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Free Online Acting School Education for New Student Actors


Throughout the lessons, professional actors offer tips and advice for new actors. Molly Rushing is a Broadway actress currently performing as Anastasia. In this video, she gives acting tips and advice to new actors.


Enjoy these lessons for free below or purchase a low cost PDF on Sellfy.com


So you like acting.

The first step is to figure out why. Ask yourself, "Why do I want to be an actor?"

If you want to be rich and famous, that can be a long and difficult road that requires a lot of luck.

But if you want to be an actor because it is fun or it brings you joy or you like entertaining others, then this could be the right choice for you.

Decide why you want to act, figure out why it is important to you and what kind of actor you want to be.

STEP ONE: KEEP A JOURNAL AND POST IN THE COMMENTS BELOW FOR EACH LESSON

Lesson 1 question for your journal: "Why do you want to be an actor?"

Write your answer to the question above your journal.

After you post your journal below on "Why do you want to be an actor?" then GO TO LESSON 2 of the acting school.


Here are some acting tips from actor and producer Larry Wilcox of hit tv show CHiPs and HBO's Ray Bradbury series


Lesson 2

Before looking at your own acting, look at other people's acting. Your first homework assignment is to watch a movie and select an actor that you feel did an amazing performance that you can learn from.

When picking a movie to watch, think about a movie that had a major impact on you. What is your favorite movie and why? Is it the actors? Is there an actor in your favorite movie that you think is very good?

Watch a movie and pick an actor who you think was really good. What actor did you believe was "real"? Sometimes famous actors aren't the best actors. Was there an actor who was better than the well known person? Was there an actor who made you believe that they were really that character? Or was there an actor who totally changed who they were for the role and were different than you've ever seen them before?

Write in your journal about the actor you watched. Did they become the character? Why was their performance good? What made them better than other actors? Or did all the actors work together and perform as a team?


Excellent acting tips and advice from Bryton James of "The Young and the Restless"


LESSON 3

Who are your top 10 favorite actors?

Here is my own top 10 list of favorite actors. On this list, I have actors that I feel have quality performances in movies and tv shows I really enjoy. These have to be movies and shows I can watch again and again. And their performances have to be memorable and moving. So here we go! My top 10 list of favorite actors starting with number ten:

Best Actor #10: Charlie Chaplin
This early actor has stood the test of time for me. I find his work to be worthy of study even to this day. I always enjoyed his work but was most impressed by "The Great Dictator" which is a powerful comedy that takes on one of the most powerful leaders of the day (Hitler). He used comedy to make commentaries about the social and moral climate of the world at the time in movies like "Modern Times." And some of his work is just plain fun like the "Gold Rush."

Best Actor #9: Scarlett Johansson
I have seen Scarlett Johansson in a lot of movies including Lost in Translation, Captain America, and Lucy. She always manages to hold her own and make an impression in guy dominated movies like the Avengers but I felt like she showed a lot of range in a movie like Lucy.

Best Actor #8: Hilary Swank
I have seen some really impressive performances by Hillary Swank, especially Million Dollar Baby. I haven't watched any of her movies recently but her performance was memorable enough to make this list.

Best Actor #7: Keira Knightley
One of my favorite movies is Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, a very unrated film. She does a very moving performance in this that is very believable and touching.

Best Actor #6: Loretta Swit
Because of her outstanding role in M*A*S*H (my favorite TV show of all time), I have to put her high on my list. She took a character that could have been cliche' (Hot Lips) and gave her tons of character and depth. Her character makes fascinating changes throughout the series and she has some of the best monologues of any tv actor.

Best Actor #5: Jeff Bridges
The first time I was impressed by Jeff Bridges was in "Fisher King". He created a character we disliked at first then cared about. He was an actor I already liked from his early days in "Tron" but "Fisher King" showed his greatness as an actor. I hadn't watched "Starman" until much later but that was an earlier work that showed his ability to create a strong character. And the moment when I knew he was one of the greatest actors of all time was his incredible performance in "True Grit" where he blew me away and totally outdid the legend John Wayne. I'm not always fond of Westerns or remakes, but Jeff Bridges performance in "True Grit" helped me to enjoy both.

