10 Ways to Make Your Life as an Actor Easier

Written by Ashleigh Gardner

August 4, 2016

Want some tips on how to make your life as an actor a little better and less stressful? Check out our quick list of tips that apply to every actor of every age.

10. Have an audition package.

Have at least two dramatic and comedic monologues of varying length and at least three songs that show off your vocal stylings and range. There’s nothing worse than seeing an audition posting and not having enough time to prep an audition piece. Always be prepared with material so you can audition when you want!

9. Don’t let a bad audition define you.

Everyone has a bad day, and every actor has had a poor audition. Don’t let one audition out of many deter you from seeking out work continuously. If you allow a fluke to control your drive and passion for acting; you’ll only fall behind in your goals.

8. Read the play before rehearsals get started.

When you are cast in that show, read the script! There’s nothing worse than walking into a rehearsal without knowing what’s going on in the story. Make sure you understand your own character so that, if your director starts rehearsals with table work, you can have a conversation about your character’s motivations and desires.

7. Plan ahead for arriving on time.

Respect your director, stage manager, and castmates by planning ahead for travel and any obstacles you may face on your way to rehearsals and performances. If you leave early, you may get there before others do, but you’ll show your commitment to the show — and your respect for everyone else’s time.

6. Be off-book as soon as you can.

Nothing is worse than trying to act with a cumbersome book in your hands. When you aren’t holding onto a script, you’ll naturally feel more free to act in the moment, the way every scene should be performed. You’ll be present with your fellow actors, and they’ll thank you for it.

5. Write down notes and blocking.

If you want to remember your blocking or any notes your director gives you (which you do) — WRITE. THEM. DOWN. Always carry a pencil with you so you can erase and re-record if you make a mistake in your script.

4. When dress rehearsals start, be in-costume and ready to go.

Show the director and the rest of the cast that you’re serious about the show. Treat a dress rehearsal like you would a show with an audience, and be dressed, warmed up, and in places when your SM gives you the call. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being the one the rest of the cast is waiting on.

3. Have a prep routine for every show.

What do you do to get ready for a performance? Listen to music? Do some yoga? Spread out your entire makeup bag and apply your makeup the same way every time? Great! When you’ve got a routine, it makes it easier for you to become focused for a performance. Just make sure that routine includes a few minutes when you…

2. Warm up!

Even if you only sing for 5 minutes, even if you only have 10 lines, warming up your voice is essential to being heard on stage. Successful actors know the value of vocal warm-ups, diction exercises, and physical warm-ups. When you warm up your voice and your body, you’re prepping yourself so that you don’t damage your voice or pull a muscle during a dance number. Do yourself a favor and warm up!

1. Don’t slander other performers.

Last and certainly not least, never ever talk trash about other performers, whether you’ve worked with them or not, and whether you like them or not. It may ruin their reputation, but what’s worse for you, it shows that you can’t be trusted to work with anyone without causing drama. If you don’t like working with someone, that’s okay. Just remember the way you act and what you say is a reflection of your integrity as a performer and a person.

Ashleigh Gardner received her AA in Theatre/Drama/Dramatic Arts from Valencia College and her Bachelors Degree in English Literature and Masters Degree in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is a playwright and an actor.