3 Ways to Strengthen Acting Talents Without Practice or Training
Actors of all ages grow in their craft through professional training, steady rehearsals, and practice, but learning and growing can also take place in a more casual way. By exposing themselves to new ideas and habits, young performers can supplement their professional training by developing skills that are not typically learned through traditional training. Acting incorporates many different abilities, and these talents can be developed through countless other avenues, which are often encountered through hobbies and activities in daily life.
Here are three simple activities that young performers can inject into their routines to become better actors that do not involve professional training.
Aside from knowing how to read and memorize lines, reading is absolutely vital for actors, as it has an incredible effect on the brain. Developing a consistent reading habit, especially, as a young actor, is invaluable to succeeding in the performing arts. Reading teaches us how to empathize with others—an essential skill for any actor who has to embody the emotions and thoughts of characters. It also strengthens the brain, helps with memorization, and broadens vocabulary through the learning of new words and concepts.
In addition to deepening mental awareness, reading helps to develop the ability to focus clearly, which can be essential on a chaotic set. Actors are often under a lot of stress, so having a hobby that works their brains without high-stakes obligations is benefit. Actors also need to think and process ideas quickly, and reading increases one’s analytical and critical thinking skills. This helps to promote better decision making, on and off the set. And reading about all sorts of different characters allows actors to connect with storytelling more deeply. The benefits of diving into a good book are practically endless!
Watching Movies and TV
As with reading, just sitting down to watch a movie or television show will provide exposure to compelling characters and storytelling. It also offers aspiring actors the opportunity to observe other actors in their element. More studious actors can take notes on specific methods of portraying characters, but there also value in simply absorbing what is seen on the screen. Actors should continually be consuming the type of content they want to create – “filling the well” – as it is often called. Developing a deeper understanding of what young performers love about their favorite actors, TV shows, and movies will help them grow in their craft while having fun.
Regular exercise, the kind that gets the heart pumping, has been shown to strengthen the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. Spending time every day on some form of physical activity will help in all areas of an acting career that require concentration and memorization, plus it will help actors to stay healthy in their bodies as well as their minds. Working on the set sometimes can be rigorous, and being in good physical condition will help actors keep up with the demands of their profession. Exercise also relieves stress, something every busy actor needs.
Even outside of entertainment, opportunities for learning are everywhere. Casual hobbies teach us valuable skills and keep our minds sharp, while allowing us to have fun and enjoy ourselves. It can be tempting to always be working, but taking time to relax, enjoy a good book or movie, and be physically active has significant long-term benefits. In this respect, even when actors are not training or practicing, they can be growing in their craft.