Acting Tips for Your Kid

With showbiz becoming a global industry, there has been a constant demand for actors. The obvious impact is that there has also been a considerable increase in the demand for child actors, who seem to be giving the producers a good run for their money. In such a scenario, it becomes absolutely necessary that the aspiring child actors learn some important tips and tricks that would help them improve their talent.

Acting is a great career for those who are interested, and of course talented. People aspiring to be successful actors in the future actually start nurturing their talent from childhood itself. With the rising demand for more and more child actors in different media of the showbiz industry, including theater, television, cinema and advertisements, nurturing this young talent has become even more essential. As children are not much aware of how the acting world works, it becomes the responsibility of the parents and mentors to train the child to act. Though some kids are experts in mimicking other actors as well as people they meet in their daily life, acting professionally is totally different.

There are numerous pros and cons of making children act at a very young age. Acting on stage (and other media) firstly cultivates a positive attitude within a child. Frequent stage appearances and acting before a big audience helps the child shed his or her premonitions and overcome any weaknesses. A child, at a very early age, learns the importance of teamwork and sharing. Most importantly, it makes the child more confident and optimistic. However, a child might lose interest in his studies and other important things in the long run, and so the parents need to encourage their kids in such a way that they do not lose out on any of the fronts. Nevertheless, though making a child act can be a little difficult, it is definitely not impossible, because we have seen a host of child actors who have entertained us for a long time. So parents, here are some tips that would help you guide your little ones in their acting career:

  • Observe and Learn: Make your child see various popular movies and dramas. Make them observe and understand for themselves how a renowned actor portrays a particular character, how he displays a particular emotion, and what response he gets for the same from his audience. The quality and quantity of knowledge that a child would grasp just by observing others will be of a much greater degree than whatever he will learn from plain literature. Every minute observation helps to a large extent in the long run.
  • Rehearse: Rehearsal is a very important aspect of acting. There is no actor in the world who has achieved name and fame without doing rehearsals repeatedly and religiously. Make the kids learn their dialogs properly, and make them understand the demand of the character they are playing. If they succeed in understanding the character, only then would they be able to do justice to the role they are playing. For instance, if your child’s role in a play is that of a salesperson in a store, make up a story where he plays the storekeeper and you play the role of the customer visiting the shop. Create certain dialogs for the character of the shopkeeper as well as the customers. Practicing in this way will help your kid understand the way he has to act for his role. Rehearsal, both individually and along with the rest of the cast, plays an important role. Individually, a child can be asked to rehearse before a mirror so that he himself can critically examine his work and make the necessary improvements. He can then rehearse with the rest of the cast so that the play becomes a well-coordinated whole.
  • Voice Projection: If your kid has got a part to play in a drama, it is important that he learns to speak loudly so that the audience can hear him clearly. You can make him practice with the help of some exercises. One such exercise is where you have to keep some kind of object near your kid and ask him to say the dialogs to that object, as if it is a person listening to him. After a few lines, move the object a little behind and tell him to say the dialogs to it again. When you move the object behind, your child will have to speak louder so that the object is able to hear him. This exercise will surely help him in saying his dialogs loudly as well as clearly on stage.
  • Attend Workshops: There are a number of acting workshops which are held throughout the year by reputed theater groups or senior people working in the field of showbiz. Such workshops actually give children an opportunity to work with the people of repute, as well as help them to get first-hand acting experience in the form of short skits, which are often a part of such workshops. Children attending such workshops become familiar with the basics of acting, and this actually gives them a cutting-edge over the others.
  • Understand the Audience: The audience forms an unavoidable part in a play’s success. Understanding and abiding by the needs and demands of the audience is extremely necessary, not only for the playwrights and directors but also for the actors. It is very difficult for a child to understand the audience at an early age. But, as he goes on doing stage performances and gaining more and more experience, he will learn to portray things the way the audience wish to see them. However, parents can make a child keep simple things in mind, such as never speaking with his back to the audience or using gestures for a more dramatized look, so that the audience can enjoy the play even better.
  • Understand the Stage: In-depth understanding of the stage on which the play is going to be enacted, constitutes a major part in the play’s success. Stages are of different kinds, and each demand different types of entry and exit structures, empty spaces, lighting effects, and so on. Also, different stages require different kinds of voice modulations, which have to be worked out well in advance before the play begins. These things can be imbibed in a child through serious acting and experience.

