Acting Tips: Honing Your Dramatic Craft
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read

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8 Tips for Beginners Who Want to Build an Acting Career

Whenever aspiring thespians first approach their craft, how to be a good actor is top of mind. As with all things, success in this profession and entertainment industry takes time. It means leaning into the secrets of performance and summoning genuine emotions on cue to match the moment of a character as required by the production and audience. It's the same whether one thinks about comedic performances or dramatic ones.

The prospect of how to become a good actor is an opportunity to engage in a thrilling journey. Along the way, you will not only pick up acting techniques for beginners, but you will also find yourself in self-discovery: Acting is a process that demands one to delve deep into one's psyche, tame it, and ultimately wield it to serve the character's narrative. In other words, you must become two different people at once, and they must both be you!

Becoming a good actor is all about following principles and methods that transform your own authentic experiences into the authenticity of a fictional character. It starts with acting tips for beginners and goes to acting basics. If you're an aspiring actor ready to leap into a new creative sphere, what follows is an acting guide for success in this field, encompassing advice on talent agents, navigating the entertainment industry, honing your acting skills, and building a strong acting resume. As you embark on this journey, remember that you are part of a creative team working together to bring stories to life on stage or screen, and your dedication and passion will drive your success as an actor.

Tip 1: Taking Classes from Knowledgeable Instructors

The secret on how to be a great actor goes beyond self-motivation. While one's innate abilities can be helpful, nothing beats the guidance of a professional acting instructor. No matter how good your skills are, attentive teachers from acting agencies will pull even more out of you. It can reveal blind spots, and time-honored techniques can awaken untapped potential. You may be good, but knowledgeable instructors can make you great, opening doors to new acting opportunities and providing valuable acting advice along the way.


Tip 2: Understanding the Purpose of the Character

In the basics of acting, one of the key acting skills is understanding the character's objective. Just as we must fully grasp our own goals, hopes, and desires, we also must examine the character's problem. How do they want to resolve it? What choices do they make to reach their goals? What are the emotional impacts, both the gains and losses, that stem from the choices they make? This insight is essential advice to actors studying their craft, enabling them to develop their performances with depth and authenticity.

By delving into the character's journey, actors gain valuable insights that resonate with critical people in the industry. Understanding the character's objectives and motivations not only elevates performances but also opens doors to exciting acting opportunities. As actors embody their roles, they breathe life into the character's narrative, bridging the gap between the script and the stage or screen. Through this exploration of objectives and choices, actors can tap into their true potential and become exceptional performers, ready to embrace the vast array of acting opportunities that await them.

Tip 3: Knowing the Script Inside Out

When a writer crafts a script, the character's objectives are laid plain. As a good actor, absorbing every tiny detail of the script is key for a successful performance. Memorising lines is just one aspect; knowing every beat of the work, even scenes your character isn't in, is incredibly important. A holistic approach to understanding the entire body of the script, including how other characters and external forces shape the narrative, is indispensable. This comprehensive grasp of the material, a key acting skill, ensures actors can deliver outstanding performances, whether they're playing a regular role or immersing themselves in scenes at a coffee shop.

Tip 4: Making Adjustments to Your Instrument

To learn how to act for beginners, you must know you hold a potent instrument: your body. In any audiovisual medium, the body transmits the language of the character. Facial expressions transmit emotions from happiness to fear. Body language reveals a character's confidence and intentions. Full bodily transformations may be called for. Is your character heavier or lighter than you? Do they have some physical skill that you don't, such as dancing talent or athletics? Whatever the character requires, be prepared to adjust your body to meet those needs.


Tip 5: Presenting the Best Version of Yourself During Auditions

At an audition, introducing yourself to the casting crew is crucial, especially when aiming for a regular role. Have a short script prepared to swiftly present your name, age, height and weight, place of origin, languages spoken, and work experience. Remember to maintain a natural and confident demeanor, and a genuine smile can make a positive impression. Keep your body language open and maintain good posture, while ensuring eye contact with the camera if being filmed, or with the casting director and others in the room. Relax, chase nervousness away, and exude confidence to leave a lasting impression on the judgmental people behind the audition table.

Tip 6: The Desire to Learn

One of the biggest traps an actor can fall into is to believe they have mastered their craft at the conclusion of every successful performance. But the limitless complexities of human emotion mean there's always something new to absorb. One must always have a hunger to learn. Understand that every moment you live a new character's life, this requires a different technique. Stage acting tips can be different from those for film. Chemistry with fellow cast members may elicit new approaches. Be curious, be open, and be hungry to learn!

Tip 7: Dedication and Discipline

Commitment in any profession should be all-encompassing; in acting, it must be all-consuming. Whereas other professions require performing the same function over and over, the actor has to actually transform themselves into somebody new every time. Practice daily, for at least an hour, to develop discipline and focus. Network to join other actors doing scenes. Spend time with creative people like writers and filmmakers. Discuss the art form in which you work. Take classes and read as much as you can, from Stanislavsky to the blogs right here on Daisie.


