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Aiming to please the director is not always about kissing up. When your goal is to make a great movie, TV show, or guest starring role, you have to grow as an actor, as a professional, and becoming a part of the team, especially if you are looking towards the future for other productions.
Here are some tips for making the director’s life and job easier while working on set.
1. Get to Know Your Director
You can not become a better actor without understanding how the director operates. So, your first step is to figure out what he needs from you and how you should do it.
Does the director prefer improv or knowing all of your lines? Does the director love to talk or keep to themselves?
Getting to know your director and his or her preferences will help you deliver your lines the best way possible.
2. Know Your Directors’ Goals
As an actor, you may want to focus on your own goals. However, you may forget that you are actually there to support your director and help achieve the production’s goals. So, make it your job to know your lines, marks, and other goals the director is trying to achieve.
You can accomplish this pretty easily by asking your director in a quick one-on-one meeting, “If I know your goals and what you’re looking for, I can better help you in achieving your goals.” Once you understand their goals, you will be able to produce a better production and work of art.
3. Never let the Producer be surprised.
One rule that is important to keep in mind is that you never want your producer to be blindsided. If you believe something is not going well, you need to let someone know. Otherwise, you may get yourself into serious trouble, and the production may be unprepared to handle it.
Surprises creates frustration and chaos that usually ends up wasting a lot of time for a lot of people.
4. Don’t Expect Your Director to Babysit You
It may sound really tough, but no director wants to tell you exactly how to do everything. So if you have questions about movement, crafty, or where your dressing room is, find a production assistant to get the answer to your question.
Save personal time with your director for important issues and use that time to showcase your acting abilities, creativity and ideas.
5. Know Your Lines
It really sounds obvious but, this is the one thing that can separate bad actors from great ones. Your job rests on the fact that you know your character’s lines. Then, aim to deliver your lines at least every day.
This will give your director confidence in you to make changes and take risks on you.
6. Offer solutions and ideas, not problems
Your job as an actor is not to point out problems but to to proactively start thinking about what can make the production better.
For instance, you should never walk on set and complain how the food is cold, or your wardrobe is dirty. Instead, you should have a conversation with the production assistant about a way to improve the situation.
Actors who make their directors successful are amazing. Think about Jennifer Lawrence‘s relationship with David O. Russell, ever since they worked together Russell continues to cast Lawrence in nearly every movie he produces.
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