There are a huge number of pathways to becoming an actor, from people who were untrained but happened to be in the right place at the right time, to classically trained theatrical performers who translated perfectly to the silver screen.
If you are interested in becoming an actor but are not sure where to start or whether you feel you have what it takes, taking some acting classes can help you get a feel for the performing arts and see if this is a path you want to take.
However, whilst there are many paths to the ultimate goal of nailing that audition or casting call, here are some of the most important skills every top actor has and that there is a good chance you have too.
Naturally, as a performing art, acting requires a good deal of creativity, as even in the most tightly directed performance there is a lot of room for an actor to express themselves and their interpretation of a scene.
A Good Memory
Depending on your role in a scene or a production, you may be required to learn not only dozens if not hundreds of lines but also the tone in which you deliver them, your facial expressions and body language.
Many actors will train up their memory, but if you have a good memory and are confident in your recall, you can spend your energy focusing on your delivery.
The ability to understand other people’s emotions is arguably at the centre of what it means to be an actor. It is about understanding what emotion a scene is supposed to convey and how to feel that emotion in yourself as if the scene was real.
It is also about truly understanding your character, their thoughts, feelings, drives and ambitions and being able to convey them during scenes.
As well as this, it is about understanding your audience and being able to engage with them, whether directly during a live performance or on video.
Most technical knowledge, such as having a sense of where the cameras are placed, knowledge of various acting and speaking techniques and working with video and audio equipment, can be learned.
However the more you know upfront, the better prepared you will be when you step onto that set.