Casting Directors Offer Quality Tips For Getting Into Character

4 people reading a script

How do actors/actresses perfect the character they are playing ? 

It’s not easy perfecting this craft, but as we all know, it’s doable!

Here are some quality tips you can use to get into character : 

1. Hard work 

Green background- Hard work

“Learn to live your life—there’s no recipe for it. You can’t go to acting school to learn to be a deep person with a lot of experience to draw from; you can only become that person by feeling, by getting hurt, by feeling incredibly happy, by seeing the world; those are the things that make you richer as a person and give you a much bigger bank to draw from when you bring characters to life.”     

                                                                                        —Pablo Schreiber

Acting is one of the most competitive professions in the world.

Actors accept the fact that they have lack of job security, lack of control over their schedules and zero fairness.

It’s an extremely hard profession, but the potential rewards are equally extreme.

Having a complete understanding of the character is important for an actor.

For example, if you know their personality traits and the events that dictate their life you are better able to portray them with authenticity.

This can help make the story more believable as well as allow for a broader range of emotions in your performance.

  • Be on time to your shoots and auditions
  • Practice your scenes consistently 
  • This is you life now so give everything you’ve got, and follow directions
  • Learn everything, try everything, and always educate yourself

2. Focus 

Person holding a camera length in the middle of the street under blue sky surrounded by trees

Getting into character requires a tremendous amount of concentration.

This helps memorisation of text (like; words, moves and gestures).  

Furthermore, focus requires the channeling of all the performer’s energies into achieving the given goals or objectives of a character in a scene (otherwise known as ‘wants’).

There are many exercises to develop focus. Meditation is the best ! 

Practicing mindfulness is the key to concentration. While meditating, the object of focus could be your breathing or even a designated focal point. 

When a distracting thought comes up, simply let that thought pass and return to the object of focus.

Remember that the goal isn’t perfection, here. If you get side-tracked or distracted, simply return to your focal point without judging yourself.

Now let’s begin the meditation for acting

  1. Start by creating an image in your mind of the character you will be playing.
  • Who is the character ?
  • What is the character like ?

Allow all aspects of the character to fill your mind.

  1. Now imagine that you are inside the character’s mind, just as a passive observer, watching the character. Observing what he or she does. Seeing how the character behaves and imagining that you can even read the character’s thoughts.

See the world through the character’s eyes.

  • What is important to this person ?
  • What motivates him or her ?
  • What does the character want ?
  1. See the character doing the roles that you will be playing when you act.

Continue this… 

Meditating deeply on the character you will portray.

3. Be you !

Be fearless be you

Believing in yourself is essential to get into character. 

Be your own coach, Seek out the tools and education to develop your talent. 

Each step you take, moving closer to your goal, is evidence of your ability to succeed.

Believing in yourself will become easier and easier, the more you see your success reflected back to you.

The more you believe in yourself and work hard for what you want the easier it will be to get there.

If you’re nervous, sad or angry; it will manifest in your physicality. Eg. sweeting, teary eyes etc…

So you need to be confident.

You must develop your acting instincts and trust yourself. 

The more you work the stronger your acting instincts get. 

4. Research

Research - Casting Directors Offer Quality Tips For Getting Into Character

Character building is a process that involves figuring out who your character is and what he/she does. The goal of the process is to develop a compelling and well-rounded character for the audience to fall in love with.

Character research, on the other hand, is all about digging into your resources, historical, literary, and otherwise, and looking for information you can use to make your character more specific and therefore more interesting. 

Research will also help you determine where a character holds their power, and you will become closer to them through the research process and consider it another way into their psyche.

Try to get access to the footage of your character, if available. This can help you analyze their behaviors, his/her gestures and speech patterns.

5. Write 

A person writing

This is another useful tip. Writing an essay about your character is very helpful.

When you’re writing an essay about your character, it helps you to imagine them as they look, talk and act.

It’s a useful exercise because it can help you brainstorm ideas and think of ways to make them more interesting. Plus, when you’ve finished your essay, it can become the basis for your main character’s voice.

Ask yourself some questions about your character and try to answer them. 

  • What is the physical appearance of your character? Do they have any distinguishing features ?, How does your character speak ?..
  • What does your character want ?
  • What does your character love ? etc…

6. Motivation 

A sign that reads - you got this

The character motivation is the reason behind a character’s behaviours and actions in a given scene or throughout a story.

In order to understand a character’s motivation, there are many factors to consider such as their personality, background, feelings and desires.

Some common motivations for characters are :

  • Fear ( death, loss or regret )
  • Evil ( hatred, greed or jealousy )
  • Noble ( love, loyalty or honour )
  • Role function ( protagonist, antagonist or trope )
  • Basic ( survival, failure, curiosity or guilt )

In order to create a good character, it is necessary to look deeply and see what motivates your character. . By understanding what drives your character you can make them more three-dimensional and believable.

Conclusion

Believing in yourself is essential to get into character. 

Most importantly, remember to have fun with whatever you are working on.

Leave a comment with your opinion or any questions you may have below…