Do you sometimes wait until the last minute to find and prepare a scene for acting class? This critical mistake is costing you valuable learning time.
Let's say acting class is on Sunday, and it's Thursday.
You quickly start searching YouTube for scenes from some of your favorite shows to transcribe.
Now it's Thursday night, and you're messaging all of your acting class buddies to see if they're magically free for a last minute scene.
Oh, and you need to thoroughly memorize your lines, break down the scene, and schedule time to rehearse.
In this post I'll show you how to always have a scene ready for acting class so you can actually grow as an actor.
There's no harm in having scenes prepared weeks in advance.
AVOID THIS CRUCIAL MISTAKE
Most actors get way too caught up in backstory when all of the backstory you need is in the script.
A couple of my acting buddies put up a scene from a movie in class one week.
These two guys were veterans of our acting class, which means they understood the correct way to prepare a scene.
However, they didn't read the entire script. Instead, they only read up to their scene.
The scene was from Pulp Fiction, famous for having a storyline that's out of sequence. Avoid the crucial mistake of not reading the entire script.
My actor friends did not have all of the information they needed about the scene because they failed to read the one script that absolutely demanded a thorough reading.
Most films and stage plays have easily accessible scripts, so no excuses.
If you're performing a scene from a television show, either do your background research on Wiki Fandom, or grab a scene from a show you're familiar with. Just try not to watch the scene before you perform it so your choices remain your own.
TRY THE WEEKLY RULE
If you don't schedule something in your calendar, guess what? It's not going to happen.
Set a goal to read one new script a week. Plan to read a variety of scripts: films, stage plays, comedies, dramas, classics, and contemporary pieces.
You'll eventually learn to speed read, which is especially useful for skimming film script notes that aren't necessary for understanding the plot.
Don't dismiss genres or styles that you hate. It will be beneficial to you as an actor to try those in case you receive auditions in similar styles.
You'll at least have an informed opinion about why you hate a particular genre, or you may just end up loving it because you now understand it better.
KEEP A CHECKLIST
I know you're busy, and it's hard to invest time reading scripts, but this is your job!
I think the root issue is that you don't want to invest time reading dead end scripts. What if it doesn't have a scene you can use?
Keep a running checklist of scripts you've read and whether or not you found a scene (or scenes) you can perform in class by logging the page numbers.
This checklist will be a great reference if you keep the right notes.
Whenever you do find scenes, I suggest saving just those pages in a PDF file to use for taking notes and breaking down the content.
You may find great scenes you're not ready for yet that you can use in the future, or you'll know which ones still aren't worth your time in six months, if you keep a checklist for quick reference.
READ WITH PURPOSE
Do you really need to work on that scene from your favorite television show?
Find scenes that actually challenge you as an actor. Consider performing one really dynamite scene that terrifies you and working on just that one scene for 4-8 weeks.
A good acting coach will drop hints to you in class about your acting weaknesses, or directly tell you the type of script you should consider doing next. If not, ask!
If your acting coach can't provide that feedback, it's time to find a new one.
You may also consider finding a script that highlights your strengths and challenging yourself to do it a million different ways avoiding the same way twice because you never know when you'll hear those good old generic words on set, "Give me something different."
So will you start reading a new script a week?
The best way to start is to just start. Today. Right now.
Now that you have a plan to become a script reading ninja, let's work on your marketing plan.
If you want to start correctly marketing yourself, you need to do it at the appropriate time. That's why I created the Actor Boss Workflow.
It has three stages, and marketing is last for a reason.
Actor Boss Workflow:
Stage 1: Get Your Financial House In Order
Stage 2: Get Your Actor's Life Together
Stage 3: Let the World Know You're Here
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,
I'm a screen actor and certified goals coach focused on helping other screen actors that are not yet a household name achieve their most urgent goal.