Published on March 31st, 2013 | by Moiz Khan0
6 Qualities you must have to be a good Actor
An actor is an integral part of the storytelling process. They are a director’s most powerful assets when put to good use. You too can be an actor, but it isn’t something you can be overnight. First, you need to know what you need to practice on. Below is a list of qualities you need to have to become a good actor:
6 Qualities of a good Actor:
The first of the 6 qualities is vocal projection. Your voice needs to have a good throw. This is particularly important when acting for theatre but is also essential for Film and Television. It’s not just about speaking loud but keeping the viewer’s attention through your voice. What you need to do is relax and focus on your voice and then speak up. Record yourself speaking and then listen to how you sound, or ask a colleague/friend/stranger.
Clarity of Speech:-
While practicing to speak loud to grab the attention of your viewer is important, focusing on a clear voice cannot be neglected. It doesn’t matter if you shout your lungs out if you lack clarity in your speech. If you feel that you speak too fast or that you have developed a way of talking that is harder for people to understand, then you need to start working really hard. The first step is to unlearn what you already know. Find the words that create the problems and fix them. It will take time and a continuous effort to bring about a permanent change, but its not impossible!
The art of acting is not limited to speaking, unless you are acting for Radio. Your body aids your dialogues and their connection with each other cannot be separated. Its essential for an Actor to express him/herself using their body. Try to imagine this with me. When someone is talking to you, are they just concentrating on your lips? No. They are subconsciously and sometimes even consciously looking at your hand motions, your eyes and every subtle motion of your body. Then tell me, how can acting be limited to just dialogues? Well…it isn’t. Getting your body free and communicating through it requires more confidence than practice. For many, It can be quite an exhilarating experience to talk in front of the camera, let alone use their bodies to express themselves.
You need to facilitate the basic emotions and know how to express it on cue. The idea is not just to express them though, it is to perfect them. To be able to perform better in terms of letting your emotions out on cue you need to have a strong visual memory. You must be able to, on cue (stressing this a little too much), imagine something that would let that emotion out from deep within. It could be a past event or something you made up. From the experience that I have, past experiences score better than vivid imaginations.
Well Developed Imagination:-
Again, a quality linked closely to another one. We discussed above how a good visual memory can help you express your emotions effectively. A well developed imagination, through prior experiences and dreams (includes daydreaming), leads to better expression on screen. It also helps you to visualize your characters that you need to portray. Without a vivid imagination, an actor would feel mechanical to the audience and he/she cannot bring something new to the table.
Ability to Interpret the story:-
If you thought that this was just the job of the director than you are wrong and you need some “unlearning” to do. As an actor it is your responsibility to interpret how the story, its characters and the situations affect you as the character. See, its a team job. Your job is not of a painter who works with himself and creates a masterpiece. The trick in creating a masterpiece for you is to work with your team of actors, directors, writers and more. So be a team player when its needed out of you and you’ll do just fine.
In conclusion, I would like to let you know that acting is a full time job. Its not something you can do part time. I know people who do it part time and it doesn’t matter what they think, they are terrible or mediocre actors. To perform a character requires great skill, some God Gifted talent and a lot of practice and focus. Start your journey, take the first step.