Acting is Doing – Quick Tips To Remember

It is an old joke: 

A guy on a street asks a passerby, “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?”  
The individual answers, “practice, practice, practice.”  

To become a successful working actor requires hard work and dedication.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I believe in luck.  I work hard for it every day.”  A successful actor is prepared for, and seizes, opportunity when it arises.  

Developing listening skills and existing fully in each moment of a scene is essential in acting for the camera.  The camera can see into the actor’s soul; it is like a laser that exposes the truth.  

An actor must be able to repeat selected actions for every performance from moment to moment, as if for the first time.  

How do we create the first time every time we perform?

The only way to create the first time is for it to be the first time.  We accomplish this by not planning or anticipating future moments.  


What we do is accompanied by expectations of the consequences of our actions; what we will think will happen next.  If I have an expectation about the result of my current action, its success or failure will launch me into the next moment.  Voila!  I am now working moment to moment.

Important notes to remember about your film or television audition:

The audition is about YOU!- Empower yourself to make choices that stimulate you, rather than those you think will please the casting director.

Audition number one is about POTENTIAL.  
Audition number two is about PROGRESS.

Respect the audition scene- find VALUE in it.


Heather Snow Clark is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio.  She holds her MFA in acting from the New School for Drama and her BFA in acting from East Carolina University.  Heather currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina working as a professional actress and teaching beginner and professional actors the tools and techniques of the trade.  Please see her website,, for complete details on acting and voice classes, as well as private coaching sessions.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Cavanaugh

    July 31, 2012 at 11:40 am

    You’re so right – Acting IS Doing. “Actus,” in Latin, MEANS “Doing,” which is why my new book for beginning actors is called just that: “Acting means Doing!!” Check out its website. It’s pretty good.

Leave a Reply
Tom Hanks on Working with Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance in ‘Bridge of Spies’
"Steven does this incredible thing when he casts you: He empowers you with the scene." - Tom Hanks on Steven Spielberg
Tom Hardy on Playing Twins in ‘Legend,’ Being Seen as a Tough Guy, and Working with Philip Seymour Hoffman
Hardy speaks about why he challenged himself to play twins, what he thinks of his tough guy image, and working with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who directed him on stage.
Emily Blunt on Action Movie Roles: “I think it’s important to show different layers. Nobody is just tough, nobody is just vulnerable”
Emily Blunt touches upon why she has gotten into roles with an action bent and why she thinks there aren't more action movies with female leads
Jorja Fox on Life After ‘CSI’: “I’ve always enjoyed not knowing exactly where the road leads”
"I think you kind of have to embrace the unknown if you're an actor." - Jorja Fox
John Turturro on the Life of an Actor: “It’s a rough business. I wouldn’t want my kids to do it”
"I am usually very well prepared. If you’re a surgeon, you’ve got to know what you’re going to take out today." - John Turturro