Never underestimate the importance of concentration during acting. You may think, “Yeah, no kidding, It takes concentration to learn your lines!” But that’s not all. There are a lot of distractions when you’re performing on stage or on set – there’s the audience, cameras, equipment, stage hands and other employees, your fellow actors and more. If you aren’t fully concentrated on the scene you’re involved in, you may find yourself succumbing to stage fright or simply forgetting your lines. Or, you may simply fail to engage honestly with the other actors, delivering “flat” emotions.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that can affect concentration, which makes it hard to master. A key component in understanding how to harness concentration is acknowledging what distracts you.
Do you become easily distracted by your personal life, allowing your mind to wander during rehearsals?
Do you become distracted by the audience – are you aware that they’re watching you and dissecting your movements?
Do you become distracted by your fellow actors, ready to pounce the instance they make a mistake?
Regardless of why you’re distracted, the result will always be a sub-par performance on your part. Consider the following quick tips for enhancing concentration:
During rehearsals, give yourself a math problem to solve during the scene you’re rehearsing. It may sound ridiculous, but if you’re concentrating on multiplying 454 x 123 while still moving around stage and speaking your parts, you won’t find yourself being distracted by the audience or other things taking place off stage. Plus, your focus will be real, making your performance more authentic.
If you are someone who is distracted by the audience while on stage, conjure up a “fourth wall” in your mind.
Think of a room you love – your grandmother’s kitchen, your newly decorated bedroom, an art display at your favorite museum – and pretend that wall is erected between you and the audience, cutting them off from view. Take some time to really imagine this wall into place, then reaffirm to yourself that the wall really exists. The mind is a powerful thing, and before too long, you’ll really “see” this wall every time you look in the audience’s direction.