Tip 8: Being Creative

If you truly want to learn how to become a great actor, always look to your own creativity to get the performance you want. Consider your physicality. Need to play someone freezing in the wilderness? Put your hand in some ice water to reach that feeling. About to play a bully? Hit up a punching bag to get those juices flowing. Elicit anger by challenging your acting partner to a shouting match. Prepare for a sad scene by remembering your grandmother's funeral. Getting creative in how you reach those precious moments will help move your audience.


Acting Tips from Industry Experts

Aside from acting teachers and fellow acting students, who else can you turn to to grow as a performer? Well, professional actors, of course! It’s a great idea to seek acting tips from actors. After all, they’ve already found success in the world you’re looking to enter. Here are a few of our favorites — add them to your own acting toolbox!

Acting Tips from Bryan Cranston

“An actor is supposed to create a compelling, interesting character that serves the text, you present it in the environment where your audition happens, then you walk away.” The Breaking Bad star speaks to a fundamental truth: You have to get to the point where you can turn your character on when you need them, then step out of their skin.

Acting Tips from Millie Bobby Brown

“It has to come from within, it has to be real, it has to be authentic. As long as you have those three main factors, you’re going to find the passion.” Here the Stranger Things actor homes in on the core of the craft: It all comes from inside you and must be as genuine as your own feelings to work.

Acting Tips from Meryl Streep

“Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.” The three-time Academy Award winner connects with the universality of the human experience: If someone else can feel something, so can you. Reaching that and making it yours is the transformative mechanism in acting.

Acting Tips from Brian Cox

“My mother used to say, ‘What’s for you will not go by you.’ It’s a great phrase to keep in mind when you don’t get a job.” The Succession lead reminds actors of something you must always remember: Not every role is for you. Yes, you can reach any emotion, but there is a reason for good casting. Find out which emotions and character journeys best fit who you are.

Acting Tips from Alan Rickman

“Forget about acting … because whatever you do as an actor is cumulative. So I say go to art galleries, listen to music, know what’s happening on the news, in the world, and form opinions.” The late Harry Potter actor left us with great wisdom: Dive deeply into life experience to enhance your craft. Go out there and absorb the human experience as much as you can.

Acting Tips from Lupita Nyong’o

“Every single role brings with it an ignorance and an insecurity, and so you have to approach it with the same curiosity and humility.” The Black Panther superstar reminds actors to be humble: You don’t know it all, and there is always something new to learn. Maintaining that attitude will foster better performances.

Acting Tips from Tina Fey

“If you’re an actor and you don’t get cast in stuff a lot, then put together a show or hold play-reading nights at your apartment. Make your own opportunities.” The Saturday Night Live alum and comedienne extraordinaire reinforces the actor’s commitment: Always find a way to work. As discussed, dedication and discipline are key parts of the formula.

Acting Tips from Harrison Ford

“As much as you might admire what someone else does, don’t try to imitate that. Find your own way. Find your own voice. Find your own feelings. And that will give you a unique opportunity.” The Indiana Jones action star points out that your character is ultimately coming from one place: yourself. Copying other actors won’t help you find that.

Acting Tips from Emily Blunt

“You’ve got to get the thickest skin possible. Like a rhino hide. It’s a very personal job. Put a helmet on.” The actress from A Quiet Place reminds us of the toll a job takes on an actor: Your emotions are deeply intertwined with the work. It’s not easy to set aside your feelings, so be prepared for tough going.

Acting Tips from Christopher Plummer

“Go to plays. Go to the theater. You can make money but always go back to the theater where you can learn your craft.” The venerable Knives Out actor goes beyond giving tips for stage actors: Experiencing live performances affords a visceral type of acting magic. It’s not just about being in the audience but also networking with your fellow actors.

Acting Tips from Leonardo DiCaprio

"Every next level of your life will demand a different you." For aspiring actors, building a robust acting resume is key to navigating the competitive entertainment industry. The Titanic actor calls to embrace diverse roles and opportunities to grow your skills and versatility. Starting as a beginner actor like DiCaprio as a child actor can be challenging, but stay committed to your craft and explore various avenues to pave your career path. Persistence, dedication, and continuous learning will be your compass to success in this ever-evolving industry.

Acting Tips from Barbra Streisand

"I arrived in Hollywood without having my nose fixed, my teeth capped, or my name changed. That is very gratifying to me," exemplifies her independent thinking in the face of industry pressures. Aspiring actors can learn from her journey, recognising the significance of staying true to their craft of acting and remaining authentic despite the influence of talent agents and industry standards. Building a strong acting resume while embracing their unique qualities can lead to a successful and gratifying career in the entertainment industry.


Now that you've taken the first step on your thespian journey with the acting tips we've gone over, it's time to move on down that path. You can become an iconic film star that spans the ages and leaves a lifelong impact on the entertainment industry like Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson, Alan Rickman, Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith, Charlie Chaplin and Clint Eastwood. Start by checking out Daisie's film category. Here you will find more informative blogs to get your juices flowing. And more importantly, you can check out the incredible classes we offer, with our fantastic teachers. We are here to help you reach your own goals as you embark on your filmmaking adventure.