Why Natural Actors Still Need Training
While an actor might be a natural performer, he or she is also a human being.
(by Jim Webb)
(Photo: Joel Filipe/Unsplash)
Training is vital to the actor’s life. Being a natural is great on the days when you “feel it”. But training is what you fall back on, on the days when you don’t “feel it”.
Acting comes naturally for some actors. The camera loves them! They were made for the stage. They have a natural desire to be the center of attention. They can memorize lots of dialogue and naturally ease themselves into the “skin” of their characters.
For naturally gifted actors and actresses, there sometimes can be a temptation to disregard training. The thinking goes that, if one is a “natural”, one does not need training. You either have “it” or you don’t.
But it’s important to remember that, while you might be a natural performer, you are also a human being. There are days when you have “it” and there are days when you don’t have “it”.
There are days when you might be dealing with life issues or health issues. There are days when you feel more nervous than usual. There are days when you’re in a lousy mood. Or, there are days when you’re just plain not feeling “it”.
“Some people have great luck and you just land in it and you have it. Good for you. I think acting is a craft. And I think you really need to learn what to do on the days you don’t have it.”
(Mandy Patinkin, from an interview with Vanity Fair)
It is days like that where just being a natural is not enough. On days like that, the actor must fall back on their training to get them through. Falling back on their technique, the well-trained actor is able to give a consistently good performance take-after-take, or night-after-night, whether they are having an off-day or not.
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