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How to become an actor: 10 basic steps to the profession. Acting Exercises for Beginners



Acting Exercises for Beginners

A vital skill for an actor, since the most juicy and interesting types, assessments and adaptations artists draw from real life, observing the people around them, their behavior, reactions, etc.: look, gesture, facial expression, demeanor, etc. The fictional will always look like a loss next to the reproduced real. To develop your observation skills, you need to adhere to a simple rule: never stop observing! This means that you look closely at every person you see, especially in unusual situations. All drama is built on the confrontation between a person and a non-standard situation, therefore, the behavior of real people in acute circumstances is the most valuable material for artists.

Exercise “Repeat”

Exercise develops observation and ability to grasp characteristics. Watch a video of someone doing something. Try to remember and adopt his plasticity, facial expressions, gestures and emotional state. You do not have to repeat his mechanical actions, your task is to grab the character and reproduce it. In the early stages of learning, students are encouraged to reproduce the characteristics of animals. You can also start with this. Turn on any channel about the animal world, choose the animal you like the most and go! Remember – the form is not the main thing, it is important to capture and convey the unique character of the animal, paying attention to facial expressions, gestures and even breathing of the character.

Immersion in the proposed circumstances

The actor playing Romeo is on the stage all the time, but the circumstances of his role suggest that he is in Verona. For the entire duration of the performance, this artist is Romeo, which means that around him is not a stage, not a theater, but a real medieval Verona. This is a circumstance in which he needs to immerse himself in order for the audience to be imbued with his game. Such a skill is not given to anyone just like that, because, you see, it is difficult to deceive your own vision. In addition to the location, there are also fake props, staged fights and murders, and actors familiar from the troupe who must be mistaken for real Shakespearean characters. It seems that this cannot be done without special training.

Sketches for non-objective actions

Konstantin Stanislavsky solved the problem of belief in circumstances simply and ingeniously. According to his method, the performance of physical actions appropriate to the circumstances (subject to their maximum accuracy) will entail the correct emotional and mental state. Simply put, if you need to be scared, just start saving your life and you will get scared in the process. A sketch for a pointless action is a small scene in which an actor works on an imaginary area with imaginary objects. The goal of this exercise is to achieve the most accurate detailed behavior possible under the given circumstances. It can be anything: fishing on the river bank, picking vegetables from the garden, fixing a car, etc.


Acting Exercises for Beginners

The ability to relax is the main condition for mastering the body. Everyone has seen the artists fall on stage, but not everyone knows why they do not hurt themselves. The secret is that the relaxed body, with the correct leading movement, does not fall, but smoothly slides onto the stage, while the tense body beats against it quite hard. The uninitiated do not know about this, because each person involuntarily tenses up from fear when he falls, hence the trauma, and the confidence that falls always hurt. There are legends about the luck of alcoholics who fall from the upper floors and manage not to break anything. There is some truth in these stories, and its essence is that the body of a person in a state of strong alcoholic intoxication is as relaxed as possible.

Exercise to relax each muscle

Lie on your back in the most comfortable position without crossing your arms and legs. Relax as much as you can, breathe deeply and regularly, you can close your eyes. Walk mentally over each area of ​​the body, starting with the toes of the left foot and up, and see if you can relax the area being tested even more. You will find and remove quite a few clamps, especially the first time. By repeating this emancipation exercise every day, you will gradually get rid of the clamps, and therefore the stiffness and self-doubt.

What is acting?

Acting is a professional creative activity in the field of performing arts, consisting in the creation of stage images (roles), a type of performing arts. Fulfilling a certain role in a theatrical performance, the actor, as it were, assimilates himself to the person on whose behalf he acts in the play. By influencing the viewer during the performance, a special play space and a community of actors and spectators are created.

In modern society, when people spend a lot of time at computers and various mobile gadgets, many find it difficult to feel liberated, manage their emotions, communicate freely, and be confident. Because of this, people experience apathy or fear, as well as difficulty in expressing their own thoughts and moods. Emotional depression leads to internal clamps, which are manifested not only in facial expressions, speech, movements, but also in the inner world. Therefore, acting is useful not only for those who want to become a professional actor in the future, but also for people who want to learn how to manage emotions, be sociable, charismatic and successful in life.

Elements of the art of reincarnation

The basis of acting is its main idea – reincarnation. Reincarnation is external and internal. In the process of preparing for the role, the actor selects certain facial expressions, gestures, voice intonations, gait, resorts to the help of makeup, costume, mask. All in order to convey with maximum reliability the demeanor and other external attributes of the character he portrays. But true reincarnation is not only about conveying the appearance of the character on the stage: the actor reveals the spiritual world of his hero, shows his character, expresses his thoughts and feelings.

