10 Practical Tips to Improve Your Acting and Relieve Stress
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Get to know your character
  2. Practice mindfulness
  3. Use the mirror
  4. Stay in shape
  5. Try improvisation
  6. Learn from the greats
  7. Find your voice
  8. Take acting classes
  9. Network with other actors
  10. Rest and recharge

Whether you're a seasoned actor or just starting out, the journey to improve your skills and manage stress can sometimes feel overwhelming. But fear not, because we've got you covered with practical tips on how to improve acting for stress relief. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you'll find yourself growing as an actor while also finding more enjoyment and less stress in your craft. So, let's dive in!

Get to Know Your Character

Understanding your character is the first step towards delivering a convincing performance. So, how do you get to know your character better? The answer is simple: research. Like a detective, you need to gather as much information as you can about your character. Here are some strategies to help you:

  • Read the script: This is your primary source of information. Pay attention to what your character says and does, but also how others react to them. This can give you insight into their personality, motivations, and relationships.
  • Create a backstory: If your character's history isn't provided in the script, create your own. This can help you understand why your character behaves the way they do. Perhaps they had a tough childhood or a past heartbreak that still affects them?
  • Understand the setting: The world your character lives in can greatly influence who they are. A character living in a post-apocalyptic world would likely have different attitudes, fears, and dreams than one living in a small, peaceful town.

Getting to know your character can feel a bit like getting to know a new friend. The more time you spend with them—researching their backstory, understanding their motivations, and stepping into their world—the more familiar they become. This familiarity can help reduce the stress of performing, as you're no longer trying to act but rather living as your character. So, if you're wondering how to improve acting for stress relief, start by getting to know your character.

Practice Mindfulness

You might be thinking, what does practicing mindfulness have to do with improving acting? More than you might think! Let's unravel this together.

Mindfulness is all about being present and aware of your current situation. It's about focusing on the here and now, rather than worrying about the past or the future. And this is exactly what you need as an actor—being completely in the moment, embodying your character, and responding authentically to the given circumstances.

  • Focus on your breath: Mindfulness often begins with focusing on your breath. This simple act can help ground you in the present moment. So, before you step onto the stage or in front of the camera, take a few minutes to just breathe. Notice how the air feels as it enters and leaves your body. This can help calm your nerves and prepare you to fully embody your character.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: As an actor, you need to be aware of your physical surroundings, from the props on the set to the other actors around you. Practicing mindfulness can help you become more attuned to these details, leading to a more convincing performance.
  • Observe your thoughts and emotions: Mindfulness also involves observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment. This can be especially useful when trying to understand and portray your character's emotions. As you observe your own emotions, you might gain insights into how your character is feeling.

Practicing mindfulness can not only improve your acting, but also provide stress relief. By being present in the moment, you can let go of any worries about messing up your lines or not living up to expectations. So, if you're looking for how to improve acting for stress relief, try incorporating mindfulness into your routine.

Use the Mirror

Now, let's talk about one of the most straightforward yet surprisingly effective ways of honing your acting skills—using a mirror. A mirror doesn't lie; it reflects exactly what it sees. So, when thinking about how to improve acting for stress relief, consider using a mirror as a tool for self-evaluation and growth.

  • Study your expressions: Stand in front of a mirror and try out different facial expressions. Notice how your face changes with each emotion. This exercise can help you understand how to portray various feelings and states of mind accurately on stage or screen.
  • Practice your lines: While looking at yourself in the mirror, practice your lines. Watch your facial expressions, your gestures, and your overall body language. This practice can help you spot any inconsistencies or areas that need improvement.
  • Release stress: Believe it or not, using a mirror can also help alleviate stress. After a long day of rehearsals, stand in front of a mirror, make a funny face, and just laugh. It's a simple trick, but it can work wonders to relieve tension and lift your spirits.

So, if you're looking for a simple, cost-effective way to improve your acting and relieve stress, don't overlook the humble mirror. It may just be the tool you need to take your acting to the next level.

Stay in Shape

Staying in shape might seem unrelated to acting at first, but it's actually a key aspect of the craft. Being physically fit not only boosts your confidence but also enhances your performance capabilities. Plus, it's a great strategy for stress relief, making it a crucial answer to the question of how to improve acting for stress relief.

  • Enhance endurance: Acting can be physically demanding, especially for roles that require a lot of movement or action scenes. Regular physical exercise helps you build stamina, ensuring you can handle the most challenging scenes with ease.
  • Improve physical control: A lot of acting involves body language. Staying in shape helps you gain better control over your movements, making your physical performances more accurate and convincing.
  • Reduce stress: Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress. Whether it's yoga, running, or hitting the gym, physical activities release endorphins, the body's natural mood boosters, helping you stay calm and focused.

Remember, staying in shape is not just about looking good. It's about feeling good and delivering your best performance, both physically and emotionally. So, make sure to include regular exercise in your routine as part of your strategy to improve your acting and relieve stress.

Try Improvisation

Improvisation is a powerful tool for actors. It's like a sandbox for your acting skills, a place where you can play, experiment, and discover new depths in your abilities. Plus, it can be a fun stress-reliever—a perfect strategy for how to improve acting for stress relief.

