How to Stay in Character

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While in any sort of production, actors must stay in character in order to portray the best possible performance. Many struggle to comprehend what staying in character suggests or how to actually accomplish the feat. This tutorial will assuage some of the misconceptions.

  • The best tip for anyone to stay in character is to understand that there are no mistakes.

  • To elaborate on Step 1, if you flub a line or bump into something, instead of apologizing or starting over, react naturally to the point that those events seem like they were supposed to happen. The character was supposed to flub the line.

  • Pay attention to the immediate surroundings and nothing else. Listen to your fellow actors instead of looking at the lighting or key grips.

  • Do not think about outside distractions. Who cares if you're having Sloppy Joes for lunch that day?

  • Avoid getting so used to your surroundings that nothing seems surprising. If you know the killer is lurking behind the door, you need to purvey a sense of anxiety about opening the door.

  • Remember that the audience sees what you let them. Just like in the first steps, your reactions trigger their responses. If you know the killer is behind the door and you casually open it, they cannot share in the suspense no matter how great of a score you have assembled.

  • Listen, listen, listen. Don't focus solely on your lines or actions. React to others as the character, as this comes off as incredibly natural and in character.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't fake--do!

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