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MAX Agency Tip Tuesday: 8 Body Language Acting Tips

#TipTuesday is a series MAX Agency — one of the top Toronto talent agencies  — does every week where we share helpful tips for the industry. This could be tips on auditions, bookings, beauty, fashion and more!

As an actor, body language plays a crucial role in your overall success in auditions, roleplay and performance. Mastering your nonverbal communication can set you apart from the sea of competition and give you an advantage with:

  • Directors
  • Casting agents
  • Choreographers
  • Influential industry experts 

Do you want the part? To nail every audition and interview, you must use the right set of tools and techniques. Follow our eight body language acting tips to showcase your natural talents, level-up your communication mastery and become the most memorable person in the room. 

Before we dive in, let’s see how you currently use body language and nonverbal communication. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How do I prepare my body and voice before an audition?
  • What facial expressions do I make in the audition room when I’m not performing?
  • How does my voice inflect when I introduce myself to casting directors?
  • What did I do in my last audition to land the role?
  • Did body language contribute to my last rejection? What did I do and how can I change it?

Once you have completed your self-diagnosis, use these body language hacks for actors:

1. Master Your Space

Spatial norms, known as proxemics, are an important element in the audition. 

Researchers have found that how we use space can give us interesting information. Specifically:

The body to body distance between two parties encodes the nature of the relationship between the participants themselves as well as observing third parties. In other words, we use space to decide how someone feels about us and we look at space between others to try predicting their relationship.

Everyone has their own space bubbles. These are the areas around our body where we like to interact with different kinds of people. Everyone’s bubble is slightly different, but here are some averages:

  • Intimate space is 0 to 18 inches from our body. People who are in that space have to be intimate with us because they are close enough to reach out and touch us. You never want to go into someone’s intimate space accidentally.
  • Personal space is 1.5 to 5 feet from our body. This is the most common zone we use. We easily can reach out and shake hands and speak so someone can hear us. This is our favorite zone to use when talking to friends at a party or colleagues in the break room.
  • Social space is 5 to 7 feet from our body. This often is used with people you feel are not a threat, but you are not necessarily interacting with them. It can be at a party or networking event or even in a large event space.
  • Public space is beyond 7 feet. This gives us enough space to figure out someone’s intentions before an approach. At 7 feet, you can see their entire body, their hand gestures and posture. We like to get a good read on someone before talking to them.

Action Step: Practice safe space boundaries. Remain in the personal and social space zones with the casting director and other decision makers. 

2. Know the Seven Microexpressions

A microexpression is a brief, involuntary facial expression that appears on a person’s face according to the emotions being experienced. Unlike regular, prolonged facial expressions, it is difficult to fake a microexpression.

In other words, when we feel an intense emotion, that emotion reveals itself on our face (for better or worse). 

The seven universal microexpressions are: 

  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Happiness
  • Surprise
  • Contempt

In an audition, you want to project the emotion of the character you’re portraying. If your script is sad, practice showing the sadness microexpression in the mirror beforehand to truly get into the mind and body of the character. 

Additionally, smile only when you want to show happiness. Many actors make the mistake of plastering on a fake smile throughout the entire audition. Unfortunately, we can spot ingenuine happiness a mile away, so be mindful of your smile and intention behind it. 

Special Note: Be sure to avoid negative expressions (disgust, anger, contempt and sadness) as you enter and leave the room, especially if you’ve been given negative feedback. Remain as facially neutral as possible to leave a positive, lasting impression. 

Action Step: Memorize the seven microexpressions so you can use the correct one in the correct scene no matter what script you are handed:

3. Use a Launch Stance

To be confident, your body language must show it.

First, the easiest way to project confidence is to claim territory. Own your body and own the space around you by standing or sitting tall. 

Keep your arms loose by your side or place one or both hands on your hips. Relax your shoulders down your back and open your chest. These expansive postures (what we refer to as a Launch Stance) will show others that you’re confident and sure of yourself. 

Be wary of low power postures (unless the script calls for it!), such as crossing your arms or turtling your shoulders to your ears as this may signal defeat. 