Acting tends to get more and more refined with experience. An actor can learn a great deal of things through his or her mistakes, and it is these mistakes which make the person more and more profound each day. For kids who are talented actors, starting their careers with stage/theater performances can provide a great boost. This is because, stage performances not only makes the actor more confident but also adds spontaneity to his work, which further helps him in other media as well.

Ways to Start Drama Club at School

Drama is a great recreational activity which not only cultivates self-confidence in an individual, but also acts as a mode of self-expression. Starting a drama club at school is a great idea that can help build new friendships and strengthen the older ones. Plus, it can prove to be a great platform for like-minded people to come together, and create some really innovative and entertaining pieces of performing art. Here’s how you can start a drama club at your school.

Steps to Start a Drama Club

✿ Approach your friends, and find out if they are interested in joining the club. This way, you can judge if your idea will work in the long run. For a start, five to ten people is a good number.

✿ Make a rough plan about what activities you wish to do through the club. This is very important for convincing people to be a part of your drama club. Ensure that the activities that you plan for your club are meaningful and productive.

✿ Acquire necessary permissions from concerned authorities in your school. If no such club exists in your school, you can ask your school’s headmaster/mistress for permission to start one. Give him/her detailed information about your motive to start such a club, and also about the activities that you have planned. Also, tell him/her how the club would prove beneficial to the members and school.

✿ Decide an appropriate venue, where you wish to conduct the activities of your club. The kind of venue may depend on the number of members. It can range from somebody’s house to the school cafeteria (after school hours), to the school’s auditorium.

✿ Once the school grants permission to start a club, you can publicize your plans throughout your school, through various means. This can be done through word of mouth or by putting up posters in the school’s cafeteria or library. If your school publishes a newspaper, you can also put up an advertisement in it. You can also the explore the social networking option to publicize your plan.

✿ Once you have enough members in your club, make a detailed schedule of your activities, and circulate it among the members. Ensure that the schedule works for everyone, so that each member can participate in the club’s activities. For this, ask all members for a convenient time to meet. Ensure that you strictly adhere to the schedule. Also, see to it that you and your fellow members do not miss out on other important tasks, such as homework, in order to attend the club meetings.

✿ The next step is to arrange for a drama instructor. You can also ask your school authorities to arrange one for you. If you have a drama department in your school, you can approach the head of the department with your request. A good drama instructor can teach you voice modulation, facial expressions, how to write plays and act, and so on.

After all this has been organized, you will be ready to select a play, rehearse it with your group, and present it before an audience. You will also need to look after things such as costumes, makeup, and set arrangement, but these will depend on the kind of play that you decide to perform.
Some schools offer extra credits to those who participate in such cultural activities. Setting up a drama club at school will not only enhance your creative thinking, but can also look extremely good on your résumé.

Stand Up Comedy Tips For You

Someone once said, “Laughter is the spark of the soul.”, and so, with a good comedy, one can burst into peals of non-stop laughter. In a stand up comedy, the comedian performs for a live audience. He communicates with them directly, and gears the show with his sense of humor. The performer is known as stand up comedian or comic. To make the show completely entertaining, the comedian has to be spontaneous and should possess every skill to make the audience laugh.

History

This type of entertainment has its roots in the late 19th century, in vaudeville, music halls, minstrel shows, etc. The most popular comedians of United States were Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Fred Allen, and Frank Fay. Such shows ruled not only in the US, but all over the world. And today, the most renowned comedian of this genre, Jerry Seinfeld, has been ruling the telly box. The art of making people laugh is indeed commendable.