Best Actor #4: Denzel Washington
This is an actor who first got my attention when I saw him in the movie "Glory" and he has been impressing me ever since. He has incredible screen presence and always has the audience's undivided attention when he is on the screen. He proved he could cross racial lines and take on roles that were not specifically for a certain race. I really was impressed by his performances in "Cry Freedom" and "Malcolm X" but also liked his work in "Book of Eli" which could have been a mediocre movie if it hadn't been for his powerful performance which gave the movie dignity over other post-apocalyptic fare. Denzel continues to impress me including his recent role in “The Magnificent Seven." Hmmm... maybe I like Westerns and remakes after all.

Best Actor #3: Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor would be next because of her role as Cleopatra. This is another movie that is incredible and Elizabeth Taylor commands the screen. She dominates every moment on screen and really brings this historical figure to life.

Best Actor #2: Robin Williams
When I look at his career, he has some pretty amazing performances. He may have started out in a goofy TV role as Mork the alien but he quickly showed he had the ability to do serious work in movies like "The World According to Garp." I was really impressed with his ability to mix comedy with drama in movies like "Dead Poet's Society" which is a movie that inspired me to be a teacher. And he showed an incredible ability to add comedy to a tough subject in "Good Morning Vietnam" where he supposedly did improv in much of the movie. And he even crossed gender lines in the comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire" creating a very memorable character. And one of my favorite movies of all time is "The Fisher King" which he does an amazing job with a character that struggles with his sanity. It is a very moving performance where you gain a lot of sympathy for his character and want to see him find his happy ending.

Best Actor #1: Vivien Leigh
My favorite actress of all time would have to be Vivien Leigh because of her portrayal of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. She manages to take a very unlikeable character and turn her into a symbol of power and beauty. The movie is a masterpiece and a wonder to behold and she is at the center of it all, lighting up the screen with her amazing performance.

Do you agree or disagree with any of the actors on my list? Who are your top 10 favorite actors? In your journal, make your top 10 and explain why some of the actors are on your list.

Acting advice from actress Haviland Stillwell who has worked on Broadway (Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof) and TV (Santa Jaws, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse, Unicorn Plan-It) and video games too (Fallout 4).




Lesson 4
Reviewing humorous, funny acting

Watch the following comedy videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL2BsnBkDR4yTUfRz6Fqyr7LzmK0rakuMM&v=MF0myXe2nUw

Watch the above funny (humorous) acting performances in these videos.

Answer the following questions in your journal:

Which monologue video do you feel was the best?

Why do you feel this was the best performance out of all these videos?

What was honest and real about the performance?

How do you feel this actor did a good job with the character?

BONUS: Leave an encouraging and kind comment for the actor on the YouTube video comments (being a good actor is being a positive member of the team and encouraging your fellow actors - directors like team players).

Oh hi Mark! Greg Sestero shares acting tips and advice




Lesson 5

Watch the following serious (dramatic) acting performances in the videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL2BsnBkDR4yQAZiDY2KTxqiC-JWLkgbgD&v=zHJXQO0swp4

Answer the following questions in your journal:

Which monologue video do you feel was the best?

Why do you feel this was the best performance out of all these videos?

What was honest and real about the performance?

How do you feel this actor did a good job with the character?

BONUS: Leave an encouraging and kind comment for the actors on the YouTube video comments.

ACTING TIP FROM MERYL STREEP: "Acting is not about being someone different. It's finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there."

Lesson 6

As an actor, you should create an acting reel to show your skills. For your reel video, select two contrasting monologues that show your range as an actor. Find two that are very different from each other - one comedy, one dramatic - or two with very different characters. For example, the character in one monologue is good, kind and innocent and the character in the other one is evil or angry or upset.

Here is a link to free monologues:

http://www.freedrama.net/small1.html

Post the names of two monologues you like the best. Answer the following questions about these two monologues:

Why do you like the monologues?

Is the monologue from a play? If so, read the play and write about what you learned about the character from the play.

Who is the main character of each monologue?

What is the character like?

Where is the character (the setting/place it is taking place)?

Why is the character saying what they are saying in the monologue? (What's their motivation?)

How did the character get to the point they are now? (what is their background? where did they come from? why are they behaving the way they do?)

Post your answers to the questions above in your journal.

