But, how do you find your niche and develop your talents for a particular type of acting? And what are the key differences between acting on stage and on screen? We caught up with a few of our first year degree acting students for some inside knowledge…

  1. Voice and volume

It may sound obvious, but one of the main differences between acting on a stage and in front of a camera is voice projection. Whatever the size of your audience, you need to make sure that everyone watching can hear you loud and clear. Remember – viewers watching you on screen in a film or drama series can always pick up the remote control and increase the volume, but those sitting in a theatre don’t have that luxury, so speak up!

  1. Express yourself!

In the same way that our voices need to be projected when performing on stage, it’s important that we exaggerate our movements and facial expressions, too. When filming, there can be several cameras capturing the same scene to ensure close-ups of characters’ faces, so expressions and body gestures can be much more natural.

  1. Emotion control

As an actor, switching between emotions is perhaps of the most challenging skills to master and can take years to perfect. Screen performers need to be prepared to jump from scene to scene – often not in sequence – changing their emotion and mood each time. And, more recently, it’s become more common for actors to film scenes from entirely different points in a series within the same day.

Acting on stage has the additional challenge of nailing it first time – there’s no opportunity for a retake so that heart-wrenching sob or passion-filled argument has to be on point for the audience.

  1. Practice makes perfect

Whatever your discipline, memorising lines and remaining professional at all times is part and parcel of your job as an actor. The key difference here is that stage acting leaves no room for errors as there are no second chances to get a scene right – of course, no-one’s perfect though, so it’s important to move on as quickly as possible, the second it happens. There’s no point punishing yourself or affecting the entire performance, so simply carry on.

  1. Make your character yours

When playing a role in a TV soap or drama, or film, it’s highly likely that you will be the only person to have played them, so it leaves room for you to delve into their character and resonate with your audience. However, performing in a well-known play can often mean that there have been many actors before, some of whom could be exceptionally well-known and celebrated, so comparisons are inevitable. If this is the case, ensure you do your research and find a way to make that character your own – every performer is different, so it’s about identifying what you have that previous actors in that role didn’t have.


Want to know more about studying acting at LMA? Get in touch.