William Mapother

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Advice to Actors (Beware All Ye Who Enter Here)

Posted on: August 3rd, 2010 by wmapother 5 Comments

Actors just starting out often ask me for advice, and I’m always happy to answer.  I haven’t yet been sued for my advice, so I’ve decided to tempt fate by starting to offer some here from time to time.  As if there weren’t enough wanton destruction in this world.  I don’t promise that it will be profound, or even useful to everyone, only that it’s worked for me and/or other actors I know.  Which means, of course, absolutely zilch unless it works for you.

Numero uno:  Study yourself and your results.  Make notes.  Improve.

So many factors come into play during performance that it’s nearly impossible to say with certainty what caused us to soar or sink on any given day.  It could be too much or too little of a frighteningly wide range of things:  food, sleep, sex, prep, exercise, emotion, etc., etc.

However, over time patterns develop.  If identified, they can help reduce the number of unknown factors.  But you can’t expect yourself to see a pattern if all the data is bouncing around upstairs with all the other stuff in your head.

Therefore, get it out of your head.  After every rehearsal, performance, etc., make brief notes on how you did and what might have contributed.  Are you better at comedy pre-workouts and dramas post?  Does talking to your bf/gf right beforehand help or hurt you?  Do you perform better when you have the lines down cold (generally it’s yes, but perhaps you’re a freak of nature and the answer’s no)?

Once you guess at something’s good/bad effect on you, test your theory.  If you’re right, then add/avoid it immediately.  The sooner you discipline yourself, the sooner it will become a habit, and the sooner you’ll have one fewer obstacle to performance.  Great acting is difficult enough without us making it any harder on ourselves.

Good luck.


Posted in Acting Projects

5 Responses

  1. Rosella W says:

    Very interesting and helpful info.

    Thanks for the advice!!!

    I hope you continue to give us more acting lessons on here.

  2. Andrea says:

    Thanks!
    continue giving us tips

  3. Vivian says:

    It's pretty cool to have support for who is begining
    You're a nice guy!

  4. Angie Rampey says:

    Seriously, could you be more amazing? Love reading your Blog! 🙂

  5. Roberta says:

    their attention to those who are getting is admirable!

    every day I thank God for special people like you in the world 😀

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