10 lessons I learned from Sir Michael Caine on film acting:
1) When speaking to an actor off-camera, look into one eye and stick with it.
2) Film acting is, in large part, reacting and listening.
3) While rehearsing something with a fellow actor, if a crew member can come up and recognize you’re rehearsing vs. having a real conversation, then you aren’t doing it right.
4) An actor relaxes in front of the camera by concentrating, and knowing that you have no enemies on set, everyone’s on your side and doing their best to make you look your best for the movie.
5) The camera catches everything you do, so don’t be afraid to play things subtley.
6) If you’re going to smoke on-screen, you must plan it absolutely perfectly, don’t mess up the continuity.
7) All actors steal certain gestures and behaviors from other actors — but the best actors make these gestures their own. Steal from the best, and make it your own.
8) You can make four pictures as an actor in the time it takes a director to make one — so if you’re an actor planning on becoming a director, consider the financial aspect.
9) A majority of movie acting is relaxation. If you’re knocking yourself out, you’re doing it wrong.
10) Theater acting is an operation with a scalpel, movie acting is an operation with a laser.
Our Acting Class is very intensive and this manual is given to all of our students. For your donation you will receive a pdf version of the full manual via email. Thank you for supporting Bridge to the future, Inc.
This is a complete list and sample of the material you will receive. you can use it to practice your acting skills for film or stage, for forensics or auditions, in groups or alone at home
** The Purpose of a Warm-up **
** Relaxation **
Most people experience mental and physical tension and have come to accept this tension as a part of their natural condition. As people age, tension accumulates and we forget how it is to feel relaxed. Tension produces undue fatigue, breaks down concentration ability, and makes it difficult to maintain a patient and calm exterior.
Practicing relaxation, preferably at the same time every day, should be part of your Warm-up routine.
Deep Breathing Exercise
Your breathing control is very important when you're warming up and controlling the voice.
** Vocal Warm-Up **
A Vocal warm-up prepares the voice for speaking. You need to warm up the vocal chords just as you would warm up any other muscle in your body. They need to be ready for long duration of use and without proper vocal preparation, you can damage the chords.
4 methods to practice...
** Physical Warm-Up **
If you've ever taken an exercise class you probably know how to warm up your body. The general idea is...
If there's a group of you, a physical game is a great way to warm up. Something like ...
a few games...
** Focusing the Mind **
All the aforementioned exercises focus the mind and prepare you for your task. Here are a few other ideas to get your mind centered and your creativity flowing:
I recommend doing these mind centering tasks by yourself. Involving the other actors can become a big socialization party and your focus will just be scattered.
** Communicating With Others **
Focusing the group energy is the last step of the warm up. Most Directors have their own method of focusing the group energy but if they don't, here are a few suggestions:
4 techniques for your group
There are a wide variety of warm-up and centering techniques. Eventually, you'll pick and choose the exercises that work best for you.
Table of Contents:
** What is a Character? **
Any attribute that defines a human being can define a character. For an actor, much ...
Where do I start?
Start with your script. The playwright generally includes character description on the ...More on exploring the script information is provided in Script.
** Character Movement **
Since an audience can only know what they see and hear about a character, your physicality - including impairments, tics, and habits - are very important. Actors frequently overlook these traits which can easily make your character more interesting or funny.
Basic movement is body awareness through:
By mixing and matching the above movement definitions, you can describe any possible human action. The following eight verbs describe some resulting combinations. Consider developing a character who moves in one of these ways.
Habits and Tics
Most people have habits or tics that they're not even aware ...
Nobody's perfect so you might want to consider ...
** Vocal Characterization **
Don't forget about the things the audience will HEAR from your character. Does the character speak slowly, quickly? Do they have a ...habits that without awareness, may color every character you play. See Reading List for information on the Alexander and Feldenkrais Techniques.
** Getting to Know Your Character **
Some Actors like to explore everything they could possibly know about their character. The more you know, the more precise your choices, and the more real the character will be to you and your audience. For instance...
58 samples of what you could consider...
As you can see, there are many choices one can make. It's always tempting to play a part as if ...
Table of Contents:
Part of the Actors job is to analyze ...
The five "W's" to ask about your character: 1 - 5...
The answers to these questions are always stated or implied in the dialogue or given in the stage directions.
Objectives and Obstacles
Once you've asked the "what am I doing" and "why am I doing it" questions, ...
Consider how your character relates to the other characters in ...
Using the Lines
Keep in mind that behind every line of text, there is SUBTEXT. If a character says...
An Actor has no right to speak a line until ...
Finding the Beats
What a character does to accomplish each minor objective is called a beat. A beat is ...
An actor should always find the beats, mark the beginning and end in the script, and be able to state the objective and obstacle for each one. The actor is responsible for this work before rehearsals begin.
** Memorizing Lines **
Word for Word?
Many actors fail to understand why they must memorize their lines word for word as the playwright has written them. It becomes frustrating for the actor when they are faced with a difficult speech, but there are many reasons why the actor should resist the temptation to paraphrase:
How to Memorize
If you don't have a photographic memory then you have to work at memorizing your lines. Here are some tips that should help you:
Our 6 methods to lears to memorize your lines are ....
Table of Contents:
** Stage Basics **
Stage Right - The actor's right as he stands
onstage facing the audience.
U = Upstage, D = Downstage, R = Right, C = Center, L = Left.
Onstage - The part of the stage which is visible to the audience.
Body Positions... 2 modes
Body Levels... 3 levels
The Two Deadly Sins of Body Positioning ....
** The Rehearsal Process **
An actors conduct in rehearsal should ...
12 Commandments for a Professional Actor
Table of Contents: specific books we recommend...
This list is by no means inclusive. I have listed some of my favorites and as many classic works as I can think of. Other plays by these Authors are also recommended.
** Actors Resources **
** Technique **
Table of Contents:
I've had a lot of email from people requesting information about how to get started in the acting profession.
While I can't possibly know what the theatre or film community is like where you live, I can help with some general information.
** Getting Started in Theatre **
I recommend taking acting classes as much as possible. Classes not only ...
If you have some experience in school or independent theatre productions, list your ...
Every actor who's actively looking for acting work must have a resume photo. When you're first starting out, you don't ...
Most major cities have theatre companies who put on theatre productions with volunteer actors. This is the best way for someone who's just starting out to build credits for their resume, network with others, get ...
Becoming a Professional
There are no hard and fast rules about when to start auditioning for professional theatre companies. If you have a good photo, a resume with ...
Most professional theatre companies hold a general audition once a year. Call the theatre companies in your area and ask when they'll have their general auditions and what you'll need to prepare for it.
** Getting Started in Film **
Classes are very important for the film actor. Take them as often as possible.
Resume & Resume Photo
Keep track of your film credits on your resume. If you have a lot of theatre credits, put some ...
Doing some Film Work
If you live in a city where there is a great deal of film production, independent film schools and university film departments often need volunteer actors for student films. You'll need to find ...
Casting agencies, as opposed to Talent agencies, do not represent the individual actor, they work for the film production. Casting agents keep photographs of actors and when a director needs an actor of a particular age or look, the casting agent goes through their books of photos and call people in to audition.
It's often easier to get involved with a casting agency because ...
Talent agencies represent and promote the professional actor. There are talent agencies that represent extras only (non-speaking) and agencies that represent commercial, film and television actors.
When you're just starting out......