***

Having trouble finding a good monologue? Here are some monologues with acting tips to go with them:

A Breaking Heart - http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2014/12/advice-on-performing-monologue-breaking.html

A Thing for Nerds - http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2015/02/advice-on-monologue-thing-for-nerds.html

Never Touch http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2015/03/advice-on-performing-monologue-never.html

Beauty and Perfection http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2014/11/advice-on-performing-1-minute-monologue.html

First Words http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2015/01/advice-on-performing-monologue-first.html

Check out these videos for more ideas:

Monologues for Women
https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL2BsnBkDR4yRpZ0NawVQg8Qb44E14z7pi&v=CXSRFOVJavA

Monologues for Men
https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL2BsnBkDR4yQ3R8hyXYmXj-xPORFsXgkv&v=LQOrxvaMXmg


Acting tip from iHeart radio host and celebrity publicist Domenick Nati



Lesson 7

Now it is time to prepare yourself to act. After you selected two monologues to perform on camera from this link http://www.freedrama.net/small1a.html then answer the following questions in the blog comments below.

Which character in the monologues is most like you?

When you pick a character, ask yourself the following:

What do you like about the character?

What is similar between you and that character?

Do you know someone else who is like the character?

Do you have a personal experience that helps you understand this character?

Think about why the character is the way he/she is. What made them the way they are? Make up a "back story" or history of the character. Where did they come from? What do they like and dislike? How old are they? What do they dress like?

I once heard an actor say they always decide what that character might have for breakfast and that helps them figure the character out. So what would your character have for breakfast and why?

There are no wrong answers. The important thing is to learn as much as possible about the character before performing the character.

Write your answers to the questions above in your journal.


Lesson 8

You will now memorize and practice your two monologues. Here are some tips on preparing.

After you practice and memorize the monologue, you can act it for friends or family or video yourself doing it and watch it on your own for ideas to improve. If a part is boring or hard to watch, then think of ways to make that part more interesting. Do the monologue over until you feel like you'd be proud to show someone else. When you do show your video monologue to someone else (or even a small group of family and friends), watch how they react rather than watching the video with them. Are there parts that they have good reactions to? Make a note of the good parts and then think of ways to improve the other parts.

Question from new actor 1: Do actors feel emotions when they act or just pretend? For example, if they are meant to appear sad and possibly cry, do they internally make themselves sad like their character (by pretending to be that character) or do they just fake what it is supposed to look like?

Answer: There are two different types of actors: method and technical. Technical have techniques for showing emotions but don't really feel them. Method actors actually feel the part and become the character in their own minds. Method actors do some amazing performances but can be overwhelmed by the parts (i. e. Heath Ledger). Technical actors can be good and popular as well (i. e. Harrison Ford) but they often seem like they are always the same person in many roles.

Question from new actor 2: "How to work on facial expression for acting? i cant convey my emotions when i act. do you have any tips and examples for each emotions like sad, frightened, nervous, etc. is squinting a bad thing. how do i move my eyebrows downward"

Answer: Rather than trying to create the emotions on your face, work on feeling the emotions. Pick something that makes you feel a certain way (scared) and try to really feel that way and it should show on your face (and in your eyes).

Here is a great monologue with a variety of emotions: http://freedramaplays.blogspot.com/2014/12/advice-on-performing-monologue-breaking.html

Try to think of times in your own life where you have felt like the character and then remember these emotions while doing the monologue. Record yourself and forget about the camera while you do it. Focus on the emotions and really feeling them.

Question from new actor 3: Any tips on voice enunciation because I sound the same throughout the recording?

Answer: First, when you go through a script, think of different emotions the character might be feeling.

In this monologue: http://freedrama.net/protecto.html At first he is excited, then in the middle he is sad or worried. Then he starts to get excited again, but then at the end he is confused and disappointed. You'd want to reflect that in your voice and acting. Show each of those emotions for each part.

Next, look at each sentence. Pick out a word or two in each sentence that you'd want to put the most emphasis on. In the line "I've always dreamed of being a hero." You might pick "dreamed" or "hero" or both to the be the words you say a little more clearly or forcefully.

Memorizing lines: A quick way to learn lines is to record all the lines and play them back and say them along with the recording. You can record with your computer, phone, etc. Play it over and over and say your lines along with the recording. Then when you know it better, pause the recording after each line and try to say your line. Listen to the line and see if you got it right and try again.

Other ways that people learn lines include reading the script and covering your lines up. Read the line before and then try to say your line while it is covered up. Another common way is to have someone read the cue lines and you try to say them. I have even seen people type all their lines as a way to memorize. Look at the previous line and then try typing your next line without looking at the script. Everyone memorizes differently so it is good to try different techniques to see what works best.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Write in your journal about what tips worked the best for preparing your monologue.


