a lot easier and more possible, but not without putting it to the test.

1. Be professional

Like the usual job hunter, you must also be professional with your acting headshots. Even if you have to prepare your acting resume as well, it is still important to come up with an effective acting headshot. One that will tell about you, professionalism is one of the greatest factors to consider.

So how can you do about this? Always come up with an 8 x 10 copy. This size will show a definitive representation of your face. After all, the facade counts most in acting, notwithstanding the talent.

Color is also important. A professional look is always represented by black and white, so stick to that.

2. Get a good photographer

Keep in mind that this isn’t your usual identification picture. Acting headshots tell so much about you; hence, it is important that you get a good photographer to capture that real you.

A good photographer will know how to take a good shot of your head and shoulders. They know just the right angles.

Picture perfect images aren’t always innate. Sometimes, it depends on the photographer, quality of material used in developing, and the kind of camera used to capture the images. So if you want the best, go for the best.

3. Be simple

Before your photo shoot, make sure that you aren’t wearing fancy clothes or accessories. Keep in mind that you want your acting headshot focused more on yourself and not on other things. Make it a point that you stand out with no distractions.

In addition, you don’t want to convey a personality that is different from who you are. Of course, it would be best to look like the next superstar with glamour but you are on your way there. What is important is to land an interview. After all, you aren’t trying to get a modeling job.

Boiled down, keep your acting headshots simple yet valuable. Avoid any distractions that will divert the observers attention away from your face. It is your one-way ticket to stardom, so make sure you represent yourself well.

Acting Games You Can Teach Your Students

Learning the art of acting can be both difficult and enjoyable. If you are an acting instructor, you need to teach people how to find something within themselves that can drive every single emotion and motivation available. You need to teach people how to discipline themselves so that they express the right emotions for a particular scene, nothing more, and nothing less. You need to teach people how to act, not overact or under-act.

All the same, acting can be enjoyable. As an actor, you can meet new friends in acting workshops, learn a lot of new things every time you learn new scenes, and discover things about yourself that you didn’t know you could do. Acting can be even more fun to learn if you are engaged in acting games; so if you are planning to hold an acting workshop, take a look at these possible games for your students to learn how to act.

- Charades can be a great way to allow your students to know how difficult acting is. The best acting is done without words, so if you can discipline your body and make precise, recognizable movements, then you are on your first step to acting well. Play charades with your students using different themes: you can do statesmen or famous celebrities, so that your students can learn about characters and their habits; or you can do actions or jobs so that students know about details of movement.

- Play guess the emotions and use only your eyes. Because many great actors can act up a storm using only their eyes, you can train your students to not only use their eyes in acting, but to recognize emotions by examining peoples eyes. Pair up your students, and give one of the pair a card containing an emotion, such as anger, amusement, indifference, and the like.

The first to guess the other persons emotions wins the game. A variation on this is played using only your lips, which can be even more difficult. Try it on your students, and you all might end up laughing!

- Have you ever tried gazing into another persons eyes for a long time, without laughing? Teach your students how to control their emotions and gain focus by pairing up your students, and letting them look into each others eyes or stare at each other. The pair that can look at each other for the longest time without making any reaction wins the game.

- Have your students sing a happy song without breaking into a smile. The one who controls his or her emotions the longest also wins the game.

Tips if Your Kid Wants to try Acting

Acting is considered to be one of the most prestigious careers, it brings fame and fortune to those who are hailed at the top of the industry. Because of this, acting appeals to many people of different ages including kids. Perhaps your own child wants to be an actor and if this is what the child really wants what you can do as a parent to give your support. But acting as a child may not be as simple as it is with adults. Here are some helpful hints if your child wants to go into acting:

1. Make sure your child really wants to go acting because you don’t want to waste your time or money. Some parents may impose their own dreams on their children because they had hang-ups. Be sure that it is your child who wants to join the school play or the movies and not you just seeing yourself in your little one.

2. Help your child prepare to act. You are the adult and you understand things better than your child. Help your child to know what the role is about. Explain to him or her who the character is, what they do, and where they are going. Add bits and pieces of information that can help your child internalize the role well.

3. Notice signs your child is becoming tired or restless. Children are less able to manage stress than most adults and you should be able to notice if the acting is taking a toll of your child. If your child is tired then rest is needed and you should give him or her time to rest.

4. Be present as much as you can. It is important to show your support. You are the source of your child’s security and inspiration and your presence is crucial to make you child feel safe and confident. Being there reassures your child that everything is okay and that you are there when he or she needs you.

Acting for kids can be more difficult than acting for adults. But with the right preparations and support from parents, acting can be quite fun and exciting for kids. Just remember that your child is still more of a child than an actor. A healthy childhood still matters very much.

Acting for Dummies: Tips to Bring out the Star in You

Acting is among the oldest and most popular forms of the performing arts. Nowadays, acting can make people rich and famous. Some people shy away from acting because they think it is a complicated manner. However, acting is really simple because we do act in many occasions in our daily lives. Acting is not only for the professionals but for dummies as well.

If you are new to acting here are acting tips that even dummies can learn:

1. Read the script or the play freely at first to get the feel of the script and let it flow through your head. Don’t get into acting immediately but just read the text to learn the material and familiarize yourself with it.

2. Research the script or play because it pays to know beyond the words what you are going to act. Check out who the author is and how his other plays have been. Read about the setting of the play or movie. Check out what kind of characters it has especially the one you are going to act. Know all you can about it.

3. Read the script another time and this time you can focus on the character you are playing. Based on your research, how do you think the character should behave? Keep this in mind as you read through the text and imagine the character come to life.

4. Know the who, what, and where before you act, ask yourself who your character is, what it wants, and where it’s set. This will help you place yourself in the shoes of the character. Imagine what you will do in such a situation. Think of everything from your gestures to the way you will speak.

5. Read the script aloud with the character in mind. This will help you say your lines more comfortably. Play along and try out different ways of speaking based on how you think the character would say the text. Repeat as much as you can so that you can truly master everything.

6. Practice in front of the mirror once you have mastered the text you can practice your act. Do this in front of the mirror so that you can see how you look and you will soon not to be too conscious about yourself.

Acting can be simple and fun if you put your mind to it. Try out these tips and see how soon you become a good actor.