The concepts of external and internal reincarnation can be divided only conditionally. We can say that these are two sides of the same coin – the creative process, which are closely related to each other. In the process of reincarnation, action, thought and feeling are in an indissoluble unity.

To truly transform into your character, you need to know and be able to do a lot. Konstantin Stanislavsky identified two key groups of elements of acting:

The first group: the work of the actor on himself. The elements of this group represent psychophysical processes in which the will, mind, emotions, external and internal artistic data of the actor participate. All this is called by Stanislavsky the elements of the actor’s creativity, they include: attention, memory, imagination, a sense of truth, the ability to communicate, emotional memory, a sense of rhythm, speech technique, plastic.

Second group: the work of the actor on the role. Elements of the second group of acting art are associated with the work of the actor on the role, culminating in the organic merging of the actor with the image of his character, that is, reincarnation into the image. This group, according to Stanislavsky, includes 2 types of skill: the art of presentation and the art of experiencing.

But acting is not only reincarnation into a specific character, about which everything is known. The actor has to think out, imagine his character, that is, to be included in the creative process. The famous theater teacher Stanislavsky noted that the true creative state of an actor consists of four most important interrelated elements:

  • Stage attention (active concentration);
  • Stage freedom (body free from tension);
  • Stage faith (correct assessment of the proposed circumstances);
  • Stage action (emerging desire to act).

Of course, learning all the elements of acting is difficult, and not everyone can master it. Faina Ranevskaya once said:

I receive letters – ‘Help to become an actor’. I answer: ‘God will help!’

Probably, you shouldn’t rely on one God either. It is important to want and work hard, and those who try really enjoy good luck and higher powers.

Do you want to test your knowledge?

If you want to test your theoretical knowledge on the topic of the course and understand how it suits you, you can take our test. In each question, only 1 option can be correct. After you have selected one of the options, the system automatically proceeds to the next question.

Acting training and lessons

In order to master the qualities and techniques described above that make up the art of acting, we have prepared a series of lessons for you.

Lesson 1. Stanislavsky’s system. It is generally accepted that the system of Konstantin Sergeevich Stanislavsky is the leading system for preparing actors for the performance of a role. This lesson is a short summary on acting, from which you will learn about the main elements of the Stanislavsky system, about what principles it is based on, how an actor should work both on himself and on the role in order to reach the heights of stage skills. You will also be able to understand how Stanislavsky’s psychotechnics differs from Meyerhold’s biomechanics, and whether it is possible to combine the techniques of both systems in your acting work.

Lesson 2. Professional qualities of an actor. This lesson opens the direction of “work on oneself” and is devoted to those professional qualities that any good actor should have. These qualities are selected taking into account the principles of the leading theater schools of Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Chekhov and include stage attention, emotional memory, oratory, creative thinking, plasticity. Of course, within the framework of one lesson it is impossible to tell how to develop these qualities in oneself, therefore we have prepared only a description of the directions of development and provided links to useful articles, books, lessons, as well as our online trainings.

Lesson 3. Managing emotions is the craft of an actor. The second lesson about the actor’s work on himself is devoted to the ability to show the right emotion “here and now”. In this lesson, you will learn how the emotional processes of a person are carried out, and what basic emotions exist (joy, interest, anger, fear, and others). For each emotion, recommendations and exercises are selected to help train facial expressions, gestures, posture and other representative elements that help express this emotion. In addition, you will learn about the anchoring technique, with the help of which you can quickly reproduce the necessary emotional state at the right moment.

Lesson 4. The art of experience and the art of presentation. The art of experiencing is the ability to get used to the role, to understand the character, thoughts, emotions of your hero. Stanislavsky considered the art of experiencing to be one of the main attributes of truthful acting, which allows the actor to experience genuine experiences in the process of playing, and this gives rise to the life of the image on the stage. The birth of text and actions “here and now” is impossible only through craft and rehearsals. You need to get used to the role, you need to think and feel like a character, believing for a while that the actor is the character himself. In this lesson, you will learn what exercises and techniques can be used to develop the art of experiencing to complement your acting arsenal.

Lesson 5. Stage speech. In addition to other qualities of an actor, stage speech is a very useful and demanded skill, which is devoted to a separate lesson of our training. In this lesson, you will learn what stage speech is, what characteristics it has, and how to train your stage speech on your own.

