As part of the brilliant ‘Bow Street Meets‘ series brought to you by Dublin based Bow Street Academy For Screen Acting, here are 10 GOLDEN TIPS FROM HOLLYWOOD ACTING COACH STEPHEN BRIDGEWATER
STEPHEN BRIDGEWATER has worked with the best of the best including, Benicio Del Toro, Heath Ledger, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Orlando Bloom, and Robin Williams. He has also worked with directors and cast members of hit shows like Sons of Anarchy, The X-Files, The Sopranos, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King, Brokeback Mountain, Forrest Gump, 21 Grams, Mississippi Burning, Pirates of the Caribbean, and many more. In this video, Stephen covers a range of essential topics from Auditioning and Creating Character, to Performance Technique and Hustling your way to the top.
1 – AUDITIONING
You have to you enter the room with confidence. If you don’t have confidence they’ll smell it! Put everything external aside (hopes, fears, desire, desperation) focus solely on the acting. Change your mind-set, forget about getting a roll and concentrate on delivering a good audition
2 – CREATING A CHARACTER
Start with yourself. Gradually you can add layers and elements that aren’t you to build character. But essentially – analyse the meaning of the text and JUST BE YOU. Bring you and it’ll be more real.
3 – CAMERA TECHNIQUE
Make your eyes available. Look the other character in the eye and, without being stiff and robotic, allow yourself a stillness. You may only be on camera for a few seconds at a time and in order to be able to connect the audience needs to see your eyes.
4 – SELF TAPING
As in point 3 – Keep your eyes available by making sure the other character is positioned just off camera. Choose a background with a colour that contrasts you. They’re only going to look at the first 15 to 30 seconds. They will make a decision in that time so make the first 15 seconds count.
5 – HEADSHOTS
Headshots need to represent who you are today. That may mean doing them every six months! Try not to be too posed. Be alive – it needs to show your personality, personality is everything in this business.
6 – FINDING AN AGENT
Break the rules! Get your foot in the door in a non-conventional way. TIP: List your goal, find 10 ways that may help you get to that goal, do them all. I’ve never known anybody that did who didn’t reach their goal.
7 – TRAINING
The job is never done. Keep reading, keep working, keep taking class. Paying the price and facing your fears gives you appreciation and self value.
8 – GIVING A PERFORMANCE
Give yourself choices, play with your choices. Don’t lock in to a set way of doing things when the camera is running. Throw all the options out of the window and just listen to the other actor.
9 – ACCENT
If you wanna work in LA do what the Australians did. When they came to LA they worked and worked on flattening out their accent. I meet Australians all the time and I had no idea they weren’t Americans. If you want to add more opportunity you’ve got to learn to flatten out your accent.
10 – BE READY!
Acting in LA is like a ladder with the first six rungs missing. You have to figure out a way to get up them first few rungs. But if you stay at it long enough you’ll always get your chance but… are you ready? Have you taken class, have you worked? LA is not good at giving you a second chance so BE READY!
STAY FOCUSED. KEEP WORKING. BE READY.
Discover more about acting on Bow Street Meets: https://www.bowstreetmeets.com