Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Meryl Streep, Ethan Hawke and Matthew McConaughey acting tips developing your character as an actor

Meryl Streep says to always listen to other actors on stage and in scene. Focus on being a team and find ways to respond to other actors.  "It's where you learn everything."

"Performance is like a sailboat," explains Ethan Hawke. Don't over plan your performance. Let it happen. Get caught in the moment. And when you give yourself the freedom the experiment and explore your character then some happy accidents can happen in your performance.

"Tap into your character's obsessions," suggests Matthew McConaughey. Understand your character's motivations and connect to their emotions. You want to bring their soul to life and treat them like they are a real person. Ask yourself how this character exist outside the script? What would this character be like if they were someone you know and lived in your world?

More help for actors at the links below:

Free Online Acting School

Acting Tips

Meryl Streep, Ethan Hawke and Matthew McConaughey acting tips developing your character as an actor

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Acting Advice from Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston and Ben Stiller - Tips for Actors

Don't just talk about acting. Go out and be an actor. Don't worry about the quality of the project. You can learn from any acting experience, good or bad.  And use bad projects as networking opportunities. Go out, meet people, ask questions and make friends in the acting world. Volunteering can lead to work as well. Tom Hanks volunteered on his first project and it turned into a full time acting job.

What is the best way to start as an actor?  "Act - find a place to act," says Bryan Cranston. Create your own opportunities and don't wait for a phone call.

Finally "do it because you love it," says Ben Stiller - and don't let rejection discourage you because there will be a lot of rejection along the way. But if you're doing what you love then you've already succeeded. What could be better than getting up every day and doing something you really enjoy?

More help for actors at the links below:

Free Online Acting School -

Acting Tips -

Acting Advice from Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston and Ben Stiller - Tips for Actors
Wait a minute... that's not Ben Stiller.

Tips for Becoming Successful Actor

Here are some tips for being a successful actor.

Enjoy your work

Acting looks like a lot of fun, but it is actually a lot of hard work. But if you still find this kind of hard work rewarding and enjoyable, then acting might be for you. 

Develop a support system

Are you ready to be an actor? A simple test is to see how you feel acting in front of your family and friends. Make a short home video with your friends and family using a short skit or comedy script (here are some to pick from at  Or memorize and perform a monologue for your family (here are some free monologues If you have fun performing around your family and friends then you are on the right path to start as an actor.  Having at least one dedicated family member or friend as part of your team can be very helpful. Doing anything with a camera (such as monologues or making headshots) will be so much easier if you have at least one person helping you.

Theatre experience 

Studying theatre is important to being well rounded. The stage is the fundamental building block for any actor. Theatre is an excellent training ground for the new actors. 

Be patient and stay dedicated

The most important tip which is for all the actors is never expecting success from the very beginning. Acting is a field where you will not gain success immediately. It takes time to learn and find an audience. So, you should not become disheartened in case if you fail at first. This is common for actors to struggle at first. 
The key is to learn from your failures and not repeat any mistakes. Never give up and keep trying. Believe in yourself and focus on your goals. 

Working tips
In the field of acting, put faith on your director. The creativity of the director should be trusted. Successful actors work with their directors and strive to achieve their director's vision. You develop a good reputation when you are a cooperative actor.

It is important to achieve respect in the acting field. Once you start working as a paid actor, give complete attention to what you are doing. Your dedication and passion towards acting will be seen in your work and will also be noticed by others. 


Check out the 2016 Freedrama Online Acting School at 
and stay tuned for our new 2017 Acting School on!

acting Tips for Becoming Successful Actor help
Art by Shiela Larson

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Top 10 Favorite Actors

Here is my own top 10 list of favorite male actors. On this list, I have actors that I feel have quality performances in movies I really enjoy. These have to be movies I can watch again and again. And their performances have to be memorable and moving. So here we go! My top 10 list of favorite actors starting with number ten:

Best Actor #10: Ben Kingsley 
The two movies where I thought he had outstanding performances in were Gandhi and Schindler's List. Both movies were outstanding and his performances in them were memorable and moving. Gandhi is one of my all time favorite movies and his performance is so believable, you feel like you are watching Gandhi himself. His performance (along with the movie Amadeus) fueled my love of history which continues to this day.

Best Actor #9: Tom Hanks 
He has had an impressive career and an incredible rise from silly TV sitcom actor to academy award winner. I started watching Tom Hanks back in his Bosom Buddies days and through his Oscar winning years. My favorite Tom Hanks performances are in Forrest Gump, Big, The Terminal and Green Mile. He's an impressive actor who can switch between comedy and drama with incredible ease.

Best Actor #8: Peter O'Toole 
I took an interest in movies that were both historical and had stage versions and the best actor I saw in these was Peter O'Toole. I saw him in "Lion in Winter", "Man of La Mancha" and "Becket" and was impressed every time. These are all great scripts and he did an amazing job bringing these incredible characters to life. He's an actor who commands our attention when he is on screen and becomes the character, making iconic roles like Don Quixote his own.

