Notes From An Acting For The Camera Master Class
These notes are from a master class I took with Adam Bernstein at Williamstown Theatre Festival that was geared towards teaching theatre dominant actors how to act on camera.
First and foremost, acting for TV is very different from acting for theatre
Unlike theatre, where you typically rehearse for weeks or even months, sometimes you may rehearse a scene for as little as 5-10 minutes before it's shot
TV directors don't always necessarily know or care about acting
The take doesn't have to be perfect the first time since you have multiple takes to get it right
DO A LOT LESS! Don't have to worry about projecting so much. In theatre you can't really get away with more subtle gestures the way you can in film. It's okay to do very little on camera
Screen acting is also photography
You need to embrace the technical realities of filmmaking to understand how it works
The reality of film is that often times the creative team has a very specific idea of what a character loos like
Often times directors will have a line reader at auditions who is NOT an actor
Dress for the part and adapt to the character you're auditioning for. I had a successful experience of implementing this technique when I auditioned for an MFA Thesis film at Emerson called Hyphen, which I ended up booking! I was auditioning for the role of "Metalhead," and I went all out with my audition outfit. I wore tons of jewelry, black eyeliner, a band t shirt, black jeans, converse, etc. I went all out with dressing the part, and low and behold it worked!!
Most TV/film auditions (not necessarily always true of theatre, although this is rapidly changing in the industry, particularly in times like these) are now electronic