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Use the "Train Like You Fight" Technique to Become a Better Actor

Anne Hathaway Jennifer Lawrence

Anne Hathaway Jennifer Lawrence

How to use the "train like you fight" acting technique to become a better actor.

Jennifer Lawrence once revealed in an interview that she never took acting classes because, "(My acting) was just raw. I went to an acting coach and he said 'don't ever go to an acting coach or class. If you go to an acting class, they're going to make you just act like everybody else.'" But, that does not mean an actor should not work on their acting skills. That is why training as an actor is extremely important. For example, every working actor describes having a "tool box" - a set of emotions, characters, behaviors, and mannerisms for every type of scenes. However, if your training does not resemble the actual setting you'll  need to use your skills in, it will be harder to remember. So, try to make your practice match your final context as much as possible. For example, as the advice site Barking Up the Wrong Tree explains, the effect of matching your real-life setting with your practice is incredibly important. Researchers found that people who learned something while diving underwater did better when tested on that knowledge when they were underwater than back on land. Consequently, where you learn something goes a long way towards helping recall that memory. From How We Learn:
When I spoke to Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Mike Kenny he told me, “Train like you fight.” You want your practice to be as similar to the real thing as possible. And research backs Mike up. Not only will you be better prepared, but you learn much better when the context you practice in matches the context you will eventually perform in. How strong is this effect? Insanely strong.
That being said, if you're trying to memorize lines, try to practice on stage where you will be performing. If you're practicing a new character, try wearing the clothes you will be wearing when you work on that scene. The better your practice scenarios match the real thing, the more likely you are able to recall that information and performance when you really need it. Via NYTimes Related: What do you think? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

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