Best Actor #7: Charlie Chaplin 
This early actor has stood the test of time for me. I find his work to be worthy of study even to this day. I always enjoyed his work but was most impressed by "The Great Dictator" which is a powerful comedy that takes on one of the most powerful leaders of the day (Hitler). He used comedy to make commentaries about the social and moral climate of the world at the time in movies like "Modern Times." And some of his work is just plain fun like the "Gold Rush."

Best Actor #6: Harrison Ford 
This is an actor who originally was on my Most Entertaining Actor list but I moved him to this list because of some of his powerful performances. He is an actor who has fun performances in Star Wars and Indiana Jones which have become iconic. But he also has proven he has the ability to do more dramatic roles in movies like "Witness" and "Regarding Henry." He has been one of my favorite actors for many years and his ability to create characters that are well known and memorable makes him worthy of this top 10 best actor list.

Best Actor #5: Kevin Kline 
It appears that a lot of actors on my list have the ability to do both comedy and drama. That is a good quality in an actor... someone who can make us laugh and drive us to tears. Kevin Kline is another impressive actor who can be hilarious in movies like "A Fish Called Wanda" which earned him an Academy Award. But he can also be a powerful dramatic actor as well in movies like "Cry Freedom." I also really enjoyed him in "Soapdish" which featured his comedy abilities and "Dave" which showed a wide range for the actor.

Best Actor #4: Jeff Bridges 
The first time I was impressed by Jeff Bridges was in "Fisher King". He created a character we disliked at first then cared about. He was an actor I already liked from his early days in "Tron" but "Fisher King" showed his greatness as an actor. I hadn't watched "Starman" until much later but that was an earlier work that showed his ability to create a strong character. And the moment when I knew he was one of the greatest actors of all time was his incredible performance in "True Grit" where he blew me away and totally outdid the legend John Wayne. I'm not always fond of Westerns or remakes, but Jeff Bridges performance in "True Grit" helped me to enjoy both.

Best Actor #3: Denzel Washington 
This is an actor who first got my attention when I saw him in the movie "Glory" and he has been impressing me ever since. He has incredible screen presence and always has the audience's undivided attention when he is on the screen. He proved he could cross racial lines and take on roles that were not specifically for a certain race. I really was impressed by his performances in "Cry Freedom" and "Malcolm X" but also liked his work in "Book of Eli" which could have been a mediocre movie if it hadn't been for his powerful performance which gave the movie dignity over other post-apocalyptic fare. Denzel continues to impress me including his recent role in “The Magnificent Seven.” Hmmm… maybe I like Westerns and remakes after all.

Best Actor #2: Robin Williams 
When I look at his career, he has some pretty amazing performances. He may have started out in a goofy TV role as Mork the alien but he quickly showed he had the ability to do serious work in movies like "The World According to Garp." I was really impressed with his ability to mix comedy with drama in movies like "Dead Poet's Society" which is a movie that inspired me to be a teacher. And he showed an incredible ability to add comedy to a tough subject in "Good Morning Vietnam" where he supposedly did improv in much of the movie. And he even crossed gender lines in the comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire" creating a very memorable character. And one of my favorite movies of all time is "The Fisher King" which he does an amazing job with a character that struggles with his sanity. It is a very moving performance where you gain a lot of sympathy for his character and want to see him find his happy ending.

Best Actor #1: Dustin Hoffman 
I have been enjoying Dustin Hoffman for many years and he continues to impress me every time I see one of his movies. "Tootsie" was probably the first time I saw him and I was blown away. It's always tricky when someone crosses gender lines but Dustin Hoffman pulls it off incredibly to create a believable female version of himself. He is not an actor you'd expect to be able to look different enough to appear female but he manages to pull it off. I saw him in "Death of a Salesman" where he successfully pulls off the iconic theatre role of Willy Loman, a much older character. And he continued to blow me away with his autistic character in "Rainman." Then just when I thought he was done doing new and interesting roles, he played Captain Hook (in "Hook"). He was the last actor I expected to play this cartoony character but managed to pull it off and even perform better in this silly movie than Robin Williams and Julia Roberts (two fellow Academy Award winners). Recently I saw one of his older movies, Krammer vs. Krammer, and was blown away once again. He has so many great performances and is worthy of being number one on my list of best actors.

Top 10 Favorite Actors

Top 10 Favorite Actresses

Here are my top 10 favorite actresses. I found that these are based more on my favorite movies and tv shows but I feel that these actresses are the reason these are so great.

#1 Vivien Leigh
My favorite actress of all time would have to be Vivien Leigh because of her portrayal of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. She manages to take a very unlikeable character and turn her into a symbol of power and beauty.  The movie is a masterpiece and a wonder to behold and she is at the center of it all, lighting up the screen with her amazing performance.

#2 Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor would be next because of her role as Cleopatra.  This is another movie that is incredible and Elizabeth Taylor commands the screen. She dominates every moment on screen and really brings this historical figure to life.

