I am always telling actors that acting is like playing a sport. You need to practice every day if you want to make it to the Olympics or go pro. Ice skating holds some parallels to acting because there are a number of elements of varying difficulties and you must master each level before moving on to the next level. Taking that idea I have developed a list of acting skills and have put them in order from least to most difficult. See where you fit in on this chart and what skills you have to work on.
1. Reading sides with expression.
2. Listening actively when other actors are talking and you are not involved in the action.
3. Mastering some additional skills like crying on demand or an assortment of dialects. 4
4. Adapting to the medium successfully, whether on stage or on-camera, doing comedy or drama.
5. Understanding the material to develop a character.
6. Being fresh and exciting for each audition.
7. Don’t rely on the same tricks. Sometimes I think an actor is wonderful when I see him the first time and then she does the same things over and over again. Since Chicago is a smaller market, actors tend to see the same casting director over and over.
8. Creating a character by adding nuance and details.
9. Making choices that are not the obvious ones that every other actor auditioning is going to make, but still being believable for the character.
10. Becoming the character. This is achieved when you see an actor and you don’t even recognize her as someone you know. So where are you on this hierarchy? Brooke and I will be glad to give you our thinking. How do you get to the next level? Practice everyday and work with a coach and keep auditioning.