How to take classes

Naturally, it is impossible to fully master the art of acting on your own at home, passing only online classes. The selection of lessons on our website has been prepared, firstly, for general acquaintance with the basics of the art of reincarnation, and secondly, so that you can try some acting exercises and techniques. Such approbation will allow you to understand how easy it is for you to gain stage skills, whether the acting profession is interesting for you, and even how well you know your inner world. The lessons posted on our website are intended for children, teenagers and adults and, in fact, are free acting courses that can be taken online.

You can choose the time and mode of training yourself. Of course, it is important to understand that the more and more often you work on yourself and on your roles, the more you will learn, the more and better you will be at reincarnation.

It is also important that you find a person who will help you, evaluate you from the outside. It can be either a professional teacher or just your friend and like-minded person. As a last resort, you can use a mirror or video camera to see yourself from the side and make adjustments on your own.

Acting starts with creative will

The creative will of a person is a powerful impetus for the development of an actor. As in geometry there are axioms – starting points – and theorems proved with the help of axioms, so in acting there is a starting point, the need to apply which must be taken on faith. This point is the creative will.

The next element, closely related in nature to creative will, is stage attention.

The stage is the most serious test for any person. It is very difficult to keep your attention on anything other than the audience. With the help of creative will, it is necessary to accustom yourself to be able to control your attention. Concentration is the complete concentration of a person’s thoughts and actions on a specific internal or external object. Teaching acting involves constant training of attention through special exercises aimed at developing this skill. An important addition to this theme will be the fact that attention and passion are as closely related as creative will and attention. And passion is what allows the artist to “lead” the audience.

The next element of the “system” is imagination

Imagination is a powerful stimulant of human creative energy. We would not have had such a psychological feature as the ability to imagine, in the history of mankind there would not have been a single scientific discovery, not a single work of art, and not a single daring journey. Our ability to imagine something that goes beyond the ordinary sets us apart from animals, and acting is unattainable if the actor does not train his imagination.

Oddly enough, these three elements in the process of daily work professional actors devote the least time. Meanwhile, these are the “three pillars” without which it makes no sense to talk about the task and the overarching task, about assessments and end-to-end action, about the implications and perspective of the role. professionalism in the field of acting is acquired throughout life, through daily training and analysis.

Just as a ballet dancer or athlete must complete a specific training program every day in order to be able to function fully, so an actor must train his creative will, attention and imagination every day.

Everything written above is more for theater professionals than for people of other professions.

At the same time, acting for adults can be a useful source of new knowledge. Acting in Moscow is taught in a variety of courses, adapted to the needs of a wide range of participants. If you need to improve your communication skills, then, of course, acting technology is something worth dedicating some time of your life to learning. However, in this case, we would advise you to choose courses carefully. First, you need to understand why you need (and whether you need at all) training in acting.

Our project focuses on the application of acting techniques in business and in everyday life. At the same time, we carefully select those topics where acting technologies can really help to achieve serious results. These are, first of all, all business processes in which interpersonal communications play the main role.

Negotiations, presentations, sales, public speaking – this is the range of applications of acting technologies in which these skills are really useful. And if you are interested in learning how to use acting technique in business or everyday life, then you need to carefully study the programs of the courses that you are going to attend. We hope this article will help you choose an appropriate training option.

What can hinder the mastery of a skill?

There are especially harmful factors that are downright bad for an actor’s career. Here are the main ones.

  • Self-love. There are useful properties of self-love that push a person towards self-improvement and movement forward. And when an actor revels in being on stage, thinks about how beautiful he looks from the outside, this is already narcissism. It is from him that you should refuse, because on the stage you need to live the life of your hero.
  • Absent-mindedness. The actor must catch every word in the script, every movement of his partner in the game. And without concentration, it is difficult to achieve results in any field of activity. The performer of the role cannot be distracted by extraneous rustles and inattentively listen to the mentor – all this threatens the illogical and unreliable image of the hero.
  • Deficiencies in speech. It’s not necessarily burr or stuttering, although this is also important. The task is different: to find in your own speech the flaws that prevent you from expressing your thoughts clearly and simply. Any person has shortcomings, for example, incorrectly puts stress in some words, cannot pronounce complex definitions.

To address the deficiencies and enhance the positive elements of mastery, there are some exercises. They are aimed at both groups of elements and will be useful not only in the profession of an actor, but also in everyday life.

Observation (creative diary)

Observe the people around you, their behavior and mannerisms. This immediately develops attention and helps to get used to different images. You can record your discoveries in a special diary.

“Thinking out”

Somewhat related to the previous one. In places where people gather, you need to choose a person and “invent” his life. In gait, style and manner to imagine his past, where he goes and what he thinks about. Develops creative imagination.