Tips

To receive a handful of applause from your audience, you need to develop your skills to make people laugh continuously. Here are the tips for the same. Remember this quote, “If every word I said could make you laugh, I’d talk forever..”

  1. Right Attitude
    The masses shall evaluate your skills. To develop a right attitude, be observant about comedy shows and performances of renowned comedians. In every performance, learn from constructive criticism. This helps to improving the performance.
  2. Observe Comedians
    Hang around clubs, theaters, and festivals to see live performances of comedians. Observe good shows and movies. Scrutinize their performances, observe their styles and their professional performances. This way, you can improve your skills.
  3. Do not Copy
    The piece you perform should be your own creation. Never imitate others. Do not copy a joke from others or rephrase the language. Even if you do subconsciously or unintentionally, you can be caught by audiences. You can retain your old work, and try to innovate new ideas and scripts and build a solid ground for performance.
  4. Communication Skills
    Your thoughts, your gesture, and your sense of humor must be well communicated to people. When you observe yourself on videotape, emphasize on your oratory skills. Analyze if you are speaking too fast or slow, and how people are responding to your gestures. You need to study the minds of the audience as well.
  5. Listen to Yourself
    Since you are a beginner, record your performance. Observe your own performance and the spontaneity in your act. This will give you the opportunity to examine yourself, and make changes for future. Reflect on your performance, and be a self critic to get the best out of it.

Tips for Writing Stand Up Comedy

  1. Write down any humorous or odd event in your life in details. You can also write about any of your crazy hobbies.
  2. Now, add jokes, funny punch lines, and humor to the script. Compose the jokes that strike you, and pen down immediately. You can also insert characters in your script.
  3. Connect ideas that are antagonistic, or they can be an intersection of two events, succession of humorous events, and open mic events.
  4. Research on the script and analyze visually. Improvise wherever needed.
  5. Memorize it well so that you do not falter during the performance. Be spontaneous, and your gestures must be capable of making the audience laugh.

Catch these funny quotes of Jerry Seinfeld:

  • You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, “See if you can blow this out”.
  • Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge.
  • Why do people give each other flowers? To celebrate various important occasions, they’re killing living creatures? Why restrict it to plants? “Sweetheart, let’s make up. Have this deceased squirrel”.
  • The big advantage of a book is, it’s very easy to rewind. Close it and you’re right back at the beginning.

These tips were an effort to guide you, but your ability is the quintessential part. Mark Twain has truly spoken, “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter”.

Ways to Starting Your Own Comedy Club and Successful

Have you ever thought about opening a comedy club, but don’t know where to begin? Most people naively think that you need a good comedian to draw audiences, but really you need good audiences to draw good comedians. There are many common missteps and uncertainties along the path to making your club a staple of your city and have it operating profitably. Where some stray from the path, hold close these suggestions, for they will keep you on the road to success

First, what most people don’t realize about comedy clubs is that they don’t open huge. Since all you need for a comedy club is a stage, a microphone, a bar, and an audience, its easy to arrange a comedy “room” inside an existing bar or nightclub. This simple fact is great for someone just starting out: the start up costs are low as are the risks. You wont have to spend big bucks a new big screen television, or a fancy complicated sound system. Depending on the size of your city and the loyalty of your audience, your club might only have one performance a week.

Sometimes the population inst too familiar with live comedy, they have yet to experience the contagious laughter in the crowd and the unique experience of a talented comedian entertaining them. Make no mistake, live comedy is an outstanding form of entertainment that will easily spread by word. After attending a show people will tell their friends what a great time they had at the club. Who wouldn’t want to have fun at a fresh new venue in town?

As your audience grows and so does your budget, you can expand your schedule, and even look towards moving into your own building. This strategy has guided many of the most successful comedy club owners across the country, and a modest start can turn into a spectacular establishment. You’ll be amazed as you watch your business swell with interest and income as word of mouth draws more and more patrons.

