Mini-Resolutions for the Actor

The beginning of the new year is a popular time to wipe the slate clean, and replace old habits with new ones. Many use the flip of the calendar year to resolve to learn a new skill, or to take an old one more seriously. If you’re here, you likely are interested in continuing to grow as an actor. First of all, have you set a goal? Just as it’s important for your character to have an objective, you need an objective and to pursue it as aggressively as your character does.

Below, I offer several mini resolutions that will slowly, and in different ways, shape who you are as an actor. Adopt one, or adopt them all; consider what is most comfortable for you and then go one step beyond that.

  • Serve on a backstage crew once this year.
  • Write an encouraging note for each member of your cast to read on opening night.
  • Attend a play once a month.
  • Spend two hours in an art museum, and learn five things there.
  • Audition for (and hopefully perform in) a Shakespearean play.
  • Read one script each
  • Watch an independent film.
  • Add a new monologue to your repertoire.
  • Use a new dialect or accent in a play.
  • Write a one backstory for your character.
  • If your character has an occupation, do your research by contacting a real-life professional in that field.
  • Subscribe to a second acting blog (you’ve subscribed to this one, right?) and engage the community through the comments.
  • Attend or participate in a live reading of an original work in progress.
  • Attend or participate in a poetry slam.
  • Attend an improv workshop or class.

How many of these can you accomplish this year? Do you have any more challenges to add to the list?

One thought on “Mini-Resolutions for the Actor

  1. patlnh says:

    I might add, “If you have a “type”, watch acting greats performing that type and study why they’re interesting doing it.” (I’m currently watching Jane Fonda in “Frankie and Grace. “)

    Also, how about watching acting classes on Youtube? (I’m learning so much from watching Uta Hagen these days.)

    Reading scripts is a biggie. From my limited experience, doing mostly community shows, learning monologues isn’t a great use of my time. I’d rather follow your suggestion re: creating backstory. That makes my brain work hard and hopefully flexibly!

    Keep up the good work, Michael, and thank you for doing this!


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