Inner voice

Take a short poem and read it to yourself, memorizing the intonation of your inner voice. This is your idea of ​​how the verse should sound. Then read it aloud, record it on the recorder. Does it sound like what you heard inside yourself?

Development of plastics

Imagine an animal and pet it. Feed, pick up. It should be clear from the movements of the hands who it is – a cat or a small hamster, or maybe a long snake.

Coordination of movements

Pat yourself on the head with one hand, pat yourself on the stomach with the other. This must be done simultaneously and not get lost. Change your hand periodically.

Extend two arms in front of you, twist one clockwise, the other counterclockwise. Try not to get lost. Also change hands periodically.

Konstantin Stanislavsky. “The work of an actor on himself”

“Indeed, when a true artist utters Hamlet’s monologue” To be or not to be, “does he only formally report the author’s thoughts to others and perform the external actions indicated to him by the director? No, he gives much more and puts into words the role of himself: his own ideas about life, his soul, his living feeling and will. At these moments, the artist is sincerely moved by the memories of his own lived life, similar to life, thoughts and feelings of the role.

The famous work of Konstantin Sergeevich Stanislavsky, which contains a consistent description of his legendary system, and also reveals the meaning and practical meaning of his methods. The voluminous book consists of two parts: in the first, the director discusses the creative process of the artist experiencing the character of the hero, his super task; the second is about the creative process of embodying the character, plasticity and speech of his hero, about the stage well-being of the actor, as well as additional materials and exercises. This legendary work is the reference book for any professional actor.

Konstantin Stanislavsky. “Ethics”

“The late arrival of only one person is confusing. If everyone is late, then the working time will be spent not on business, but on waiting. This infuriates and leads to a bad state in which you cannot work. If, on the contrary, everyone treats their collective responsibilities correctly and comes to the rehearsal prepared, then a wonderful atmosphere is created that spurs and invigorates. “

Another book from the master is a small training manual for actors, written at the beginning of the last century and still relevant. It touches upon the most important topic – acting ethics: the behavior of an artist in difficult life situations, relationships with colleagues, attitude to the profession and art and other important issues that any professional artist needs to know. Stanislavsky himself spoke about his work in the following way: “In the evening I stayed at home and wrote, it seems, not badly, a chapter on ethics. Yesterday, Monday, at the morning rehearsal, I read it to the actors. It seems that they are thoughtful, and the rehearsal was good. “

Mikhail Chekhov. “Secrets of acting”

“Why does the so-called Stanislavsky system have such compelling power? Because it offers the young actor the hope of mastering the fundamental forces of his creative nature. Actors who are unfamiliar with the laws of form and style try to use old, obsolete forms. Borrowing unsuitable material from the theatrical arsenal under the guise of stage passions, they label it with temperament. The actor begins to like the usual theatrical pose, he takes it for theatrical relaxedness. How destructive this looseness is for him! It leads to licentiousness not only on stage, but also in life. “

Memoirs of the great Russian dramatic actor Mikhail Aleksandrovich Chekhov, a student of Stanislavsky, who, after emigrating to the United States, founded his own acting school, where Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood and other Hollywood stars studied. In the book, Mikhail Chekhov shares his experience, reveals the secrets of acting, reflects on the Stanislavsky system and recalls the great people who influenced his life. This publication contains several biographical materials: “The Way of the Actor”, “Life and Meetings”, “Memories of Rachmaninov”, “On the Stanislavsky System”, “On the Technique of the Actor”, “Conversations, Notes”.

Nikolay Demidov. “Creative heritage”

“One of the biggest shortcomings of an actor is self-distrust. Distrust that my little, everyday, modest is good, that it is good. A scene is a scene. Hundreds and even thousands of eyes are looking at me – is it really interesting for them if I will be doing something bad and indistinctly here in front of them on the stage? And even more so if I don’t do anything? Therefore, the actor refines himself, tries, whips himself up, hurries up. And he hurried – he “jumped” over his truth, over his life – and fell into a lie, into antics. To correct this, it is necessary to develop faith in oneself in students by all means. “

A series of books on the stage skills of the great Russian theater director and teacher Nikolai Vasilyevich Demidov. The collection of works consists of five books, three of which Demidov managed to complete before his death (“The Art of the Actor in His Present and Future”, “Types of Actor”, “The Art of Living on Stage”), the other two were compiled from notes and sketches of individual chapters … It so happened that Demidov’s method, described in his manuscripts, was rejected by the adherents of the “Stanislavsky system” and was ostracized, so the books were published after the death of Nikolai Vasilyevich. Until now, his innovative methodology in teaching actors finds its followers.

