The UK has a rich history of theatre and performing arts and is an essential part of the country’s cultural sector. With spectacular theatres and auditoriums to host them in, there is a particular magic about going to theatre.
Although the theatre can be an amazing place to work, like every other industry, it has its own set of challenges. As argued by instructors from D&B Academy, it is not simply about entertaining an audience but is also a showcase of the actor’s creativity, expression, and communication skills that keep their audience engaged.
Many aspiring actors find the industry highly exclusive and typically do not know how to get into theatre. If you want to establish your career in the theatre industry but do not know where to start, here is a complete guide that will tell you what it takes to start.
Get professional training
Before you begin your career in theatre industry, consider getting professional training. As the path to the performing arts begins at school, enrolling early will help to begin building the skills and confidence needed for success.
These institutions also provide an encouraging environment where students can explore different options in the theatre industry and collaborate with like-minded people. Receiving training from a professional institute will also ensure that you have time to develop your skills and gain adequate experience before venturing into the world of professional acting.
A good way to introduce yourself to the theatre industry is by researching about it. The more you study about the industry, the better you will understand how the industry works. For example, you can read books written by actors, learn about different acting techniques and keep up with the latest trends in the industry. To get your basics right, you can also learn from past performances by watching their recordings and understanding the acting methods used by different actors, especially those that you aspire to be.
No matter which career path you choose, the journey will likely not be easy or as expected. However, having goals will help keep you focused and motivate you to continue the pursuit of your chosen career. As the theatre industry is famous for its competitive and highly-skilled nature, it is likely that you will experience rejection at different points in your career.
Staying focused will give you the resilience to use criticism and rejection to grow improve your skills further. These experiences are all a natural part of the theatre industry that can be challenging, yet when you hear that ‘yes’, it is all the more sweet.
The best way to polish your acting skills is through continuous practice and rehearsals. To succeed in the theatre industry, it’s a good idea to establish a daily practice routine. Apart from going to rehearsals, you will have to practice at home for your role to be able to perform it at your best.
From the lines to choreography and expressions, regular practice will ensure that you demonstrate your character well on the stage. Attending acting workshops will also help you practice your skills and will give you a platform to demonstrate your talent.
Develop your skills
As a theatre artist, you will have to possess different soft and hard skills to excel in the industry. For example, you will have to have good physical and verbal communication skills. This will help you to maintain basic etiquette whilst performing on stage and whilst interacting with other artists. As the theatre industry strives on creativity, during your career you will find different situations which will need creative solutions. Being creative can make it easier for you to offer innovative solutions or get into the depth of any role.
In addition, you will have to learn any choreography set by the director. Developing your skills in dance and movement will ensure that your performance is well-coordinated with other professionals on the stage. Making you a better actor and performer overall.
Theatre artists also need to have a sharp memory. Forgetting dialogue on stage can make it embarrassing for any actor performing in front of the audience. Since you will have to work on different roles, a good memory will help you to learn scripts for different scenes. Lastly, having sound technical knowledge is important for actors to communicate with other professionals such as costume designers, set designers, lighting specialists, cinematographers and sound artists working in the theatre.
A good amount of experience can make a significant difference in your career in the theatre industry. Whether it is performing in school musicals or participating in school plays, take every opportunity to get experience in different roles. Instead of aiming for lead roles, you can start your career with smaller roles. Even if it is just the role of extras, the experience that you will gain behind the curtain will polish your acting skills. Moreover, small roles will also help you create a stable source of income to sustain yourself in the theatre industry and establish your career as a leading actor.
Manage your time well
Working in the theatre industry might require you to work on multiple projects at the same time. This can make your schedule hectic and you might feel exhausted or experience burn out. However, by managing your time well, you can create a schedule to attend auditions, practice, go to rehearsals, participate in networking or promotional events and perform on stage. This will not only help in your career but help protect you and your health during challenging times.
Create your own network
Theatre is a collaborative industry where aspiring artists need to create their own network. To create your network, take every opportunity to meet people in the theatre industry. As you make friends from the industry, you will be able to learn about their initial struggles, the steps they took to establish themselves, the number of auditions they give every week and much more. You will also understand how other theatre artists handle rejection and criticism. Additionally, having a good network will increase your chances of finding new roles and the opportunity for working in a variety of plays.