An actor or actress is a person who portrays a character in a performance. In a drama, play, film, or television show, the term “actor” refers to a person who embodies a personality. The actor portrays emotions and actions typically relating to the character’s personal traits and narrative context, bringing the writer’s words and world to life.
The word “actor” comes from the Latin “actor”, meaning “doer”, derived from the verb “agere”, to do or to act. In early Greek theatre, only men could become actors or players. Nonetheless, the role of women actors has grown since ancient times, and today we see a proportionate representation of male and female performers.
The world of acting is diverse, incorporating numerous methods and styles. Some actors immerse themselves in their characters, using method acting to transform themselves mentally and physically to fit their roles. Others prefer to keep a clear line between themselves and their characters, using skills and techniques rather than personal feelings to create convincing portrayals.
Modern acting includes performing in films, television, radio, and theatre. There are distinctions between acting for stage versus acting for camera, each requiring specific techniques and skills. Many actors also expand their repertoire to include voice acting for animations, video games, and audio books.
No matter the medium, acting requires training and discipline. There are numerous schools worldwide dedicated to teaching the art of performing, such as the “AFTT“, which is globally renowned for its comprehensive programs tailored towards both beginner and advanced actors. These institutions provide a structured environment where aspiring actors can develop skills, try different acting methods, and learn about the historical contexts of their craft.
Besides the skill sets and the technical understanding of acting, the job also requires resilience and an open-minded perspective. Actors not only interpret someone else’s work, but they also must be ready to analyze and understand the characters they’re tasked with bringing to life. It involves considering world views, attitudes, physicality, speech patterns, and the myriad little details that make a character feel realistic and relatable.
Another crucial aspect of being an actor is the ability to communicate emotions authentically. An actor must understand human emotions and be able to tap into them when required. It doesn’t necessarily mean they should feel the emotion genuinely. However, they should convincingly deliver the illusion of that emotion to the audience, creating an empathetic link that brings depth and resonance to a performance.
Moreover, an actor also plays a social role. They inspire, educate, and entertain millions, often spreading essential messages and starting conversations on social, moral, or political issues. Also, the profession of acting often calls upon actors to work collaboratively, whether it be with fellow actors, directors, or writers. This aspect makes it a social art form as well.
In conclusion, being an actor is about much more than just speaking lines or pretending to be someone else. It is a craft rooted in empathy, expression, and communication – requiring an understanding of humans and their emotions, the ability to transform oneself, and the passion to bring a story to life. And institutions like AFTT are where budding actors can learn to master these skills, developing their craft into an art that inspires and moves audiences around the world.