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Want to keep your acting from getting stale? Make sure your life is interesting!
Your most crucial dramatic lessons won't come from film acting class but from your own life. Sure, it's important to go to movies and plays, read scripts, and study the great directors. But if your only reference point is other movies, your performances will come across as flat and derivative.
An actor has to continually fill his well of creativity to stay inspired. The broader your experiences and your studies, the more resources you'll have to draw from during a performance. Follow these tips to spice up your acting:
Read. Learn all you can about art, music, science, psychology, history, and theology. Each field in its own way examines what it means to be human.
Become a first-class people-watcher. Keep a notebook with you and jot down dialogue, mannerisms, and interesting situations.
Travel to experience other cultures. How do people greet each other in France? What does it feel like to ride a camel in the desert?
Follow current events for insights into the best and worst of human theater.
Seek novelty. Do something you've never done before, such as learn belly-dancing, repair a car's engine, or pet-sit a snake.
Take risks. Bungee jump. Travel solo. Love and lose. Love and win.
Live with your mind and senses fully engaged, and you'll perform the same way. Not to mention you'll have fantastic stories to tell your grandkids someday!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|