But there are other ways, among others:

Explore the Need

Before you even initiate working on the idea of starting a comedy club, you must explore if it is actually needed in the area where you plan to start it. Research if there are similar clubs in the area. Understand how they are doing business, the rates of their tickets, what is it that they lack and excel at. It may so happen that the other clubs may not be offering quality food with entertainment. So along with interesting acts, you can try to work on the food aspect to make your club stand out. Also, if you find that there are too many comedy clubs in your desired area, it is best to think of some other location, where the competition will be less and response will be more.

Make a Business Plan

It is advisable that you make proper business plan in order to implement idea professionally. Visualize what you want for your comedy club; this may include its show timings, frequency of acts, location, decor, drinks, food, seating arrangement, ticket prices, comedians, staff, salaries and marketing. You will also have to look into the legal formalities of starting comedy club like applying for a permit to offer live entertainment, business license, tax identification number and liquor license.

Business Strategy

If you do not have sufficient funds to start a comedy club on your own, you can start one in a partnership with a restaurant owner. Where the proceeds from the tickets will be yours while those from food and drinks will be his. This arrangement can work well until you have enough funds to shift your comedy club to your own place. Not only will you be able to use the restaurant’s liquor license but you will also save money on the rent, staff, supplies, etc. Some clubs completely eliminate the alcoholic drinks as the liquor license is expensive to acquire while others prefer to maximize their profits by offering them. You can even have a minimum 2 drinks standard or a cover charge which will ensure that you will earn profits through your drinks. Many people are keen for having a record for having tried comedy, so you can have an open mic session for them. You can also have a college night for one of the days. This way you will be giving an opportunity to local talent as well as saving on cost to pay the professional comedians. As there is a risk that hecklers who take the comic lines personally can get frisky, hire security guards for the safety of the comedians as well as the club’s property.

Plan the Budget

Decide a budget for your venture. You may find the burden of cost too much to bear initially; however, try to find a business partner who will be able to provide finance for the comedy club. You will have to decide a budget for everything, right from the rent of the place to salaries of the comedians and other staff. It is important that you take the smallest of expenses into consideration before finalizing the budget. Also, try to make a provision for unforeseen contingencies. Don’t forget to know about taxation and other formalities related to your comedy club.

Scout for a Place

Depending on your requirement, start screening rental commercial properties for your comedy club. Preferably, search for a place which faces less competition from other clubs. It is advisable that you get a location in commercial areas where bars, restaurants, theaters, cafes, pubs and shopping malls are located. This will direct a lot of crowd to your comedy club. Ensure that the site of your comedy club is within the vicinity of public transport. Ensure that you will be able to accommodate the seating arrangements for the decided number of people.

Managing the Club

If you lack managerial experience, the initial days of the comedy club can be quite taxing. However, don’t get daunted by it. You may have to shoulder a wide range of duties. During the day time you will have to ensure that the stock of supplies is updated and the place in clean. During the evening you may even have to host the show or tackle heckling issues. There will be times when you will have to expedite work, make alternate arrangements and make last-minute changes. However, you will get used to handling this with an ease over a period of time. Try to screen the script of the comedians, so you know that any kind of bathroom humor, sexism or racism is not present in the act which will harm the reputation of your club. Ensure that the comedy acts, as well as the food menu, is refreshed every other day to maintain your club’s popularity. Once, your comedy club is appreciated by the patrons there will be no looking back.

Learn from Competition

It will be a very intelligent move to learn a thing or two about the comedy club business from your competitors. Hence, don’t forget to pay them a visit as a member of the audience. Look at the seating arrangement, decor, stage, sound system, type of jokes and food preferences. Also, don’t forget to learn from the mistakes they commit, like delivering the order late at the table or indulging in below-the-belt humor. Try to observe how the show unfolds. I am not suggesting you copy their theme; however, it can definitely inspire you to come up with something better.

