Starting Out in Amateur Dramatics
Many people come to amateur dramatics late in life and the big question is, Do You Need Acting Experience for Amateur Dramatics? The short answer to this is, no, as a great number of amateur dramatic societies have many members that have had no acting experience whatsoever, say perhaps from the odd school play. Amateur dramatic societies are really looking for somebody that will fit into their group and pitch in with all that needs to be done. A hint of caution here, if you are serious about wanting to learn about acting don’t just be used as a dog’s body, learn whilst you are at the group and the following should be part of your agenda.
Always Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid of constantly asking questions especially of more senior and experienced actors. Learn exactly what a director requires, don’t just ham it up, initially you are there to please the director as they normally are the most senior person of the group. Also build bonds with other members of the cast, you can learn a lot from your fellow actors. Whatever you do, don’t stay silent and try to work it out all yourself.
Remember you may not be the only novice, so support your fellow strugglers as you will certainly need their help and assistance at some time or other, make friends and be supportive. By doing this you will form bonds and will have a more memorable time on stage.
Try Something New
Don’t be a pain in the backside and continuously buck the trend, but try to push your boundaries. Especially if they are holding you back, if a director suggests something that is not in your comfort zone, try it. That is the only way to learn, don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself, all your fellow group members have to go through the same thing so they will not be laughing. The more open you are to try new things will make you a better actor and enable you to develop your talent. You will be able to take on different roles and be more expansive on stage.
Allow Yourself to be Humble
Everybody wants to be an instant star, but in the early days you will generally have to settle for supporting roles. Don’t try and steal the scene by delivering your one line, be prepared to accept mediocre roles at the start and play them as directed. Make yourself valuable to the cast and gradually the casting director will have faith in you and give you more demanding roles.
Be a Confident Member of Your Group
Many would-be actors are slightly embarrassed when they first take up acting, and hide the fact to their friends. But it is important that you talk-up your group so that people will come and see the performances. Amateur dramatic societies need the most publicity they can get and most of it comes from word of mouth from cast members. Finally, be proud of what you are trying to achieve, don’t feel embarrassed of what you are attempting to do. And the always remember is to enjoy yourself, reap the rewards of your efforts.