From accomplished actor Lloyd Everitt, the youngest actor to play Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London:
1. Know yourself
Observe your sound and reactions from outside. Then, once you’ve found your essence, protect it. It’s what defines you as an actor. Or, to put that another way, a lot of actors pick on successful actors they admire and try to emulate them. Don’t. Be yourself.
2. Develop self-belief
Some actors lack self-belief and struggle to follow their own gift. That’s partly why there are so many mental health problems in this industry. If you don’t get the part you wanted, get back on the horse. Something else will come along.
3. Be your own best friend
Give yourself advice and reassurance. Don’t keep judging yourself and heaping harsh criticism on your own head. Just do what needs to be done. It will free you up and make you a better actor. You need a thick skin in this business but it shouldn’t be impenetrable and an inner voice is essential.
4. Try new learning methods
If you are dyslexic, as I am, you may need to find innovative ways of line learning. I have developed a system of drawing each line – a combination of a pictorial form of sign language and hieroglyphics. It works for me. You may find something similar works for you. My advice is to experiment.
5. Train your imagination
Take time to sit quietly and dream. That’s what children do. Good actors never lose that ability. It’s a free and well-exercised imagination that allows you to go on journeys – and, in a sense, that’s what acting is.
Dyslexic actors and actresses use dyslexic MIND strengths of empathy, observation, storytelling, and interconnected thinking (see their roles from different perspectives and characters).
Thanks The Stage. Everitt trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Previous theatre credits include King Lear and Chariots of Fire. TV credits include Dr Who and the BBC drama Casualty. Photo: Lloyd Pursall