Acting advice from Lorenzo Henrie of Fear the Walking Dead and Marvel's Agents of Shield




Lesson 9

How to Practice a Monologue:

1. Select a monologue that is right for you. Try to find one that fits your age and personality. If you're a 14 year old girl, don't do one about a 70 year old man. Ideally, look for a monologue that you can understand from your own experiences. For example, a monologue about sailing might be hard to connect to emotionally if you've never been on a boat.

2. Read the source. Find the play that your monologue comes from and read it to understand what is happening before and after the monologue. If you are in a competition and need to use a published play, it is good to purchase a copy of the play the monologue comes from to take with you in case the judges ask for it.

3. Who is the character? When you read the monologue and the play it comes from, look at the character more closely. Use adjectives to describe them.

4. Analyze the monologue. Break it down into parts. Find changes in tone. If you show an emotional range, it will keep it interesting. Find parts where you can show different emotions. Perhaps one part is silly and another more serious. Maybe you can show sadness in one part and anger in another. The more variety you add, the more interesting it becomes.

5. Re-read the monologue dramatically.

6. Memorize the monologue.

7. Record yourself performing the monologue and review it.

8. Next, perform for someone you feel comfortable with and get feedback.

9. Now, you're ready to perform or audition.

Important tips on recording: Try to find a quiet place to do the recording. Before you record, close your eyes and listen. Are there any sounds that might make your recording hard to hear? A tv in the next room or loud outside noises? Close windows, close doors, turn off these noises devices to try and get things as quiet as possible. If you're doing a video, look at your background. A plain wall is better than a background with a lot of things that will distract the viewer. Hang up a plain colored sheet (no patterns or designs) if needed. You want the focus on you, not the background. Finally make sure that the top of your head is near the top of the frame of the video. You don't want a lot of empty space above your head. I would like these videos to be as professional as possible so you can use them later to promote yourself as an actor.

One last tip: Remember to keep the top of your head near the top of the frame on videos.


Lesson 10

On the final part of this class, reflect on being an actor again. What are some ways you'll continue to practice your acting? Set some goals for yourself.

Here are some possible goals:

1. School plays are great experience. Casting directors like actors with theatre/stage experience.

2. Community theatre plays are another way to train yourself and work with adult actors who can teach you a lot and maybe even help make connections.

3. Make your own short films. Even if you make bad short films, you still learn a lot of acting and then watching yourself. Have fun with it and don't worry about being good. But watch the finished film and think about how you can do better.

4. Start a YouTube channel. You can even make a little money by monetizing the video. And if you're lucky, you'll have a viral hit and make your mark early. Here is my Freedrama YouTube channel:

5. Start going to Auditions. Here is a great source for auditions: http://www.actorsequity.org/CastingCall/castingcallhome.asp

Agents: It's better to wait until you have some experience before going to an agent. Agents want to see that you can get paid work with your acting. Once you get a paid acting job, that's when you can go to an agent and ask to be represented.

TIP: Avoid agents you charge you money up front. A good agent will only charge you a percentage when you get a paid acting job. They only get paid if you get paid work.

Check the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) website for approved acting agents. Here is a list of SAG approved agents. The best agents will be on this list: http://www.sagaftra.org/agency-relations/sag-franchised-agents

Going Hollywood: The best way to go to Los Angeles or New York City is to be a college student. USC, UCLA and NYU are great schools with connections to the film and theatre industry. At these universities, you create a network of people who will help you get jobs in the future. Plus a degree gives you other options to make money in the future. Acting rarely pays the bills so it's good to have something to fall back on, especially when you get started.

There are other cities such as Austin, Texas or Orlando, Florida that have a lower cost of living and have active film industries. You can consider these places as well.

Final Journey Entry

Write about your acting plans and goals for the future.


Purchase a low cost PDF of these lessons on Sellfy.com



ACTING TIP FROM STELLA ADLER: "The actor has to develop his body. The actor has to work on his voice. But the most important thing the actor has to work on is his mind." Post your replies to the above questions in the comments below.

Check out free ACTING TIPS and HELP



Excellent monologue performances from Freedrama Actors


Email the Acting Coach: doug@freedrama.net



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