new years

7 New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Acting

Happy New Year! Though 2019 isn’t that new anymore, as the days are already turning into weeks and soon into months! So, have you managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions so far?

It’s never too late to start — whether it’s January 1 or any other day, and a good resolution to make is one devoted to improving something you’re passionate about. For actors, there’s plenty of things and habits you can change to improve your craft, and what better time to begin than the New Year.

Here are some New Year’s Resolutions to make you a better actor, ones you can start implementing even today:

Watch more foreign films

The beauty of New York Film Academy (NYFA) is how international this school is. Make the most of that! Be curious and ask them about celebrated artists and movie stars from home countries, and what the entertainment industry is like there.

American cinema has been inspired by foreign films, and vice versa. You can learn from them, too. On a lazy Saturday afternoon, watch more than the latest Netflix shows when countless productions from overseas are being offered. There are beautiful stories told from every corner of this world. If you don’t know where to start, go to the “International” section of your preferred streaming service, or select any countries that fascinate you and go from there!

Have a physical routine

Voice and movement are keys to a great performance, both on stage and screen. Working on your breathing and practicing a new physical theatre technique can only make you a stronger performer. Rather than prep before each audition, you should incorporate a physical routine into your daily lifestyle.

Attending workshops or programs from acting schools like New York Film Academy can give you the tools you need to learn the basics of a physical routine and help you customize the perfect one for your own needs. Adding simple stretches before getting up, or warming up a cup of tea and taking a moment to relax and meditate before dealing with your morning commute can make all the difference. Little details can change the rest of your day.

New Years Resolutions

Get out of your surroundings for at least a day

If you’re trying to break into acting, chances are you live in a big city, and big cities can become overwhelming and exhausting. New scenery can literally be a breath of fresh air, even if it’s just for a weekend, even if it’s just for a Sunday afternoon. If this isn’t possible, even cities like New York still have quiet, hidden corners. Changing your surroundings can do wonders for internalizing your own thoughts and feelings.

Stay in touch with your family and friends

As a foreigner myself, I know what it is to be driven and determined in order to succeed in New York. You quickly stop realizing that there’s a larger world out there. Be careful not to dissociate from your roots. Your focus and dedication are indeed vital to your craft, but calling your peers by sharing the steps of your journey will help open your horizons to get some solid advice from people who know you and want you to succeed. And it feels good.

Staying connected to your social network of loved ones can help you stay emotionally grounded and keep you from becoming lost in the challenges and complexities of an artist’s life. Many illustrious actors will tell you that the support of their friends and family was key to their success.

Connect to the larger world around you

While internalizing your own thoughts and staying connected to your close network of friends and family are very important, so is looking outward to the world around you, a world which is increasingly complicated and troubling these days. Being aware of social and political issues dominating the news cycle, as well as concerns of climate change and other current events that affect the world will conversely keep you connected to humanity as a whole.

This is important when becoming a character — one who doesn’t just exist on the page but one who exists in a larger world. By connecting your humanity to a larger context, you can find it easier to connect to the humanity of your audience.

New Years Resolutions

Take care of yourself

Socializing can often involve going out and partying, and while having fun with friends is valuable, you must take care not to overdo it. Physically, your voice, body, and mind are the tools you work with as a performer, and wearing them out has obvious consequences. But it’s important to take care of yourself mentally as well — inhabiting another character on stage or screen will be incredibly more difficult if you’re own sense of self is struggling.

Don’t forget that by being very respectful to your needs and listen to your body. Make sure to sleep and eat well while you’re at it, even if you’ve got that 5am call time!

Learn something new about yourself

As both an artist and a person, you’ll be learning and evolving until your last breath. But go out of your way this year and see if you can find one thing about yourself — whether it’s related to your personality, your habits, what motivates you, etc. — that you never realized or put into words before.

Maybe you’ll find this out from your close social network, or while getting away from it all outside the city, or while you’re in the middle of a deep work out. That’s the great thing about having multiple New Year’s resolutions — they can all affect one another and help you keep all of them, all the way to 2020. Have a Happy New 2019 and best of luck on your journey as an actor!

Inspirational Quotes From Filmmakers and Actors to Get You Jazzed for the New Year

As the year comes to a close, it’s normal to experience a certain amount of sadness, regret, and plain old exhaustion. As a film student, you may have fallen short of more than a few personal expectations that have left you feeling a little glum. Did you not finish your script in time? Mess up a crucial shot while filming? Project your film when it could’ve been more meticulously edited?

Chin up. No matter how much talent, creativity, and discipline you possess, you’re still human. Maybe 2016 was not all you hoped it would be, but there are all kinds of reasons why you may not have accomplished all that you hoped you would. And, honestly, at least a couple were beyond your control. And one year? Well, that’s kind of an arbitrary deadline. Life doesn’t fit neatly into calendars, even though Hollywood happy endings may sometimes trick us into buying the “just in time” trope…especially in those darn Christmas blockbusters and made-for-TV specials.

Here are inspirational quotes from filmmakers and actors to infuse you with the positivity you need. May they give you some of the strength you need to succeed in your filmmaking endeavors in 2017!

1. “Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.” -James Cameron

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2. “If you want to be a writer, then write.” –I. Marlene King

3. “Goals on the road to achievement cannot be achieved without discipline and consistency.” –Denzel Washington

4. “When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it’s you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.” –Steven Spielberg

5. “To make a film is easy; to make a good film is war. To make a very good film is a miracle.” -Alejandro González Iñárritu

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6. “If you can see yourself doing anything else and being happy, by all means, go and do it. But if you cannot, if you cannot see yourself doing anything else, then you should go for it and not let anybody tell you no.” –Kristin Chenoweth

7. “If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.” –Kathryn Bigelow

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8. “It’s cool to be a nerd. There’s a general understanding that smartphones didn’t come from jocks. The digital age was foreseen by a group of short-sleeved, button-downed, white-shirted guys and their female equivalents designing the very stuff that’s now ubiquitous.” –J.J. Abrams

9. “The biggest thing I have realized was that you have to choose your collaborators very carefully, and that not everybody can like you. The process of filmmaking is so difficult, there’s no point in doing it unless you can do it the way you want.” –Peter Capaldi

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10. “Filmmaking a chance to live many lifetimes.” –Robert Altman

11. “’May the Force by with you’ is charming, but it’s not important. What’s important is that you become the Force—for yourself and perhaps for other people.” –Harrison Ford

12. “Filmmakers are going to make films, just like painters are going to paint.” –Richard Linklater

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13. “I’ve always approached things with hunger and just enough fear. Plenty of confidence, you know, but just enough fear to work extra hard. Paralyzing fear does nothing, but the kind of fear that makes you nervous enough to really be aware and focused? I like that kind of fear.” –Queen Latifah

What are your favorite inspiring quotes for the New Year? Let us know in the comments below!