So you’ve made the decision – you want to be an actor. Now what? Here are some fundamental tips from Hollywood star Kate Winslet (famous for “Titanic”, “The Mountain Between Us”, “The Holiday” and “Divergent”). Kate started acting at 16 and her first part was of a schoolgirl in BBC TV Series. Kate did not earn much from that job, and a lack of funds forced her to leave and work at a deli store to support herself.
So first advice from Kate to teenagers staring out in acting is – you have to know it is difficult, it is definitely a hard job to do and hard career to get in to. But if you are really passionate about acting, just keep working your craft. Keep practicing, make mistakes, learn from them and practice more. If you strongly believe acting is what you want to do with your life, you will get there as long as you don’t give up. You just need to keep going, and keep going, and keep going. Keep yourself busy and apply to as many auditions as you can (by the way KidsCasting has over 1,200 auditions at any given time).
So how can teens become great actors? Read Kate Winslet’s tips below:
1. Always keep an open mind and learn to get excited or inspired by the unexpected. Be accepting of everything and everyone as actors can be quite weird. Never judge other people and just enjoy the process’s.
2. Have a desire to face challenges – acting is tough. And you have to love challenges to love acting. The biggest challenge of all is the ability to stay focused. Because the craziness of “on-set” environment can be so intense that you will sometimes forget not just your words or ideas that you had, but even your first name. And it’s OK. Take yourself to a quiet corner and regroup.
3. Let the preparation go when on set – you might have prepared at home for weeks… But it’s so important to allow the director and other actors shape your style of acting and personality of your character. Never have anything set in stone.
4. If the movie you are taking part in is an adaptation of a book – always read the book, unless specifically asked not to by the film director. The book will give you alternative insight onto your character and production as a whole.
5. Never stop learning. Even if you think you have had plenty of experiences. Always evolve and look for ways to do things differently. Stay involved, excited and passionate. Stagnation is your worst enemy. And remember: every filming experience is different.
6. Don’t look in the mirror while rehearsing at home. Rehearsing in front of a mirror can deter you from being present and in the moment when reading lines as your character. While anyone will be curious to see how they looked while saying their lines, in the long run, it can only hurt your performance and make you too focused on the way you think you should look.
7. Develop your emotional intelligence. Acting is not pretending. Yes, you do pretend to be someone else (your character), but you use real emotions that you really have within you to bring your character to life. That’s what makes acting believable. So study your emotions and use that insight in your acting.
8. Enrich your life – the more hobbies and interests you have as a person, the more successful you’ll be as an actor. Your real-life experiences will help you bring emotions and insight to each role you take on. So keep living your life to the fullest – it will only better your craft.
9. Get into commercials – that’s where loads of teens start out (most famous actors started as teens in commercials). Consider taking a commercial acting class where you’ll be taught how to do a slate, commercial copy, how to “bite and like” (e.g. in food commercials when tasting something immediately showing positive emotions). Commercials are all about selling the product – so you’ll be taught how to hold a product without covering its name, how to sample the product and love it on camera. Apart from commercials look at web series, short films and student films to start out. (There are plenty of such gigs on KidsCasting.com)
10. And last but not least, embrace acting career with all it’s ups and downs. And don’t give up until you succeed
Watch full interview here.