4 Questions Smart Actors Always Answer

Backstage   •   July 11, 2017

Everyone and their mother has audition advice for actors. What to wear. What song to sing (or never to sing). Memorizing sides or holding them in your hand.

But how often do you hear actual advice about acting technique? Opinions are everywhere, but substantive advice is much harder to find.

So here is some quick acting advice I would give to any actor, regardless of experience. There are four key questions to answer when preparing your monologue. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a student just starting out, if you answer these four questions, you will see an immediate improvement in your performance. Monologue, song, or scene study, the questions are the same.

These questions may seem like Acting 101 but you’d be surprised how many actors neglect to answer them before auditioning. If only I had a nickel for every blank stare I receive when I pose one of these questions to an actor in a coaching session.

So don’t forget to ask the key questions. Write down your answers in your script and be ready to rail them off without hesitation if and when they ever come up in your work with directors.  Although, if you answer them clearly enough no one will ever need to ask. Don’t get caught underprepared or uninformed.

Showing directors that you’re a smart, analytical actor who knows how to ask the right questions will make all the difference in earning respect and becoming an actor that directors keep casting.