Acting is more than just pretending. It requires observation, concentration, and an in-depth knowledge of character. If you’ve just signed up in our acting lessons program, you might find that the art of acting is a lot more complex than you previously thought. This said, here are a couple of solo exercises that’ll help you learn how to participate in your acting lessons better.
Observe and Describe
Go to the park, the mall, or any public area. There, pick a complete stranger and observe that person for a couple of minutes. Upon observation, try to describe that person’s behavior. Are they standing, walking, or sitting? What do you think he or she feels? Try describing that person in simple terms for now; you can observe his or her appearance, the way they dress, etc.
Once you have that, you then go a bit deeper. Why does that person dress that way? What do you think that person is like? Who are they? Try to find out visual cues and nuances that support your observations.
This exercise is all about behavior. This is because acting is behavior. If you are good at reading someone else’s way of thinking, speaking, as well as their actions, the likelier for you to become better at reacting to it.
In this exercise, you’ll need to choose a location-anywhere will do. Sit down and get comfortable. Then, imagine there’s a sphere, about ten feet in diameter, around you. Now, for the next few minutes, your task is to concentrate on objects placed only within that sphere. What are these objects? What do they look, feel, or smell like? Are they heavy or light, soft or rough and so on. As you do this exercise more, try to enlarge the sphere even further.
Focus on these objects alone; your thoughts and ideas should also be concerned with those in the sphere as well. Don’t worry if your attention moves out of the circle. Just gently move your focus back. What matters here is your concentration. See, as an actor you have to be able to accept stimuli as your character-not as you. Simply put, you must see what your character sees, feels, hears and etc.
Once your acting lessons teacher has given you a character, try to find out your character’s life-all down to the last detail. Try to learn how old your character s, what their job is (as well as how they find their job), etc. In fact, you might even want to go as deep as figuring out what type of candy or beverage your character likes best. Once you have all of that, write it down. Try to be as specific as you can.
Though this might not look like an acting exercise, this activity lets you discover more about your character. As said earlier, acting is about behavior and this exercise gives you tools on how your character would behave in certain situations. So research and find out more about who you’re playing.