As an experienced professional acting coach, I understand the passion and dedication required to become a successful Shakespearean actor. The world of Shakespearean acting can seem daunting to those just starting out, but with the right guidance and training, it can be a fulfilling and rewarding journey.
One of the most important aspects of Shakespearean acting is understanding the language and structure of the plays. As Shakespeare himself wrote, "The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo" meaning that language is the foundation of any performance. A strong grasp of the language will help you to deliver your lines with conviction and clarity, making them more meaningful to your audience.
Next, it's important to develop a deep understanding of the characters and their motivations. This requires a thorough analysis of the play, including research on the historical context and the social norms of the time. As Sir Laurence Olivier famously said "Shakespeare is the most unending source of acting. He gives you everything, all human emotions." Once you have a clear understanding of the character, you can begin to build a believable and nuanced portrayal.
Physicality and movement are also crucial elements of Shakespearean acting. The movements, gestures and posture of the characters are an integral part of their characterisation, and should be carefully studied and practiced. As Sir Ian McKellen said "Acting Shakespeare is not just about speaking the words, it's about understanding the character and their journey."
Finally, it's important to remember that Shakespeare's plays are meant to be performed, not just read. As an actor, it's essential to bring the text to life through your voice and body, and to connect with your audience. This requires a strong stage presence and a deep understanding of the play's themes and message. As the Royal Shakespeare Company puts it: "Shakespeare's plays are not museum pieces, they are living, breathing works of art."
In summary, becoming a successful Shakespearean actor requires a combination of language skills, character analysis, physicality, and stage presence. With hard work, dedication and the guidance of a skilled acting coach, you can unlock the full potential of these timeless plays and bring them to life on stage. As the famous words of Hamlet, "To be or not to be, that is the question" Shakespeare invites the actor and the audience to question what it means to be human and to explore the human experience through his plays.