Though they love performing, plenty of actors dream about getting a chance to call the shots. The idea of directing appeals to actors who want to use their talents to guide and inspire either. Having the motivation to direct isn’t enough, however. You need to understand what it takes to be a quality director. Here are five directing tips for actors.
Learn To Lead
On a set, directors can be considered leaders. While collaboration is a must for a production to run smoothly, there needs to be proper delegation. As a director, you need to know how to guide your team. Make a clear outline of things like the schedule and other requirements for the production. Explain to your cast and crew the importance of each element. There will be more confidence in the production if you show you can be a valuable captain.
Directors need to display authority, but they also need to demonstrate humility. Nobody is a fan of the director who is constantly barking orders, and doing so will only spoil your relationships. You should be firm but also respectful. If someone does something well, they should be complimented. If they’re doing something poorly, they should be corrected but not reprimanded. You want your set to be an environment in which people feel encouraged, not discouraged.
Be Clear About Your Goals
Your cast can have trouble if you aren’t being specific. As an actor, you’ve been guided by the strength of your director. Now, it’s your turn to do the same. Let your cast know exactly what you want from them. Don’t close yourself off to suggestions from them, but do give them something to work with early on. The best directors are ones who understand the importance of a vision.
Communicate With Your Cast
If a cast member is having trouble with a certain part or scene, learn to better understand their frustration. Sit down with each of them and discuss what kinds of issues they’ve been having. You’ll hopefully better understand through these one-on-one chats. This is your opportunity to be a mentor for your cast. They’ll realize how much potential is inside them, and you’ll realize how much you have to offer as a teacher.
Observe Other Directors
Observation is at the heart of learning any skill. You might like to think of yourself as a complete self-starter. However, we all need a bit of help to become great. Before you start directing, watch others direct. Notice how they command a set and gain respect through their professionalism. Do your best to emulate this.
By taking these directing tips to heart, you can make the experience so much better for your cast and crew. It can take some time to get used to, but just like with acting, you’ll improve with practice. Have faith in your abilities and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You have too much creativity to let any of it go to waste.
Logan Sekulow is a producer and director who’s known for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.