8 ways to stay sharp between acting jobs
As an actor, you will be on an adventurous journey full of interesting work, big surprises, fun adventures, and hectic weeks. You will also have some “quiet periods” between jobs and auditions for recharging. During these times, we highly recommend that you keep your acting skills sharp. Just as professional athletes train during the off season, you should always be in practice! Because you are a pro, and pros are always striving for success. Here are 8 ways to stay sharp between acting jobs.
1. Perform in a play.
If you really want to stay sharp between acting jobs, theatre is a fantastic way to expand your range, exercise your voice and body, and strengthen your acting skills. Audition for some local theatre productions, and even consider joining a company. Stage acting is a great way to hone your comedic timing, to explore intense, dramatic roles, and to expand your voice. Also, theatre is fun!
2. Join an acting class.
Of course, we are big believers in acting classes. Even actors who are series regulars on television shows will tell you that they still go to class and coach for auditions. Be in practice; join a great, challenging and uplifting acting class. This is a great way to build community.
An alternative to an in-person class is an online acting class. You could check out ours: 10 Lessons to Great Film Acting.
3. Read scripts.
This is perhaps the most accessible, free thing that you can do to sharpen your acting skills. Go to websites such as simplyscripts.com, and download scripts of TV shows and great movies. Read these at home to yourself! You can also join a play reading or cold reading group to read scripts aloud. Check out websites like meetup.com, or even start your own group!
4. Volunteer as a reader in audition rooms.
This is a great way to both sharpen your acting skills and to see how things work “on the other side” of the casting table. If you have developed strong relationships with some casting directors, offer to help out as a reader in auditions. Seize any opportunity you get to be in an audition room; you will learn so much.
5. Do stand up comedy.
Go big, or go home! Why not really stretch yourself and take a stand up comedy class, or even give your routine a go at an open mic night. If you research some of your favorite TV sitcoms, you will see that many of the actors are also stand up comedians. Stand up is a great way to stretch out of your comfort zone and to work on that comedic timing.
6. Read at poetry slams.
If you are into poetry, consider sharing your work at poetry slams and readings. You can contact local bookstores to find poetry slams and events. You can also, again, look for a meetup group, or even start your own group!
7. Take up singing.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a singer, singing is a fantastic, expressive outlet for actors. By singing, you will be communicating emotion in a different, heightened way, and you will also be expanding your vocal capacity. As you learn to use different vocal registers as a singer, your speaking voice will expand. Consider taking private lessons or joining a community choir.
8. Take a dance class.
You know you’ve been asked to dance at least once at an audition. And if you do musical theatre, you are asked to dance all of the time. Get ahead of the game! Sign up for a dance class. For more information on dance training for actors check out this article.
As always, have fun learning, growing and stretching through these ways to stay sharp between acting jobs. If you have any questions at all, feel free to comment below!