Ivana Chubbuck. “Acting Mastery: The Chubbuck Technique”

“An actor, predominantly occupied with his own experiences, turns his energy inward and is unable to inspire or charge either himself or the audience with it. At the same time, a person who does everything to overcome his pain and achieve his goal makes the audience watch with bated breath, because his behavior is lively and unpredictable. Any creative decision involves risk and, as a result, a path into the unknown. It’s not enough for an actor to be honest. The job of an actor is to periodically make certain choices that lead to amazing results. You can paint the canvas with oil paints, but if the result is not an amazing painting, no one wants to look at it. “

A guide to acting by a famous American teacher, among her students are Brad Pitt, Halle Berry, Jim Carrey, Eva Mendes and other Hollywood stars. Relying on the Stanislavsky method and many other classical schools, Chubbuck has formed her own technique, which allows you to learn how to enter an image and give the desired assessment with a few steps. The book contains many recipes for creating the necessary acting emotions, which is literally reflected in the title of the chapters: “Experiencing pregnancy (from a male and female point of view)”, “Organic sensations of death and dying”, “Giving emotional credibility to scars and bruises”, etc. .d.

Determining the qualities that an actor should have

The qualities of an actor are the personal characteristics of a person, which together provide the opportunity to successfully play various roles.

Unlike specific skills, for example, the ability to laugh in time or show surprise, professional qualities combine a whole range of skills and abilities, which makes it impossible to consider each quality in detail in one lesson. Therefore, this lesson will describe the general features of what qualities and skills a good actor should have. In addition, the stage artist must not only have a certain set of personal and professional characteristics, but also constantly, daily work on himself, improving his skills. Therefore, for each quality, recommendations and exercises for its training and development are given. They will be considered in accordance with the structure proposed by Stanislavsky, his followers and students:

The first group “Qualities of any good actor” are those skills that are necessary for any person to apply acting in life, regardless of whether he plans to use them for acting in the theater or filming a film, or just wants to look believable, explaining his one hour late for work. In relation to these characteristics, you can safely apply the cliché “necessary minimum” – this is what everyone should know and be able to do.

The second group “Professional qualities” is needed to a greater extent by professionals, those for whom acting is a craft. These qualities are associated with work on stage, interaction with actors, spectators and many other important components of acting.

Qualities of any good actor

Developed attention

Any person does his job better if he is not distracted by anything, and his attention is focused only on the subject of the current lesson. Actors are no exception, for whom life on stage is impossible without the ability to observe, the ability to switch and focus attention within the stage environment.

In this regard, one of the foundations of the actor’s internal technique is stage attention – the selective orientation of perception during the performance. Many of our readers who are familiar with the tools for developing mindfulness will probably notice that at a certain level of training, the ability to concentrate becomes arbitrary. This is true, but in the case of the art of acting, everything is much more complicated than it might seem at first glance. The fact is that in everyday life our attention is driven by unconditioned reflexes, in other words, instinctively. During a conversation, we never think about how to stand or sit, how to control the voice, etc. But for an artist, this matters, because in a real stage environment he must pay attention to all aspects of the game – speech, gestures, facial expressions, posture, prompter,

The following recommendations will help an actor achieve success in developing this quality:

  1. Don’t try to keep too many details in mind. This leads to so-called acting clamps: involuntary actions on stage that betray your insecurity. Remember that the 7 plus or minus 2 rule works for everyone’s attention.
  2. Attention and short-term memory are skills that can be purposefully manipulated using, for example, play techniques. How to do this, read the special lesson “Attention and Memory” on our website.
  3. Attention very much depends on the current mental and physical state of a person, for example, how much he slept, whether he is worried about personal problems today. Always try to perform in a good mood. For this purpose, you can use yoga and meditation.

KS Stanislavsky also believed that the process of improving the skill should be constant: “Observing life, the artist should look around him not as an absent-minded man in the street and not as a cold statistician who needs only the actual and digital accuracy of the information collected. The artist needs to penetrate into the essence of the observed, carefully study the circumstances and actions of people proposed by life, to understand the make-up of the soul, the character of the one who performs these actions. ” In addition, a set of special exercises has been created to teach stage attention:

Exercise 1. Take an unfamiliar picture, look at it carefully for 5 seconds, and then try to remember all the details. In the future, take large canvases with complex patterns.

Exercise 2. Take a pencil in each hand and begin to draw at the same time: with the right – a circle, with the left – a triangle. It is important to finish both shapes at the same time. You can also write different numbers or letters.

