A lot of actors find it hard to talk about what they do when interviewed. Many worry about sounding pretentious and nebulous when journalists witheringly ask them to comment on “their art”. While some actors firmly leave their characters in the rehearsal room at the end of the day, others understandably cannot – Daniel Day-Lewis’ Oscars acceptance speech in which he remarked: “My wife Rebecca has lived with many strange men” being a slightly alarming case in point.
The term “acting” is used to describe what actors do regardless of medium – film, television or theatre. While the artistic journey for each actor is unique, most actors will concede that each discipline – be it stage or screen- practically requires different skills. Many screen actors who haven’t acted on stage in a while find it awkward. They have to reacquaint themselves with the strength of their diaphragms for projection and have no camera to direct the viewer’s gaze to the subtleties of minute facial changes that could speak volumes in a closeup. The reverse is of course also true, with stage actors having to reach emotional depths on cue and often out of chronological order.
With this year’s Olivier Awards approaching, it’s interesting to see that all the nominees are actors who have excelled on screen as well as on stage. In today’s Independent Julian Bird, chief executive of The Society of London Theatre, said: “You have people who mix theatre with TV with film showing through very strongly in the nominations. We do have a great thing in this country that people may have started their career in regional theatre; they build up another career but they keep coming back to the theatre. Judi Dench is acting in the West End currently, with Daniel Radcliffe and Jude Law set to return to the stage this year. Britain’s very biggest film stars seem to keep coming back.”
It seems that this year’s nominees have excelled and done such extensive work in both mediums of the profession that they are neither known as screen nor stage actors. This is what most drama schools aim to equip their current crop of students with – the ability to do both which is what a fully trained actor should be able to do. Failing to be equipped with the practical skills of one aspect would mean denying the prospect of potential future employment, which would be highly unwise considering the killer combination of the dismal state of the economy and the Industry’s notoriously appalling number of available jobs.
Having extensive experience in both mediums makes Audition Doctor a vital go-to place to seek constructive advice. While Audition Doctor’s clientele comprises largely of drama school applicants, many professional actors who attend sessions at Audition Doctor are often auditioning for film and television roles. Apart from working out the intricacies of character, Audition Doctor is also the place to come to for practical guidance; sessions can be filmed which is hugely helpful as Tilly can give you a fair critique on how you come across. With jobs being hard to come by, many people find coming to Audition Doctor increases their chance of getting parts. In short, Audition Doctor rather comfortingly makes them feel like the profession they’re in is a little less precarious.