  • Boost creativity: Improv requires quick thinking and the ability to come up with creative responses on the fly. This helps to stimulate your imagination, which can then be applied to your roles.
  • Improve adaptability: Improv teaches you to adapt to unexpected situations and think on your feet—a skill that's incredibly useful on set when things don't go as planned.
  • Relieve stress: The playful nature of improv makes it a great stress-reliever. Not only does it distract you from your worries, but it also encourages positive social interaction, which can help reduce stress levels.

So, don't be afraid to go off script every now and then. You never know what you might discover about your character or yourself. Adding a dash of improv to your routine could be your answer to how to improve acting for stress relief.

Learn from the Greats

One of the most effective ways to improve your acting skills and relieve stress is to learn from those who've mastered the art. Studying the performances of great actors can offer valuable insights and inspire you to push your boundaries.

  • Observe their techniques: Watch movies and plays featuring acclaimed actors. Pay close attention to how they embody their characters, use their voices, and express emotions. This can help you pick up new techniques and give you a better understanding of the craft.
  • Read about their journeys: Many successful actors have shared their experiences and lessons in interviews, biographies, and memoirs. Reading these can provide you with a realistic picture of the acting world and equip you with strategies to handle stress and setbacks.
  • Apply their wisdom: Don't just admire the greats—learn from them. Try to apply their techniques in your practice and performances. Remember, it's not about copying what they do, but about finding what works for you.

Learning from the greats is not just about emulating their acting techniques—it's about understanding their journey, their struggles, and how they overcame them. It's a practical approach to improving your acting skills and a powerful way to relieve stress—truly an answer to "how to improve acting for stress relief?".

Find Your Voice

Every actor has a unique voice — a distinctive style that sets them apart from the rest. Finding your voice is about discovering your strengths, your quirks, and what makes you, well, "you". This not only enhances your acting skills but also serves as a stress reliever as you're no longer trying to fit into someone else's mold.

  • Explore different roles: Experimenting with varied roles can give you a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. It helps you find the kind of characters that you're naturally good at and enjoy playing.
  • Trust your instincts: While it’s important to learn from others, don’t forget to trust your instincts. They can guide you towards roles and styles that resonate with you.
  • Embrace authenticity: Authenticity is key in acting. Embrace your unique traits and characteristics, and infuse them into your performances. This can make your characters more believable and relatable.

When it comes to addressing "how to improve acting for stress relief?", finding your voice plays a significant role. It allows you to create a space for yourself in the acting world and helps you stay true to your craft, reducing stress in the process.

Take Acting Classes

No matter how naturally gifted you are, there's always room for improvement. Acting classes offer a structured approach to honing your craft and can be a great way to ease the stress that comes with trying to figure it all out on your own.

  • Learn new techniques: Acting classes expose you to a variety of techniques from classical to contemporary. This exposure not only broadens your skill set but also gives you more tools to tackle different roles, thus reducing stress levels.
  • Get feedback: A good acting class provides constructive feedback. This is invaluable for growth, and knowing where you stand can relieve the uncertainty that often causes stress.
  • Rehearse: Acting classes offer ample opportunities for rehearsal. Repeated practice can help reduce performance anxiety and make you more confident in your abilities.

So, when contemplating "how to improve acting for stress relief?", consider enrolling in acting classes. They provide a supportive environment to learn, practice, and grow as an actor, and can significantly reduce stress levels.

Network with Other Actors

Acting is often a collaborative effort, and networking with other actors can be a powerful way to learn more about your craft. It also provides a support system that can help alleviate the stress of acting.

  • Share experiences: By networking, you can learn from the experiences of others. This can be particularly useful if you're dealing with a challenging role or scene, and can provide tips on how to improve acting for stress relief.
  • Gain opportunities: Networking can open doors to more opportunities. This can reduce the stress of always having to audition or worry about where your next role will come from.
  • Support system: Acting can be a stressful field, and having a network of individuals who understand the challenges can provide emotional support when needed.

So, don't underestimate the power of networking. Reach out to fellow actors, join acting groups, and participate in community theater. You'll not only learn more about your craft, but you'll also build relationships that can help reduce stress and improve your acting.

Rest and Recharge

One of the best ways to improve your acting and relieve stress is by ensuring you take time to rest and recharge. Acting can be both physically and emotionally demanding. If you're constantly on the go without taking a break, your performance may suffer, and your stress levels could rise. Here are some ways you can rest and recharge:

  • Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for our brains to function correctly. If you're well-rested, you'll be more alert and able to memorize lines or understand complex characters better.
  • Take breaks: Even if you're in the middle of rehearsing or performing, take short breaks to relax and clear your mind. You'll be surprised at how much more energy you have when you return.
  • Do what you love: Whether it's reading a book, taking a walk in the park, or watching your favorite movie, do something that helps you unwind and enjoy yourself.

Remember, acting is not a sprint—it's a marathon. And just like marathon runners, actors also need to take time to rest and recharge. So, if you're looking for how to improve acting for stress relief, don't forget the importance of taking care of yourself.

If you enjoyed our blog post on practical tips to improve your acting and relieve stress, you'll definitely want to check out Jessy Moussallem's workshop, 'Breaking Into Acting: 9 Tips for Aspiring Actors.' This workshop is packed with valuable advice and actionable tips to help you kickstart your acting career and manage the stress that comes with it.