Oratorical skills

“We hate theatricality in the theater, but we love theatrical on stage … the voice should sing in conversation and in poetry, sound like a violin, and not knock words like peas on a blackboard,” wrote KS Stanislavsky. The ability to speak in front of the public, to deliver speeches that have long become a model of rhetoric (and there are many of them in drama) is an important quality not only for public figures or university lecturers. One and the same speech can be delivered so that everyone falls asleep, or vice versa, they will catch every word. Much depends on the speaker, so it is important for every novice actor to develop his stage speech.

Stage speech is a professional means of expressiveness of an actor and theatrical embodiment of a dramatic work.

Possession of this quality is also important from the point of view of rhetoric – as the ability to speech improvisation. Through the skill of speaking, the actor conveys to the viewer the inner world, social, psychological, national, everyday character traits of the character.

One of the foundations of speech technique is the sense of tempo-rhythm, discovered and described by KS Stanislavsky. He noticed a connection between him and feelings: “I accelerated the pace – I took less time for action, for speech, and thus forced myself to act and speak faster. Slowed down the pace – freed up more time for action and speech … “. Thus, by changing the tempo and rhythm, the actor also changes the range of his feelings experienced at the moment.

This discovery is of great importance for the theater, since it allows, during the production, through a change in the tempo-rhythm of the actor, to control not only his feelings, but also the development of the stage action as a whole, to influence its smoothness or, conversely, storminess. Read more in the book Actor’s Work on Oneself.

You should also pay attention to the development of your voice, its sound. To do this, you need to perform a set of exercises for setting breathing, articulation, tonality, diction. Here is some of them:

Exercise 1. Development of breathing. Starting position: standing, arms from shoulder to elbow in a horizontal position (parallel to the floor). Down from the elbow (forearms and hands) – hang vertically. Inhale through the stomach, while exhaling we pronounce the sound “p” and make a circular motion with the forearms and hands, the shoulder remains fixed. On the next exhale, we make 2 circular turns, then 3, and so on to 6. Then we reduce the speed from 6 to 1.

Exercise 2. Diction. Try to reproduce the sound of hammering a nail into a wall, a horse stomping on the asphalt, or lowering the bowstring. You should not get a banal “tsok”, but something similar to “svsy”, “tztsu”, “vzsi”, in other words – dismember the action into the sounds that you hear.

Imagination and the ability to think creatively

Developed imagination and creativity are the qualities that every actor needs to be able to “get used to” the role, “justify” the character with the proposed circumstances, and play a role from the text. This is much more complicated than in the case of the truth of life, which exists by itself and over which a person never ponders. A. N. Tortsov wrote: “But when this reality is not on the stage, and there is a game, then the creation of truth and faith requires preliminary preparation. It lies in the fact that first truth and faith arise in the plane of an imaginary life, in fiction, and then they are transferred to the stage. ” In other words, without strong imagination, an actor will never be able to achieve a sense of truth.

Sense of truth is the ability to feel the plausibility (realism) of the action being taken. It is primarily associated with an understanding of the principles of human actions, the logic and incentives for the actions of the hero being played. Secondly, it is the actor’s ability to distinguish between natural emotions and behavior from unnatural ones, and not only strangers, but also their own. The development of a sense of truth is hindered by “physical clamps” – states that dull realism and naturalness (desire to stand out, stiffness, self-control). To get rid of them, K.S. Stanislavsky recommended in 2 stages:

  • Developing the truth of simple physical actions. In life, we pour boiling water over tea, stir sugar, drink without thinking about the nature of these actions, performing them automatically. The simplest physical actions are understandable and close to everyone, so it is worth starting with their training within the stage environment, gradually moving towards the truthfulness of emotions.
  • Development of logic and consistency. Physical actions are instinctive, but in the theater, events are fictional and take place, for example, a couple of centuries before our time, in connection with which everyday instincts fail. Therefore, actors must subordinate their actions to logic and sequence, performing them as in life, because without this, the sense of faith cannot be developed.

As mentioned above, imagination and fantasy play an important role in providing a sense of truth – qualities that allow an actor to explain and justify the actions of his character. The sincerity of the role, experiences and emotions is achieved not only thanks to the emotional response, but also the ability to believe in the actions of the hero, to take his place in order to understand their nature. Without this, there is no good truthful game.

Emotional memory

Memory is important for an actor not only in terms of the ability to remember and reproduce text (although this, without exaggeration, is very important). It has already been repeatedly noted above that an integral attribute of a good game is the ability to convey the hero’s emotions, through which his inner world is revealed, and, as a result, the play acquires artistic completeness. Therefore, a novice actor should pay attention not only to the development of memory in order to memorize large volumes of textual information, but also to learn to memorize and recreate emotions and feelings.

