While actors usually play a variety of characters, some vastly more likable than others, the very best actors often bring a certain charisma to their roles, so that even the most despicable villain at least has the benefit of personal magnetism. Some people are naturally gifted with a compelling presence which comes across very well on stage. The good news is that for everybody else, it’s a skill which can be learned. Here are 5 tips to help you.
- If you want to have presence, you need to be present
When you are on stage, make each moment count by living in it and acting in it. Focus entirely on the task in hand, i.e. delivering your absolute best performance. Leave real-world distractions in the real world. This includes times when you are on stage but separate from the main action in a scene. If you’re having major issues in your personal life, deal with them. The longer they go on, the more likely they are to impact on your ability to focus on your performance. All performing arts schools near me and in the USA will encourage this focus on being present.
- Preparation is the key to any truly magnetic performance
Charisma involves making other people feel like you value them. Let your fellow cast members and the audience know you respect them and their time by making sure that you are fully prepared for each performance. Only when you are absolutely confident in your ability to manage fundamentals such as lines, cues, actions, costume changes and props will you be able to devote your full attention to the actual artistry of the performance. This tip is particularly important when you are on tour and therefore working in different theatres but still holds true if you are working out of the same theatre.
- Make sure you are physically comfortable
Do everything you can to ensure that you are as physically comfortable as possible. While it’s true that some performances do entail a certain degree of discomfort (e.g. the use of flying equipment), the director and crew will generally try to keep this to a minimum. If you do find yourself in a production where you experience discomfort on a regular basis, check if it is actually unavoidable. You need a harness to fly, but wardrobe might well be able to resolve issues with an uncomfortable costume.
- Avoid fidgeting
Fidgeting on stage can be only too easy and all the more so when you’re outside of the main action in a scene. Unfortunately it’s an obvious give-away that your attention is elsewhere and that is exactly the opposite of the impression you want to convey. Basically whatever the character you’re playing, you want each and every member of the audience to have the feeling that your entire attention, your entire performance is completely focused on then. You know how annoying it is when you’re trying to talk to someone and all they do is fidget? Right, so don’t do that to your audience (or fellow cast-members).
- Experiment with pausing slightly before you deliver your lines
In real life, starting to speak right after another person has finished is often interpreted (usually correctly) as a sign that you’ve been preparing your response without paying full attention to what the other person had to say. People with charisma generally wait a couple of seconds before responding, during which time they think finish processing what the other person has just said. Try applying this on stage to build charisma into your character.
If you want to improve your presence then why not look for performing schools near me in New York. Take a look and see what we offer.