Is an Acting Career Right for You?


Command the Stage: 10 Secrets of a Riveting Performance

Hey there, aspiring actors and seasoned stage veterans! Here at VADA, we know that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been acting for—there’s always something new to learn. Want to enhance your acting skills and captivate your audience every time you step on stage? Look no further! Here are ten secrets that will help you deliver a performance that leaves your audience begging for more.


One of the most important aspects of a great performance is creating a deep connection with your character. Don’t just memorize lines and cues. Dive deep into your character’s backstory, motivations, and emotions. Spend time thinking about their life outside the scenes you’re performing. What drives them? What are their fears and desires? By understanding your character on this level, you can bring authenticity and depth to your performance.

Try journaling as your character. Write about their day, their thoughts, and their feelings. This exercise can help you get into their mindset and understand their perspective. Another useful technique is hot-seating, where you answer questions as your character. The more you know about your character, the more natural and believable your performance will be.


This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating: know your lines inside and out. When you don’t have to think about what comes next, you can focus on delivering those lines with the right emotion and timing. Practice with a friend or use recording apps to test yourself. And don’t forget your cues! Knowing when to speak is just as important as knowing what to say.

But it’s not just about rote memorization. Understand the context of your lines. Why is your character saying this particular line at this moment? What are they trying to achieve? Knowing the “why” behind your lines will help you deliver them with conviction. Also, practice with different emotions and inflections. This will give you flexibility in your performance and help you find the most effective delivery.


Acting isn’t just about talking. Your body language, gestures, and movements convey just as much emotion and intention as your words do. Pay attention to how your character moves. Are they confident or hesitant? Do they have any nervous habits? Use your physicality to enhance your performance. This will make your character more believable and engaging.

Take a moment to think about how your character would walk into a room. Would they stride in confidently or slink in quietly? Experiment with different physical choices in rehearsal. Notice how these choices affect your character’s presence and the energy of the scene. Remember, small gestures can be very telling. A slight shrug or a nervous fidget can speak volumes about what your character is feeling.


Monotone delivery can make even the most interesting dialogue sound dull. Use vocal variety to keep your audience engaged. Play with pitch, volume, and speed. Practice speaking your lines with different emotions and intentions. This will help you find the most dynamic and compelling way to deliver your performance.

Think of your voice as an instrument. Just like a musician practices scales and dynamics, you should practice different vocal exercises. Try reading a passage with exaggerated highs and lows in pitch. Then, experiment with varying your volume from a whisper to a shout. Play with the pace of your speech, speeding up or slowing down for emphasis. These techniques will add richness to your performance and keep your audience hooked.


Eye contact is powerful. It can convey a range of emotions, from love to anger to fear. Use eye contact to connect with other characters and your audience. This creates a sense of intimacy and immediacy that can make your performance more engaging. Remember, though, to use eye contact appropriately. Sometimes looking away can be just as powerful.

During rehearsals, practice making eye contact with your scene partners. Notice how it changes the dynamic of your interactions. Does it make the scene more intense? Does it create a deeper connection? Also, be mindful of when your character might avoid eye contact. This can be a strong indicator of their feelings or intentions. Use these moments strategically to add depth to your performance.


Stay in the moment. This means being fully engaged with your scene partners and the action happening on stage. Listen actively and respond authentically. Avoid thinking about your next line or the audience’s reaction. When you’re fully present, your performance will feel more spontaneous and genuine.

One way to stay present is to focus on your breathing. Taking deep, steady breaths can help you stay calm and centered. Another technique is to really listen to your scene partners. Don’t just wait for your turn to speak. React to what they’re saying and doing in the moment. This will make your interactions more authentic and your performance more compelling.


The stage is your playground. Use it! Don’t just stand still and deliver your lines. Move around the stage with purpose. Think about your character’s relationship to the space and to the other characters. This can add layers to your performance and make the scene more dynamic. Just make sure your movements are motivated and not distracting.

Consider the physical environment of your scene. Are you in a cramped office or a wide-open field? How does this affect your character’s movement? Also, think about your character’s status and how they relate to others in the scene. A character in a position of power might dominate the space, while a more submissive character might shrink back. Use these physical choices to enhance your storytelling.


Great performances often come from a place of vulnerability. Don’t be afraid to show raw, real emotion. This can be scary, but it’s also incredibly powerful. Letting your guard down can create a deeper connection with your audience and make your performance more memorable.

Think about a time when you felt truly vulnerable. Channel those feelings into your performance. Allow yourself to be open and honest on stage. This authenticity will resonate with your audience and make your character more relatable. Remember, vulnerability doesn’t mean weakness. It’s about being true to your character’s emotions and experiences.


You can’t rehearse too much. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be with your lines, cues, and character. Rehearsal isn’t just about repetition. It’s also a time to experiment and make discoveries about your character and the scene. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks in rehearsal. This is where the magic happens.

Use rehearsal time to explore different interpretations of your character. What happens if you play a scene with anger instead of sadness? How does that change the dynamic? Experiment with different physical and vocal choices. Work with your director and scene partners to find the most effective way to tell the story. Remember, rehearsal is a safe space to make mistakes and learn from them.


Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Acting can be physically and emotionally demanding. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating well, and managing stress. Exercise regularly to keep your body in shape. Practice mindfulness or meditation to keep your mind sharp. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be in the best possible shape to give a great performance.

Prioritize sleep and nutrition. A well-rested and nourished body performs better on stage. Find activities that help you relax and recharge, whether it’s yoga, reading, or spending time with loved ones. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take time to unwind and de-stress. This will help you maintain the energy and focus needed for a stellar performance.

So, there you have it! By connecting with your character, mastering your lines, using your body and voice, making eye contact, staying present, using the space, embracing vulnerability, rehearsing, and taking care of yourself, you can enhance your acting skills and deliver a performance that will wow any audience. Remember, acting is a craft. It takes time, dedication, and a willingness to learn and grow. Keep these secrets in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to commanding the stage and giving a truly riveting performance. Break a leg!