To do this, you need to train your emotional memory – the ability to memorize, preserve and reproduce emotionally colored phenomena, memory for feelings. The feelings experienced and stored in memory during representation (reproduction) act as signals that affect our facial expressions, gestures, speech and other elements of behavior.

This type of memory is very important in the formation of the personality of any person, and even more so of an actor. The thing is that the nature of his experiences is such that during the game one cannot live with the same feelings and emotions as in real life. Life and stage emotions differ in their origins. Stage action does not arise, as in life, as a result of a real (non-contrived) stimulus. It is possible to recall any feeling only because it is familiar to us from experience. This is called emotional memory. Real life experiences are primary, and the evoked emotional experiences on the stage are the reproduction of feelings secondary to the actor’s memory.

Recommendations for the development of emotional memory:

  • Expand your emotional horizons. Stanislavsky demanded from his students to be impressionable, to try to get as many impressions from life as possible and to watch themselves closely at the most vivid and full of feelings moments.
  • Be observant. In addition to your own emotions, watch out for others as well, observing different people and identifying details characteristic of different emotions.
  • Train your memory. The ability to use special memorization techniques, mnemonics are discussed in a separate training on our website dedicated to the development of memory.
  • Learn to reproduce emotions using special techniques that allow you to quickly refresh your memory of the desired feelings. These include anchors (or decoys): external or internal stimulators of the actor’s response. For example, most of us can easily recall the feeling of falling in love if we remember our first love. But emotions can be stimulated not only by memory, but also by some real object, sound, or even smell. Read more about the principles of emotion reproduction in the next lesson on acting.

Stage freedom

They say that a skilled swordsman can always be identified by the way he moves: his gestures are smooth, but skillful enough, confidence is seen in every step, as in any movement – cold calculation. This view is perhaps a little romanticized, but reflects the general essence – people from different professions move in different ways. Actors are no exception: postures, gestures, even banal walking of which should be distinguished by freedom.

Freedom is understood as the natural behavior of an actor on stage, when he is not acting, but living. It is acquired in the process of development of such a component of the acting technique as stage movement. Both in Stanislavsky’s system and his followers, in particular V.E. Meyerhold, movement was assigned the place of the main means of the actor’s external technique. At the same time, they argued that there were no special methods of teaching newcomers to the art of moving correctly: “You cannot teach the creative application of movement, but you can only educate the neuro-physical apparatus in a direction that is especially beneficial for stage work.”

In this respect, the actor should develop such qualities as plasticity and control over muscle tension. Plastic – the beauty of movement, grace, expressiveness of the artist – the external appearance of the movement being performed. Stress control allows the actor to perform movements correctly – not mechanically, but also not overly exaggerated or careless. Since the lack of movement has become a common phenomenon for modern people, the actor needs to pay due attention to his physical condition. Here are some exercises:

Exercise 1. Learn to dance. Dancing is a classic subject in theater education. Nothing develops plastic better than waltz or polka.

Exercise 2. Puppet doll. Imagine that you are a puppet that hangs on a hook in the dressing room after the show. Try to depict the pose as close as possible to the position of the doll. Now imagine that you are “hanged” by the neck, then by the arm, shoulder, and even the ear – the body is fixed at one point, everything else is relaxed. Doing this exercise several times a day will help develop body plastics and release muscle clamps.

Exercise 3. Stand on one leg for as long as you can. Focusing on an imaginary object usually helps to prolong this time. You can, for example, mentally walk the daily journey from home to work or to the store. From excessive load, the muscles will relax after a while, and muscle tension after returning to a normal state will disappear

Who is an actor?

Actor is a professional performer of various roles in theater, cinema, circus, ballet, commercials, etc. Sometimes the words “actor” and “artist” are considered equivalent, although the acting profession is a broader concept, it is usually enough for artists to achieve mastery only in a narrow specialization, for example, singing or pantomime. Surely, many thought about the career of an actor, but only a few chose this difficult profession.

What qualities and skills should an actor have?

In order to become an actor, you need to have many professional qualities, for example, a sense of tempo, rhythm, good articulation, artistry, a good memory, a penchant for creativity, etc. A professional actor must have developed the skill of both team and individual work, responsibility, as well as the ability to perform the task set by the director.