Ticket Price

Decide the price of the ticket by surveying the prices of the competitors. Ensure that they are not too high. Decide policies for online booking, last-minute booking, cancellation and refund. Try to also facilitate online booking so that people can book a show even if they stay far away. Sometimes, clubs have cover charge and the customers have to buy food or drinks for a particular amount. You can also implement this or any other strategy as per the requirements of your business.

Hire Staff

You will require people at the bar, chefs, waiters, ticket givers and collectors. If possible, try to hire people who have a considerable level of experience. You would like to avoid service problems, like mix up of drinks or tasteless food, especially in the initial days when you are trying to build a reputation. If your club is open for a long duration, you may have to hire people to work in shifts. So, keep that in mind.

Hire Comedians

If you have seen stand-up comedians, they are very spontaneous and quick-witted. They even crack jokes about people in the audience. This kind of interaction is appreciated by the audience. Hence, when taking auditions for the job of stand-up comedians, see that they fit the bill. Try to give an opportunity to the local talent before hiring experienced professionals who will ask for a huge fee. Also, do not hire people who pass nasty and rude comments about the audience, or else, instead of becoming popular, your club’s reputation will suffer. It is advisable that you have a backup comedian, in case the person who is scheduled to perform cannot make it to the club at the decided time.

Interior Decor

Plan the decoration of the club based on a theme. It can be anything which will act as a crowd puller. Understand the height of the stage and the number of tables in the area. Ensure that an excellent light and sound system is in place. Try to keep the club well-lit, fragrant, and bright. See to it that there is enough space for the waiters to move around the tables carrying their trays. Ensure that the place is decorated in themes of special occasions, like Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July, etc. Also, make sure that the ambiance is pleasant, and the place is neat and clean.

Have Excellent Acoustics

Ensure that your comedy club has good acoustics and sound system. You may need a live band to accompany your comedian, just to add a bit of extra jazz to the entertainment especially if he plans to sing a comic rendition of a song or decides to break into a dance sequence. Music after comic punches, will also add to the laughter of the audience. Try to have wooden furniture and flooring as it is highly conducive for amplifying sounds of clapping as well as laughter. Try to have minimal soft furnishings and ensure that ceiling is not too high, it will allow the sound to fill in the room. This helps the audience to relax as they will start enjoying the show.

Set Up the Kitchen

Decide what kind of menu you will offer. If you plan to keep special dinner menus only for a few nights, then you may contract a caterer. But if you are planning to have food available every night at the club, it is advisable that you recruit an in-house chef and staff. However, ensure that your food and liquor is up to the mark, and the kitchen adheres to the norms of cleanliness and hygiene.

Get Big, Get Better

Once your business is established, try bringing in big and popular comedians to run house-full shows. Slowly and steadily you can also try to start a chain of comedy clubs across your country and then expand the business in other countries as well. A New York-based parent company of a comedy club booked a huge profit on their initial stock offering, so you can also plan something as big as an IPO. Not only this but you can also earn a lot by creating original video properties for television showcase and also for viewing at home.

Promotion and Marketing

People will only come to your club when they know about it. Have a grand inauguration at the hands of a local celebrity. Try to promote it through social media. Create a page for your comedy club on Facebook, and have an account for it on Twitter. Create a website, through which people will be able to book advance tickets. Keep the website updated with all the information regarding the schedule, menu, as well as the profiles and photos of the comedians. Distribute pamphlets, and try to get the news in local newspapers and websites. If you want, you can also upload a few videos on You Tube. There are chances that your videos will go viral and fetch you a lot of publicity.

Now that you know how to start your own comedy club, don’t forget to do your homework before initiating it. The competition for comedy clubs is growing day by day as the number of people visiting them is increasing. Also, remember that with the advent in social media, people will discuss your club openly on these forums. In fact, there are several websites where people give their views about clubs, restaurants and cafes. This influences the way prospective patrons look at you. So, ensure that the patrons do not have complaints about the quality of the comedy acts or food. Remember, the key to the success of any business is innovation. Give your audiences something new and entertaining every time, and they will surely return to your club for more.