4. The Power of Leaning

Leaning is a specific nonverbal bride that allows us to cross into someone’s space bubbles.

When we lean toward someone or lean across the table toward someone, we get closer to their next zone as we discussed in the first acting tip. It is a subtle way to ‘warm-up’ someone as you get to know them.

Lean toward the director as they ask more about you and your experience to show warmth and camaraderie. Additionally, lean toward them when receiving notes and feedback to nonverbally show you’re listening and actively want to improve. 

5. Prepare with a Vocal Warmup  

Here’s a big prepping problem:

We often prepare for our first few lines of a speech or monologue, but we rarely think about how we deliver those lines.

You can say the greatest line in the world, but if you sound nervous saying it, then your message is ruined!

I do a vocal warm up exercise before every presentation, meeting or speech where I’m speaking for more than a few minutes.

Action Step: Learn my 5 vocal warmups: 

6. Use Purposeful Gazing

The eyes have it! 

Confident performers and actors know the power of eye gazing. To increase your confidence, be sure to look people in the eye as you are speaking AND as they are speaking. Too often we look away, check our phone or scope out the rest of the room. This is not only rude, but very low confident.

Action Step: Use purposeful gazing and eye contact to your advantage. When you enter the audition room, keep your head up and look in front of you. After you plant yourself in your Launch Stance, look at who you’re introducing yourself to. Don’t shift your eyes too much and never look at the floor.

7. Harness Confidence

There’s a big confidence myth: Confidence is just one of those things that “you have or you don’t.” No way! It’s a skill, one that can be developed like any other skill, through intentional practice. 

Your ability to display confidence increases trust and comfort levels with others. You can build confidence with your body language in many ways. Here are six ways to authentically develop inner confidence before your next audition:

  • Harness your professional happiness. 
  • Create a pump-up playlist.
  • Manage and deal with any social anxiety or performance anxiety.
  • Write down three positive self-truths. These are the ideas we tell ourselves and the beliefs we carry around.
  • Find a confidence role model who demonstrates leadership, isn’t afraid to be unique and communicates and interacts with everyone.
  • Do a pre-performance routine…

8. Your Pre-Performance Success Routine

What do you do before each audition? Before you take the stage? Before you walk into the room?

The most successful people have professional warm-up routines. 

Daniel McGinn, author of Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed, calls professional warm-ups “Pre-performance Rituals.”

Pre-performance Rituals

A routine or habit a performer, athlete or professional does to enhance their performance, get their mindset right and beat nerves.

McGinn argues that we all should create our own Pre-performance Rituals to have more day-to-day success. This is not only a way we can prepare ourselves for better performance, but it’s also a way to combat nerves.  

Action Step: Learn how to psych yourself up. 

Now is the time to take action. Use these body language acting tips to your advantage when you prepare for your next audition. Remember, auditions are your first impression and when approached scientifically and objectively, can be a lot more fun then they may seem now. 

When you present yourself as a focused, charismatic and confident actor, you are guaranteed to set yourself up for success.

 

Source

 

MAX Agency is a successful Toronto talent agency representing men, women and children. MAX Agency is involved in providing actors, models and entertainers for the film, television, fashion and advertising industries.

For more weekly tips, follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter! Never miss a moment with MAX Agency!

If you want to join our rosterapply here

To see our awesome talent check out our roster!

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Tip Tuesday – Nail that Walk!

#TipTuesday is a series MAX Agency — one of the top Toronto talent agencies  — does every week where we share helpful tips for the industry. This could be tips on auditions, bookings, beauty, fashion and more!

 

Whether you are in a haute couture assemble or vogue-ing in a living room, here are a few tips to get you on the road to your inner diva. Physical balance, inner confidence and a sparkling personality are all necessary to make a charming performance.

  1. Posture: Think tall. While walking, stand up straight leaning slightly back so your legs can go first. Keep your toes pointed forward, so they aren’t turned out. Then walk with one foot in front of the other as if walking on a tightrope.
  2. Hips: Most people think you need to do a lot of hip swaying. Your hips will move naturally so exaggeration isn’t necessary.
  3. Arms: Let your arms swing naturally. However, take care they are not too stiff or have big movement. The clothing you have on will help you decide what to do with your hands, you may need to hold something or stick one in a pocket.
  4. Attitude!: Be commanding and flirty. This will make you fun for the audience.
  5. Rhythm: Get into a rhythm and let the loud music be your uplifting motivation. When a natural bounce to the beat happens add to it by thinking about holding your head high and keeping your shoulders back.
  6. Eyes: You should never look down. Always look straight ahead at the cameras or pick a spot on the wall ahead of you so you won’t get distracted by anything else distracting around you.
  7. Posing: When you reach the end of the runway pause then lean on one hip with lots of attitude.

Source

MAX Agency is a successful Toronto talent agency representing men, women and children. MAX Agency is involved in providing actors, models and entertainers for the film, television, fashion and advertising industries.

For more weekly tips, follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter! Never miss a moment with MAX Agency!

If you want to join our rosterapply here

To see our awesome talent check out our roster!

Company Profile

FAQ

Tip Tuesday – Audition Looks

#TipTuesday is a series MAX Agency — one of the top Toronto talent agencies  — does every week where we share helpful tips for the industry. This could be tips on auditions, bookings, beauty, fashion and more!

 

Looking your best is important in this industry!  You always should strive to put your best self forward.  

From the moment you enter the room, you want to present yourself properly and be ready to slip effortlessly into the role you’re reading for. Your face is not only your vehicle for expression; it’s a big part of the reason you get the gig.

It’s important to arrive well-groomed and naturally made up. You should look like your headshot, since this is what the casting director is expecting. For men, conceal blemishes and dark circles under the eyes, and use a blot powder or blot papers to eliminate shine.

Skin and Shine

Use anti-shine. If you’re a little bit dewy when you walk in, you’re going to look really shiny. Blot Powder by MAC is really great. It’s in a compact and it comes with a little puff, and it doesn’t have any pigment. You can dust that over the T-zone, and it will zap any shine, and it’s not like makeup. 

 

Sparkles

For women, the big thing is lightening up. Keeping the skin matte — using foundations, shadows, and everything that has a more matte finish will just universally be more flattering on camera. They might want to change their makeup a little and avoid things with shimmer. What’s really hot right now are those mineral powders with light reflection, and those are great when you’re having lunch with your friends, but that’s not going to look great on camera.

Hair and Beards

With hair, anything that’s going to make the eyes look less expressive — heavy bangs or anything on the forehead — you might want to brush that back a little to make it a little cleaner-looking. [For beards,] maybe shave under the jaw line and around the cheeks, just to sort of tailor it a little more.

 

Lips

Don’t overgloss lips. If you want to get a little interest in the face and you’re doing everything else very matte, you can do a little gloss, but keep it within the lip line and blot it a shade. 

 

Colour Scheme

Stay away from really muddy colors. You want things that look like your skin — very healthy. Go for things like your natural color but a little more vivid. Same with your cheeks: Use what you would naturally blush. And most women don’t blush terra cotta or bronze or anything sort of mauvey. Get things that look juicy and healthy, so that in these lighting situations with a lot of white light, you’ll still look balanced and healthy.

Role Specific Looks

For men, keep it very light. A tinted moisturizer (Laura Mercier makes a great one), very minimal powder, and lip balm is typically all that’s needed.

While keeping it natural, I also think it’s important to consider the role you’re auditioning for. If you’re going for a younger role, keep the makeup very light and fresh. For a more mature role, you can darken it up a bit. Just as long as you still look like you.

 

Source

 

MAX Agency is a successful Toronto talent agency representing men, women and children. MAX Agency is involved in providing actors, models and entertainers for the film, television, fashion and advertising industries.

For more weekly tips, follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter! Never miss a moment with MAX Agency!

If you want to join our rosterapply here

To see our awesome talent check out our roster!

Company Profile

FAQ