Lladel Bryant is an entrepreneur, actor and the creative heart here at the Geraldine Connor Foundation. Recently nominated for the BEAM Award for Male Actor of the Year I asked Lladel for his top tips for aspiring actors ahead of his return to touring with Zodwa Nyoni’s extraordinary short play Nine Lives.
- Be Proactive– Acting is a tough game, Lladel recommends any aspiring actor to look at what’s happening around them and get involved, this could be in the form of a degree, workshops (such as Creative Cafe and Creative Lab) or even setting up your own YouTube page (more advice on that from Kerry here).
- Produce your own work– Struggling to find a role? Why not make your own? Producing your own short films, scripts, monologues or other projects will give you a greater insight and appreciation of the entire industry and potentially provide another career path! Lladel is now staking his claim as the Enterprising Actor in the hope that it inspires others to be enterprising in their creativity whilst also learning P.R skills, web development and marketing. This can advance any creative’s career options, you can follow his new page The Enterprising Actor here http://thenterprisingactor.com/tag/lladel-bryant
- Have an Artillery-Pick up some monologues which you can rattle off without hesitation, anything from Shakespeare to the Harlem Renaissance. Not only is this a great experience for learning lines, it shows a real discipline. Be prepared to show off your skill at all times, one day you might just bump into someone who knows (or is) the casting director for your favourite show.
- Don’t stress!- Whether auditioning, learning lines or waiting backstage stress kills focus and when you’re off kilter it shows in your work. Of course, it’s natural to feel the pressure in these moments, try looking into relaxation techniques, whether it’s running or meditation there will be something that works for you.
- Find Your Own Technique-specifically when learning lines, any actor has their own process. You may find it useful to use a Dictaphone or camera, or to write out your lines or use symbols. Try out different things, once you find your rhythm the process will become easier.
- Get into the Groove!– According to Lladel every character has their own theme music, take the time to identify the right songs for each character. You’ll be surprised how much the rhythm of the music will help you to develop the characters walk, talk and mannerisms embedding the character in your mind ready for the big debut.
- Move Your Body!-93% of communication is non-verbal with 55% made up of body language alone, meaning how you use your body is just as important as the script. Try researching Bio-Mechanics and learn how to convey your character’s history through movement, famous examples of this include Richard III or John Hurt as The Elephant Man.
- Research Techniques– you don’t need to be classically trained to become an actor but it’s worth spending some time picking up the tricks of the trade. You might be surprised at the how interesting and helpful you find it and it’s easy to find the key points online without reading lots of thick books. Try starting with Laban’s work on Movement Psychology or Stanislavski.
- Find Your Calling-This is probably one of the most difficult steps but as you pursue acting you might find you are drawn to a particular form. Lladel’s passion is revitalising Shakespeare through short form films for social Media, you can see some of his work over at ChickenShop Shakespeare.
For more information on the upcoming Nine Lives tour, including cast and synopsis please see here: