Ten Top Ways to Become a Better Comic Actor
Comedy is one of the most difficult forms of acting. It takes a lot of skill to act funny in front of camera or on stage. There is a thin line between being funny and being cheesy. Good actors know about this and never cross the boundary.
If you are a good comic actor you can dramatically improve your chances of getting work. How can you improve as a comic actor? We have compiled 10 ways in which you can improve your comic talent.
1. Understand Yourself
First way to improve as an actor is to understand your personality. Try to understand what kind of person you are, your childhood experiences, things which you find funny, etc.
Some of the greatest comic actors were quite serious in real life and had seen a disturbing life. They extracted comic energy from their painful experiences. Understand your life and try to find a source of energy which works for you.
2. Understanding What Works For You
Try to analyse what kind of situations you find funny. Understand your comfort level with different comic styles. Do you tend to be sarcastic in real life? Or you prefer to be witty and deliver punch lines? Or perhaps you make a fool of yourself to make your friends laugh. Understanding your comic character is essential to improve as a comedy actor.
3. Experiment With Different Styles
An acting class is the time to explore different comedy styles. Treat your class as a lab where you can experiment without worrying about audience’s reaction. Try to enact the same scene in different ways and see which one evokes a better reaction from your fellow actors. You can also tape yourself while acting and then later analyse the tapes to see what works and what doesn’t.
4. Don’t Manipulate The Script Too Much
While improvisation is a key to becoming a better comic actor, make sure that you stay close to script as much as possible. This is especially important for new actors. Don’t change your lines by yourself. The director and script writer have given you those lines thinking that it works in that particular situation. Do not change the lines or you will spoil the whole scene.
5. Observe People Around You
Good comedy should always look natural. A comic scene should never look as if it is planned. People should never feel that you are trying to be funny. The best way to learn how to be natural is to observe people around you. Learn to see the funny side of everything. See how people behave in different situation. Observe quirks in people’s character. If you observe closely you may be able to pick up small things which you can incorporate in your reel character to make it funnier.
6. Understand The Script
To become a good actor; you need to understand the script given to you. Try to find out the theme of the story and what kind of humour is involved. Discuss the script with the director as well as your co-actors to clear your doubts and bring a better understanding of the script. The script writer may give subtle clues in the script, such as underlining certain phrases, to help you understand where you need to give extra emphasis, or where the punch line is. Learn to read the script and understand these hints.
7. Be Serious
Doing comedy is no child’s play. You have to be serious and fully committed towards your work. Understand the director’s instructions and work accordingly. You need to devote all your energy to your character to make sure that it doesn’t look fake or uninterested.
8. Learn From Good Actors
Pick up some good comedy movies and watch them many times. Observe how the actors are performing. Pick up the small things they do to make the character seem real. Watching these movies will help you in understanding the difference between bad and good acting.
9. Have Fun!
Almost last but certainly not the least, you cannot be funny if you are not having fun yourself. Get into the character and enjoy the process the acting. If you have genuine fun while acting, it will reflect on the audience as well and they will be able to enjoy your performance.
10. Apply Yourself
Make sure you fully apply and strictly follow the above tips in order to complete your comedic timing and talent improvement.
Also published on Medium.