Acting on stage is different from acting in movies. But these tips can help you achieve this positively if you want to learn how to act in front of camera. The transition from a stage actor to television or film is not always smooth. And there are several key differences between a stage-oriented career and the camera.
The most significant difference between performing on stage and performing for the camera is your audience’s location. On stage, the audience can easily be 30 meters or more from the performers. Since viewers need to see and hear the performance to enjoy it, as an artist on stage, you must act so that the message reaches the back row, even if your scene partner is just a few meters from you. When we act on camera, you just have to move and speak so that the person or people on the scene can see and hear you. When performing; use the following Tips to act in front of a camera:
- Less is more
- Get familiar with the script
- Remove all Tension in your body
- Use your hands properly
- Control your voice
- Study and analyze shots
I can act in front of camera… But I can never act in real life…Nikku Francis Pallath
Now that you know the fundamental differences in acting on stage and for the camera, you must follow these tips in greater detail to make your performance convincing:
Less is more
When you are acting for a film or television production, there is always a camera that can see you and a microphone that can hear you. This is why acting over the top can backfire.
With camera work, lighting, special effects, and others, many actions are increased; therefore, in many opportunities, it is better to do less than what would do in real life. The primary responsibility of TV and film actors who know how to act in front of camera is to behave naturally unless the director expressly indicates otherwise.
Get familiar with the script
Getting familiar with the script is essential, but it’s not a good idea to memorize it word for word, as this could make you sound monotonous or stiff. You must be comfortable with what you are talking about and identify with it, as this will make you look more natural and credible.
Of course, you must make sure to cover the critical points of the script, although they allow you to improvise, you must be able to follow your character’s essential ideas.
Something that can be useful is to divide the script into sections of two to five sentences long; this will significantly facilitate the reading and, of course, the memorization process.
If you still have trouble remembering a specific part of the script, you can ask someone to hold blackboards with key points to make sure you can perform a clean performance.
Tics and nerves – Remove all Tension in your body
When it is your turn to hit the record button, chances are you’re nervous and tense. Before putting yourself in front of the camera, you have to try to remove all that tension since it will be noticed in your body position.
You have to know how to balance your nerves. For this, we must be aware that nothing terrible is going to happen, and that the worst that can happen is that we are left blank.
In this situation, you have to act naturally, as it can be edited later. There is no need to exert pressure since that pressure will make that moment the most uncomfortable and take excessive fear.
It is normal to have nervous tics, it is reasonable to feel fear in front of the camera, so you should be alert to any twitch you have or may have. These can range from continually frowning, raising your eyebrows, clearing your throat regularly, moving your foot, rocking on your feet as you speak to swallowing heavily, biting your lips, and others.
If you realize that you are doing it, the best way to overcome it is to breathe deeply, relax your shoulders, and try to control it. Also, it would be best if you relaxed before you start recording. Doing yoga, exercising, eating your favourite snack, singing, or playing an instrument can be practical actions that will help you relax.
Remember that a video can be edited; therefore, do not despair if a scene does not go as planned. You have to be patient because with experience will take you less time, and the nerves will disappear.
Use your hands properly
The hands’ thing is a big problem for many people. If you are nervous or talk by moving your hands a lot, it is usual not to know what to do with them or where to leave them. Plus, your movement can make you even more nervous. You have different options:
- If you record yourself next to a table, you have the option of being able to support your elbows or even your arms. This is your best option if you are one of those who move a lot because you can quickly leave them still.
- Leaving your hands resting on your legs is a natural position when sitting, so it will not look strange. If you do not want to be very monotonous, try at what moments to move.
- This is the most challenging situation to control. One solution is to put your arms at a right angle and close to the body. This way, you will only move your forearms and hands. But if you are very insecure, you should start with one of the other two options.
Whichever option you choose, when recording the video have these two issues planned:
- The video is going well for you, but you are moving your arms like a fan, and you don’t know how to stop. It is normal that you get out of control at any given moment, but you also have to know how to calm down and resume. It will be advantageous to have a practiced posture that you can use to stop moving and regain calm.
- Seeing the person move makes the video more entertaining and dynamic. It can also help you set different times. For example, if you are doing an enumeration, you can go marking the numbers with your hands.
Another critical issue you should be careful with is that your hands do not crash against your body since the microphone will pick up the sound and disturb the recording.
Control your voice
In real life (almost) everyone understands you even if you speak at full speed. However, when speaking to the camera, you cannot display a series of gestural information that helps complete the message.
The recommendation is clear: try to speak a little slower than in your actual conversations, and vocalize as much as possible. Don’t be afraid not to recognize yourself or your voice when you watch the recording.
The important thing is that your message arrives clearly, without any interference. A trick is counting backward by vocalizing a lot, odd numbers from 25 to 0. Do it before recording, and you will be warming the muscles of the mouth.
A trickle of voice will not catch the attention of the fans, however attractive the production may be. You must project the voice speaking from the diaphragm, do not stay in the throat. Breathe profoundly and launch your voice with energy, but there is no need to scream.
Avoid monotonous speech: make slight pauses, raise and lower the tone, emphasize specific words; it’s almost as if you were singing.
You should practice the gestures that are made and the type of tone of voice that is put. This tip reinforces practicing the script on camera, which increases security because it is more thoroughly rehearsed.
Doing vocalization exercises will provide more security when expressing the message you want to give. To do this, you have to practice daily to lose that fear gradually.
Study and analyze shots
Something that can be useful to learn how to act in front of camera, is looking at the shots you have taken so far, both good and bad, to take notes on what you should adjust and what you control well. It will be a strange experience if you have not seen yourself on screen before, but there is no need to panic.
It is normal that you look and sound strange. It has happened to all of us, and it takes us a while to get used to it. I recommend that from now on, you reset your brain and accept your voice and your image.
When you speak, your voice is heard from within. Sound does not reach your brain from the outside; it “listens” to you from within you. For that same reason, when you see your first videos and listen to yourself, you will perceive something strange in your tone.
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