An Actor Succeeds
is a very special collection containing all the best trade secrets of the biggest and most successful film and theater professionals. Author Boze Hadleigh has kindly provided us with a post for today! Below, he has included some observations about the difficulties actors face, as well as some quotes from actors who have, indeed, succeeded.
“We all act—good manners, for instance, when applied to those we dislike. So professional acting’s easy too? Read this book!”
Acting isn’t Easy
by Boze Hadleigh
Most people know actors have to hit their marks without looking down, to be framed and filmed by the camera. But did you know if an actor rises normally from a chair it looks speeded up on camera? Thus, many motions must be performed slower for film, without losing energy or naturalness.
Most actors’ time isn’t spent acting, but seeking work.
Sylvester Stallone: “An artist dies twice. The first time is terrible. I’ve been there when the phone isn’t ringing for years.”
Once hired, intense concentration is required to convincingly pretend you’re someone else while perhaps dozens of technicians stand around you staring.
Keira Knightley: “Focus is as important for an actor as for a cinematographer.”
Myth: Actors have fun on-set. In such a costly business there’s little time for camaraderie (or rehearsal—today mostly a stage luxury). George Clooney: “There’s too little time for socializing. It really is about the work.”
Sexism? If you’re female and have suggestions, careful when, how and to whom you make them.
Valerie Harper sometimes found hers turned a set’s atmosphere into “Siberia.”
Being believable takes time.
Jocelyn Brando, Marlon’s actress sister, said the trick wasn’t to “act natural,” but “to be natural. There’s a chasm of difference.”
Even good actors may be affected by lousy ones.
Kate Hudson: “You still have to react like he’s a good actor. Don’t descend to his level—an easy trap to fall into. Do your best, and try not to work with him again.”
Sometimes the question arises: Why are women generally better actors than men?
Susan Strasberg, daughter of acting guru Lee Strasberg: “Acting is 90 percent reacting, and females spend most of their lives reacting to males.”
And above all, it is important for actors to know just what their job is.
Glenn Close warns, “An actor’s goal is not to be interesting. That’s a script’s goal. Yours is to be truthful.”