Usually, upon graduation, aspiring actors go to work in theaters. Usually the salary there is very small, and in general, the income depends on the prestige of the theater and on the actor’s employment in performances during the month.
Also, professional actors can act in films, TV shows and commercials, but this work is fickle, so the income is relative. Payment for a shooting day varies from 500 to 100,000 rubles per day, depending on the fame of the actor and on the budget of the project in which the actor participates.

Negative sides of the profession of an actor

The profession of an actor is complex and responsible. The future actor must be ready to perform acrobatic stunts on stage and in the cinema, possible injuries, strong psychological stress, long-term work without rest during rehearsals and filming, and even to field work conditions during on-site filming.

Where to get a profession?

In Russia, there are a number of higher and secondary specialized educational institutions that teach acting. Most of them have a strict selection and a great competition. In addition to the usual exams, the applicant will need to pass a creative test – an audition, during which the professional aptitude of the future actor is revealed. But in addition to theatrical universities, there are many different studios and courses where you can start your path to the acting profession.

Description of the profession

An actor (artist) is a professional performer of roles in theater, opera, cinema, ballet. The profession is based on the art of reincarnating from one image to another and thus influencing the viewer – to evoke feelings and emotions in him, to push him to think.
An actor is a versatile creative specialist who can sing, dance and even be expressively silent on stage. The actors themselves value the profession for the fact that they can change roles and live many lives. Today he will become a knight, tomorrow he will change into a woman, and on Saturday morning he will play a bunny or a flying carpet

Pros and cons of the profession

Positive aspects of the profession:
+ Interesting creative work
+ Popularity and love of the audience
+ The ability to travel
+ Creative environment
+ And even the opportunity to once go down in history
But in the profession of an actor, you can also name the negative aspects:
Irregular work schedule
Unstable earnings
Tours and life in hotels, not always in comfortable conditions
For ballet and circus dancers, there is a high probability of injury

How to become an actor: 10 basic steps to the profession. Acting Exercises for Beginners

What qualities should have (personal qualities)

Actor is a profession more suitable for extroverts. The actor feels the attention of fans not only on stage, but also in his personal life. If you are not ready to interact with a large number of people on the set, constant communication with journalists, then working as an actor can be psychologically difficult.
the ability to easily converge with people and creativity, the actor needs: The ability to speak in public (not be afraid of the stage The
 ability to work in a team
 Excellent memory
Hard work
 Endurance and physical fitness

Where to study

Theatrical universities and colleges educate future actors. There they learn acting, stage movement and speech, acrobatics, vocals, dance and many other professional skills. For the successful embodiment of the role, the actor needs to learn how to analyze it, feel and literally live the life of his character.
To get into the “workshop of talents”, you will need to go through a huge competition – up to 450 people per place. The artistic director, who is recruiting a course this year, considers in the future student not knowledge of school subjects, but, first of all, talent. take, even if he has never studied in a theater studio and has low USE scores.

How to become an actor: 10 basic steps to the profession. Acting Exercises for Beginners

The most famous creative colleges of the country for future actors, artists and musicians: the
Russian Academy of Music. Gnessin
Academic Music School at the Moscow State Conservatory named after P.I. Tchaikovsky
 Moscow State Academy of Choreography
 Moscow Theater College at the Moscow Theater under the direction of O. Tabakov
Moscow State Theater College (technical school) named after L.A. Filatova There are
theater universities in most cities of the Russian Federation. The most famous and prestigious are:
All-Russian State University of Cinematography named after V.I. S.A. Gerasimova (VGIK)
Higher theater school (institute) named after M.S. Shchepkin at the State Academic Maly Theater of Russia (VTU named after Shchepkin)

 Russian University of Theater Arts – GITIS (GITIS)
Theater Institute named after Boris Shchukin at the State Academic Theater. Eug. Vakhtangov
Moscow State Conservatory P.I. Tchaikovsky

Where to work

An actor can work as a presenter or animator, act in commercials, be a stand-up comedian or youtube blogger. But the coveted work in the specialty can be found:
• in theaters (Satyricon, Moscow Art Theater named after A.P. Chekhov, Bolshoi Theater, Vienna Opera)
• in cinema (Mosfilm, Lenfilm, Hollywood)
• in a circus (Moscow Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Cirque du Soleil)
• on the stage

How to become an actor: 10 basic steps to the profession. Acting Exercises for Beginners

Salary (salary range)

Apart from the income of star actors and singers like Dmitry Nagiyev, Sergei Shnurov or Svetlana Khodchenkova, the
average salary of an actor varies from 40 to 200,000 rubles per month.
Salaries in cinema and on stage are higher than in theater and circus.

Sources used and useful links on the topic: https: / / 10-knig-po-akterskomu-masterstvu /professiya-akter.html

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