How to Overcome The Actor’s Dilemma

 I’ve been frustrated with acting. Like any skill or artistic pursuit, it requires daily practice in order to get better. Yet contrary to most other hobbies, it’s something that seems more difficult to practice easily on a daily basis, aside from simply memorizing a monologue and repeating it to yourself 20 times in a row (I’ll admit, sometimes I feel crazy when I do this). Also, acting is a social act; it’s about storytelling, the story of one human interacting with another (in its simplest form) and the magic that comes from that encounter. So unless I have a group of actors constantly on call, this adds another element of difficulty. Thus, after 1 year of endeavoring in acting, I’ve come up with 5 active ways to practice acting on a daily basis:

  • Read scripts
  • Practice different accents
  • Memorize and perform a monologue
  • Be melodramatic and play different emotions in real life (warning: use sparingly)
  • Tape yourself-do scenes you auditioned for, act new scenes, sing a song from a musical

In the process, I’ve come up with 3 passive ways to practice acting:

  • Read books, novels, anything with a story
  • Watch films & TV series
  • Stalk an actor you love-watch all of their films

On that note, now that I’ve boiled it down, I vow to overcome the Actor’s Dilemma and do 1 of the active exercises mentioned above, every other day for 10 minutes each day. Why 10 minutes? Like the saying goes for creating new habits, “make it so easy, it’d be ridiculous if you didn’t do it.” Slowly I’ll build to 30 minutes every other day, in 6 weeks’ time.  A final rule is that a passive exercise of acting can be utilized as a substitute only 1x a week, at an indefinite time frame. And this all starts NOW.

Any ideas on how to practice acting? Hit me with it.

~JK

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