IMITATION. It’s a really easy trap to fall in to.
So, you love theatre, you love film, you watch hours and hours of it, and there is an actor that in your eyes just soars above all the rest. They are electric. Believable, charismatic, and endlessly watchable. ‘Mmm, what are they doing? What is it about their delivery that is so engaging?’
While it is certainly useful to ask these questions, and indeed watching actors you admire with that critical eye is a crucial part of developing your own technique, be careful not to fall into the trap of IMITATION. The reason your DeNiros and Hoffmans and Denchs and Streeps are so good at what they do is that they have found their own voice, their own rhythm. They are comfortable in their own skin and in their own space and have the confidence to take full ownership of the material. Streep is not trying to be Dench and Dench is not trying to be Streep. The same applies to YOU.
As Harrison Ford said when asked to give advice to aspiring actors:
As much as you may admire someone else…find your own way, find your own voice!
There is only one you. The key to your own potential lies within yourself.
DON’T TRY TO BE SOMEBODY ELSE.