I hope you're doing well today! So the question for this article is, How does an actor or actress prepare for a role?
Speaking from my own personal experience as an actor, I have learned to prepare for roles by going to great acting coaches schools, such as Aaron Speiser's acting studio (Will Smith's Coach) and Ivana Chubbuck studios (Brad Pitt and Halle Berry's Coaches). Currently I am training privately with Chris Holder (One of Ivana's Instructors). I have also had to prepare for working roles in various productions, you can see my credentials here Matt J. Doyle IMDb.
As you can see I have a reasonable amount of experience. The most interesting roles I've had to prepare for were characters on The Artist's Process Web TV Show Series a show which I also Created and Co-Produced. In my preparation for these roles I would utilize the help and guidance of my acting coach. We would go over each character before breaking down each scene. Basically you need to know who the character is and where are they coming from. You can write all the characters information down on a note pad or sheet of paper.
Once you have done this you should start to read through and breakdown the script. This requires you to follow a scene breakdown, to breakdown each scene. (If you only have one scene, you would do just one scene breakdown). Once this is all done you can start rehearsing with another person or persons if there are more than two characters. It is usually a better idea to rehearse with another actor or your acting coach if possible. Aaron Speiser doesn't require you to rehearse the scene at all, however Ivana Chubbuck does. It just depends on the individual coach. I find it is more beneficial to rehearse the scene several times, again this is totally up to the individuals preference. Once you have done the scene breakdown you can start memorizing the lines, and then rehearse off book (Which means not looking at the script or sides). This is how you prepare for Movie/Film, TV (Television), and Web Series (Internet) Roles.
For commercials you must use a commercial breakdown outline. When you prepare for commercial (TV and Web Commercials) or theatrical (Movie, TV, Web Series and Movies) auditions you can use specialized scene breakdowns for auditioning. You then follow the same process, except you may not always memorize the lines. You would in this case do what is called a cold read. You can also practice this with other people or yourself by recording the other part/s and filling in the blanks with your part.
I have found that the more I practice and rehearse the easier it is to perform as an actor. As you may already know, the worlds top actors really do their character and script/scene homework well. For example Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, or Will Smith. If you are preparing for a role in a movie you must also read the whole script to find your character needs and overall objective, and then break each scene down from beginning to end. So to summarize you must prepare following the correct steps and procedures. If you work with an acting coach/school you are in good hands, if they have trained someone who is a successful actor. I have found out that if you are not doing well as an actor you are not schooling. preparing, or practicing enough. So lets try even harder! See you on the Screen.
If you have any questions please contact me via my website contact page!
I hope this information helps!
Until next time…
Thank you for visiting,
Matt J. Doyle