#3 Loretta Swit
Because of her outstanding role in M*A*S*H (my favorite TV show of all time), I have to put her high on my list.  She took a character that could have been cliche' (Hot Lips) and gave her tons of character and depth.  Her character makes fascinating changes throughout the series and she has some of the best monologues of any tv actor.

#4 Keira Knightley
One of my favorite movies is Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, a very unrated film. She does a very moving performance in this that is very believable and touching.

#5 Kate Winslet
No... not for Titanic (sorry, but I'm not fond of Titanic)... but I really liked Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This movie blows me away with its creativity and I think she does an interesting performance that always draws me in.

#6 Kathy Bates
I think Kathy Bates has done well with most of the roles she does but none are more incredible and frightening than in Misery. While Misery is not one of my favorite movies, her role in this terrified me and really made an impression.

#7 Scarlett Johansson
I have seen Scarlett Johansson in a lot of movies including Lost in Translation, Captain American, and Lucy.  She always manages to hold her own and make an impression in guy dominated movies like the Avengers but I felt like she showed a lot of range in a movie like Lucy.

# 8 Hillary Swank
I have seen some really impressive performances by Hillary Swank, especially Million Dollar Baby.  I haven't watched any of her movies recently but her performance was memorable enough to make this list.

#9, #10 (and #11) Female cast of the tv show Firefly, specifically Gina Torres, Morena Barracin and Jewel Staite.  This was a short lived tv show but it has a strong following because of the strong plots and cast. I enjoyed many of the performances in this show and I thought the women were strong characters that were well acted. The show really gave women a chance to shine unlike some other sci fi shows where women seem more like secondary characters most of the time.

Top 10 Favorite Actresses

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Free Acting Tips for New Actors

Acting Tips from D. M. Larson 
and some of our Freedrama YouTube performers

Freedrama YouTube Actors Kasey Darlene
See one of Kasey's monologue performances at this link:

From D. M. Larson

Get some good headshots 

Tips for making homemade headshots (for new actors)


You don't have to go to LA to be an actor

To Live or Die in LA (tips for new actors: getting experience and finding an agent)

Actor under 18? Go to Hollywood? 

Advice for New Actors about Agents 


Practice memorizing

Tips for Memorizing Lines


Improve your acting skills

Do actors feel emotions when they act or just pretend?

How to perform a monologue help

Improving Voice Acting (Killing the Monotone)

3 important things to do to be good at improv acting

Take acting classes

Try our Free Online Acting School


Volunteer and get involved in a local theatre group 


Prepare monologues for auditions

Free Monologues for Auditions
Don't be afraid :) Help with Stage Fright


Acting Tips from Freedrama YouTube Performer Micah Oliver

Successful Acting Audition Tips

Let’s be clear – auditions can be a very scary experience, especially or new actors. However, with a good plan and by following some simple tips that were created based on the experience of successful actors, you can avoid making mistakes and be successful on the next audition. Keep in mind that these auditions usually last for less than 15 minutes and this is all the time you have to impress the casting director or the agent. The following is a list of simple tips that can help you get a call back from your acting audition.

Perform some research

First and foremost, focus on learning more about the role and the production. Many experienced actors recommend wearing appropriate outfit for the role. This advice may not be applicable in some cases, but if you have a chance don’t forget to do this. In this way, the agents/directors can learn more about your personality. When we talk about research, it is also good idea to learn more about the production company. Every professional should read more about the previous and upcoming projects of the production company because there are situations in which you can use this knowledge. In addition, you will feel much more comfortable when you know who you are dealing with.

Remembering lines

In most cases, the casting agent will give you a cold read and this is the moment when many actors make the same mistake – they become fully focused on the lines. It is perfectly fine if you “adjust” some of the lines as long as you are showing that you understand the character. 

Don’t forget the eye contact

It may be more comfortable for some actors to look at the ceiling or at the floor, but the fact is that you must establish eye contact with the agents or producers from time to time. These professionals will certainly want to look at your face and your eyes while the audition lasts. Keep a good care of your posture. 

Rehearsed monologues

Good actors choose short rehearsed monologues. It is very important to choose at least one piece of dramatic and one piece of comedic monologues. Sometimes casting agents ask actors to show their skills through these monologues and actors must be prepared for situations like this. Instead of improvising, memorize some effective monologues.

Resume and photos

It doesn’t really matter on what kind of acting audition you are going to – you should always take a few copies of your acting resume and photos too. This is a good way to make sure that the agent or producer will remember you when they are making the final decision.

Don’t worry about mistakes

Even actors with years of experience can mess up a line, but they go on without starting over. This is what makes difference between amateurs and professionals. The casting agents have probably seen this dozens of times, but this doesn’t mean that your audition will be unsuccessful.

We hope that these acting audition tips will help you!

For free monologues for your auditions go to:

For the Freedrama Online Acting School, go to

successful acting audition tips