BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in September 2005We've left it here for reference.More information

2 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only

BBC Homepage
Drama
Shakespeare


Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Top tips from real actors

Acting - top tips

We asked some professional actors for their top tips on acting.

Here's some advice from them on acting for the camera.



 
 
Paul Henshall (Dean West in Casualty and Michael in A Thing Called Love)

The main thing is make sure you speak clearly, especially with Shakespeare, where the language is so much a part of it. And try not to be too nervous. Because if you enjoy what you're doing, then the audience will too.
Robert Glenister (Ash Morgan in Hustle)

Don't bump into the furniture, and relax. Be aware of what other people are doing and go along with them, in the same way as they'll go along with what you're doing.
James Redmond (Abs in Casualty)

When I read my scripts, I go through all the scenes that I'm in, and make a note of where they're set, who else is in the scenes, and a quick synopsis of what happens to my character in the scene.

"I always make a point of knowing where I am. Have I had that argument yet, have I seen this person yet?"
Then I'll go back through the script and see what information is contained in other scenes, that I would need to know. Because we shoot scenes out of order, I always make a point of knowing where I am. Have I had that argument yet, have I seen this person yet, all this kind of stuff. That makes it a lot easier to be more natural.

You can get a line sometimes, something like, "Good morning, how are you?" Because it's the first scene that you've done of the episode, you play it normally. Then you realise, "hang on a minute, that's scene 15 and in scene 14 we've had a big argument", so should have said it in a sarcastic way. So that's one trick.
Kacey Ainsworth (Little Mo in EastEnders)

Relaxation is the best thing, because then you really feel, they call it, " in the moment." Really what it means is, you're listening to the person who is speaking to you and then you're saying your line back. You're not just thinking, "Oh, it's my line next", or "that's my cue line."
Sally Philips (Katie Nash in Rescue Me, Shazza in Bridget Jones' Diary)

I've learnt a great trick for crying scenes. If you cry so hard that snot comes out of your nose everyone thinks you're a really good actress!

Photostories

Microphones

Using Microphones
Use that mic right!


  • Find out all about how to get good results on your 60 Second Shakespeare's sound with our handy guide to using microphones.
  • Videoclips

    Videoclips
    Watch videoclips demonstrating tips, techniques and more to help you make your 60 Second Shakespeare a masterpiece.

  • Acting exercises
  • Making sound effects
  • Directing - shot guide
  • Editing audio
  • Editing video
  • Related Links

    Best of Drama

    Best of bbc.co.uk

    Catch up on BBC TV and Radio. Watch and listen now.
    * The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.




    About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy