Want a taste of The Laura Mac Method?GET THE ACTORS TOOLKIT FREE
It’s a common misconception that all actors are extroverts. While some of them are quite extroverted and seem to have been born to perform in front of an audience, others prefer to stay home and spend time with close friends and family.
Have you ever wondered how actors can pull off their lines so effortlessly? It’s a skill that takes years of practice, especially if you’re the shy type. But once you pick up that ability and master it, it will be incredibly beneficial. Here are the best tips for shy actors.
Getting over stage fright is a huge part of being a good actor. The best actors use the “imaginary box” technique to get over stage fright. They imagine that a huge invisible box surrounds them, cutting off their view of the audience and everything else in the room besides themselves and any fellow actors.
This allows them to focus on giving an authentic performance instead of worrying about how they look to others. This technique is called creating a fourth wall. The “fourth wall” is an imaginary wall that separates you from the audience, making it possible for you to tune out their faces, voices, and presence altogether.
Meanwhile, a fourth wall exists only in the imagination. Below are some exercises and tips for shy actors that can be used as starting points in balancing your shyness during performances.
The most important aspect of getting rid of performance shyness is being self-aware. You should know your acting strengths and weaknesses and be your own biggest critic.
Everybody always thinks that they’re performing well and they lack a third-person point of view. That’s why you need to grab a camera, record yourself doing your performance, and then watch it. Whatever you see from the recording, that’s what the audience will see as well.
Some things like your body language and enunciation will be immediately obvious to you. Analyzing your performance like this will help you realize the stuff that you need to work on, especially when it’s time to go on stage or act in front of the camera.
Once you go through this process, you realize that acting is not about the audience. Rather, it’s about how you step into the role and deliver your lines without overacting. The more you do this exercise, the more confident and less nervous you will go into an actual performance.
Learn how to practice in public. Practice reading lines and having conversations out loud in places like a park or coffee shop, even if you feel like a fool. This is the best way to boost your confidence, get over stage fright, and learn how to adapt your delivery to suit an audience’s needs.
Take your fourth wall to the streets and mingle with the people. Your confidence will grow, you’ll find a way to make even the most boring topic interesting, and you’ll be able to stand out from the pack amongst other less seasoned speakers.
Improv is a mixture of acting and interacting with the audience. The improviser has to incorporate input from the audience into their act, thus making it a great exercise to tune in and out of the fourth wall.
Action is key in improv, which makes it a good exercise for actors who want to be prepared for any situation. Yes, it is too intimidating to put yourself on the spot and talk to a large audience. But if you want to overcome your shyness, that’s what you have to do.
Some tips for shy actors may seem overwhelming, but the techniques mentioned above should help you along the way. Just remember that it’s not about shoving down your shyness or “acting like an extrovert.” It’s about being honest with yourself and knowing when to show your energy and when to let your shyness rest. Don’t let your fear get in the way of what you want!