Honesty: The Best Advice For Actors

Honesty, is one of the most important foundations to have as actors and this is a question actors should be asking themselves more frequently, ‘Do I have honesty in my performance?’ It’s a quality that should both be in your acting and also in your persona, think of it like a marriage. The relationship with your work and who you are as a person should reflect honesty and truth, let’s break down the two.

Honesty In Your Acting

I’m sure all of us have seen cringe worthy performances which pretty much ruined the whole story. It’s mortifying to watch! Often when that happens actors are not living in the truth of the moment or seem to manipulate certain feelings for their characters instead of trusting their inner thoughts to portray what the characters are feeling.

We don’t want to defeat truth, we want to drive truth with purpose and success. It’s much better to deliver real and honest reactions into your performances rather than a, ‘I’m just not feeling it’ type of attitude. As actors it’s key to remember the characters you play are very real, you just need to make them come alive.

When actors don’t get a chance to be real in a performance or with their scene partners, they trap so much potential. There’s no room for inspiration or support. If you aren’t being honest you won’t be able to explore the possible outcomes for your character because you’re caught up in being insecure. I get it, nerves can pull us out of place, but if we learn to put nervous energy into our performance it can help.

Where there’s honestly there’s freedom, think about it, you don’t want to lie to the audience do you? No, you want to convince them. Sometimes when we lack in telling the truth we feel the urge to hold ourselves back, we as actors can not afford to hide the truth. Having honesty for yourself and as an actor will allow you to explore truth in a natural way.

Okay, but how do I apply honesty in my acting?

  • Ask yourself questions such as, ‘Am I being honest in this circumstance?’ ‘Do I feel like I’m being honest?’ If you recognize your honesty, then take a hold of it and run with it.
  • Be honest with yourself, I know it sounds simple, but it’s true! If you’re not honest with yourself, you’re not going to be honest with the audience.
  • Connect with the base emotion of your character, there should always be common ground found. And have your objective and super objective in the back of your mind (Do your homework). For those of you who may not know the base emotion, it comes from The Warner Loughlin Technique, which helps you find the right emotions for your character. The Warner Loughlin Technique gives lots of advice and tips for acting in the book The Warner Loughlin Technique: An Acting Revolution.
  • Don’t strive, let yourself fall naturally into what feels right.

Honesty In Your Character

Honesty in your work and as a person comes hand in hand, it benefits you and others. If you want to be admired and respected by directors, casting agents, producers and fellow actors, then being honest in who you are is an important component to your career. It’s what propels you for success as an actor. Fame and Money can be big factors that can get in the way of a person’s qualities. But where’s the value in that?

The way we carry ourselves as actors should be with honesty, self awareness, emotional intelligence and dedication. Rather than just seeing what we can get out of a situation. You never know where your honesty and genuineness could lead you.

Honesty as a creative and within your character is essential to have if you’re an actor, and should be the building blocks of your career. As actors, if you’re not being honest or feeling honest, then what are you doing?

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