Fall / Winter 2021

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near-impossible task if the actor doesn't do things in the same way each take. If, in the first take, you're holding a mug with your left hand or walking to a particular place in the room, you need to do the same thing in every subsequent take unless the director tells you otherwise. If you don't, the editor may be forced to use a lesser performance just so the visual details are consistent to the viewer. No editor wants to have his or her work immortalized on one of IMDb's continuity errors lists. Know Your Lines Come to the set prepared, knowing your lines and your character's place in the story and world. Filmmaker and acting coach Suzanne LaChasse emphasizes the importance of rehearsal and having command of the material. "The best thing an actor can do is to do their homework. Really spend time with their scripts. Learn the story, don't just learn the lines," said LaChasse. Your command of the material — or lack of — will become evident in your performance, so you'll want to get it right. If you still flub a line — which happens to everyone — don't simply correct yourself and move on. Be sure to start over from the beginning of the emotional beat so that the editor will have a continuous shot of that portion of the scene. The editor can't use half a sentence. In addition to knowing what you're supposed to say, be open to direction. If you are delivering the right lines but won't do it the way the director has asked you to, you're increasing the likelihood your part will get cut. Be Believable Whether you are a principal or a back- ground actor, you should react to your environment and the other performers in a realistic way. Goldman suggests actors come to the set understanding how their character feels about every other character in the scene and all of the events that play out. Even if your character isn't interacting directly with another character who is speaking, how you react to what they say or do can create interesting moments for the audience. On Camera, Less Is More Don't overact. One of the most common mistakes actors make is to be too theatrical and oversell the emotion they are trying to convey. Television and film actors don't need to project their emotion to the cheap seats; on camera, a nuanced performance will play much better. "Simple performances are often the best performances. Actors often like to do very emotional things; that's part of the joy and the fun of acting. But if you watch a lot of high-end performances, you will notice that when characters cry or have large emotional moments, they're usually not these big explosive moments; they're quite contained," Goldman said. "It's so much more interesting to watch somebody try not to cry than it is to watch somebody cry."

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