Stage presence has been called a variety of names. Some call it star power or x-factor, but no matter which word you wish to associate it with, everyone knows that once you exhibit stage presence, you can command attention from the entire room.
So the question is, do you really need to work on your stage presence to further your career as an actor? The answer is yes. Stage presence defines how sharp your acting skills are and determines the amount of charisma you have as a performer. Skills, experience, and hard work will help you develop your stage presence. Read more about this below.
Why You Need to Start Working on Your Stage Presence
Let us say that you are about to perform on stage. Naturally, you want to give your best even if you aren’t the main actor of the show. By the time you step on that elevated space, several factors such as nerves and stage fright can sabotage your performance. You do not need to worry about this, you can bet that even the most seasoned theater actor gets nervous during every single show they have done. The only difference between you and an experienced actor right now is that they would never let nerves get in the way of displaying an amazing stage presence and delivering a magnetic performance.
Stage presence is the ability to focus on pulling the audience into your performance. It is less about memorizing your lines or singing the right notes, but more about your ability to create something that commands attention. A concrete example is Tony Award–winning actor Kevin Kline, whose stage presence resonates even when he does not have any speaking lines.
How can I work on my stage presence?
- Relax. Audiences can easily tell when an actor is nervous even if they don’t utter a single word on stage. It will show either in your body language or that deer-in-headlights look in your eyes. To avoid looking too unnatural or nervous, you need to start living in the moment. The more uncalculated you seem, the more likely the audience starts to connect to you.
- Control. Know your material by heart, perform with everything you have, then engage with the audience. This does not necessarily mean you need to go overboard with your performance. Instead, direct your energy toward a steady, dynamic buildup that is in tune with both the audience and the source material.
- Learn more about body movement. Body language is one of the most powerful tools of communication. An effective method actors use is moving from one endpoint to another while coinciding their hand gestures with the dialogue.
- Use your voice. Your voice needs to be expressive to convey the message of your lines. You can work on your vocals by recording your presentations in audio. That way, you can isolate where you need to improve.
- Enroll in an acting class. If you want to really work on your stage presence, then get a professional guide by enrolling in an acting school. You do not need to shell out money on getting a bachelor’s degree, search for some reputable workshops around you or sign up with your local theater. The more you develop your skills, the more chances you have at achieving a highly effective stage presence.
When you present, it is important to become comfortable with the spotlight. So the next time you hit that stage, stop worrying about shrinking when all eyes are on you and start working on building your confidence.