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Acting 101: How to Avoid Rookie Acting Mistakes

Every actor makes a mistake once in a while, but that does not make them any less talented. But as much as possible, you’d want to build your credibility as a performer by avoiding rookie acting mistakes at all costs.

The guide you will find below not only lists the common rookie acting mistakes but also shares tips on how to avoid them. It is applicable for beginners, teachers, and even seasoned performers.

Common Rookie Acting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. Merely speaking the lines

Rookie Acting Mistakes

Rookie actors usually find themselves committing this acting mistake because they concentrate too much on the technical details such as script memorization and blocking. It is important to keep in mind that your primary job as an actor is to convey the right emotions in your performance and to avoid acting too robotic. Note that audiences tend to spot a boring actor straight off the bat, and this might ruin your performance altogether.

What you can do

Do acting exercises before your performance. That way, you’re preparing your mind and body before you act out scenes with intense emotions. A good example here is by creating entrance and exits that mirror the personality of your character. You can walk or move a certain way that gives audiences a sign that you are about to enter the stage.

2. Forgetting the audience is there

Theater Audience, Rooking Acting Mistakes

Forgetting about the audience or trying to forget about the audience is one of the most common rookie acting mistakes ever made. Most actors tend to completely forget their blocking by turning their backs on the audience. Others mumble on their mic while delivering their lines, these are just a few examples on how most actors disregard the audience.

What you can do

It might be easy to tell an actor to “remember the audience,” but this makes them even more nervous. Instead of viewing them as “the audience,” you can consider them as your acting partner instead. To avoid turning your backs on the audience, see to it that three-quarters of your body is turned toward them on scenes where you need to stand still.

3. Breaking character

Hamilton Cast, Breaking Character

As stated above, mistakes are inevitable especially when performing before a live audience. You can lose your focus, forget your lines, and even go completely blank while onstage. The most important thing to do now is to figure out the quickest way to get back on track and avoid one of the most colossal rookie acting mistakes of all time: saying sorry directly to the audience.

What you can do

Acting coaches typically recommend doing line exercises. Line exercises are done by rehearsing your lines purposely out of sequence. That way, you develop a habit of going back on track without the need to break character. Remember, the audience doesn’t have the whole copy of the script, and chances are, they’ll miss out the mistake as long as you don’t say anything.

4. Stage fright

Stage Fright

Stage fright may not be an example of rookie acting mistakes, but everyone experiences it, and that makes it worth talking about! If you allow it to get the best of you, then that’s where you lose your credibility as an actor. The audience is right there waiting for you, so you better say something because the deafening silence will only make things even worse than they already are.

What you can do

Breathe! There are a lot of pre-show rituals that can help you gear up for a performance. When you channel those nerves through the right medium, then you’ll be able to overcome stage fright in no time.


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