Having an organised script (and script folder) is vital to being prepared for a theatre, film, or television production. Here are some pointers to keep in mind!
*If possible, for shorter scripts, remove any staples and insert your script into a folder (which makes accessing and making notes on a particular page much easier)
*Highlight your character’s dialogue and underline their actions
*Record your emotional journey from scene to scene (if you wish, this can be done as a graph on a separate piece of paper, to be kept in your script folder)
* Know where you are in time and place, this is vital to creating a believable and impactful character. This means knowing the historic, economic, social, political, and geographic specifics that affect your character.<span “font-family:arial;mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:arial”=””>
*Research and make notes on any medical conditions or mental health issues your character has, job skills, talents, etc, so that you have more of an insight into important aspects of your character’s world.
*Keep your rehearsal information, callsheets, and any acting notes / directions given to you by the director in your script folder, so they are always on hand if you wish to access them.
*Always create backstory. One useful way is to write four ‘diary entries’ from key moments that have some significance to who your character has become. Remember, these don’t have to be huge life altering events to an outsider (such as a best friend moving away, or the death of a family member), something as simple as a mother singing to her child to help them get to sleep at night could instil a love of music in a character as they grow up, because they relate music to their happiness in the script!
*Make the most of a table read, and really try to understand the points of view of your director and fellow actors. Ask their opinions on your character and their actions. And do the same for them – give them any suggestions or interesting pointers. If everyone is on the same page in these early read throughs, your theatre run/ film shoot will be a lot more productive.
*Study other plays/ films in the genre you are working on. What level of subtlety (or lack their of!) did the actors choose when taking it from script to stage/screen? What are performance styles that suit that genre well? If you have a favourite way to approach a character (method, Stanislavski, practical aesthetics, etc), don’t be afraid to experiment with a different way, if it is not working for that particular part!