The actor must learn and perfect many skills before they will be successful at their profession. Whether an actor works in television, motion picture productions, or theater, these skills are necessary. They may come naturally to some of the top actors, but most have to work hard through schooling and practice. Very few can say they were born to do this job.
Joby Harte says the skills that actors must master include speech rate, oral projection, voice clarity, physical and vocal expression, vocal pitch, physical stance and eye contact. Many performers have worked for years to perfect a technique. Some are good at one and not another.
Others have a natural gift for all. Whether they intend to perform in TV drama, movie or film drama, voice acting, musicals or theater productions, knowledge of each is necessary to meet the requirements of an acting career. These techniques will enable an actor to portray him/herself as being confident and ready to do the job.
Rate of speech is a skill that one can use in acting. A character actor could speak very slowly when portraying the part of someone with physical or mental handicaps. If portraying the part of an excited or agitated character, an actor might speak very fast. This is an effective way of getting the emotions and feelings of a character across to the audience.
However, many inexperienced actors and actresses have no sense of timing and speak either too slowly or too quickly. Vocal projection and clarity are two more skills that can be signs of experience, or lack of, on the part of an actor or actress. Joby Harte says Vocal projection and clarity, especially in theater productions are necessary to ensure that the entire audience can both hear and understand what the actor is saying.
The character actor must master the arts of both vocal and physical expression. Body language is a major factor in physical expression as it is used to portray the attitude and emotion of a character at any given time. Vocal expression does the same thing, but in a different way. It uses other things like pitch ranges to show emotions and feelings.
Pitch is the range of an actor's tone of voice. Pitch ranges can be from very high to very low, depending on the emotion being portrayed. Physical stance is important because poor posture and fidgeting indicates nervousness and a lack of confidence. The actor must always be concerned with eye contact as well, not only with the audience but also with the other cast members too.