There are many different skills and qualities that help contribute to the success of someone in the entertainment industry. These include physical stamina and fitness, reading and analysis skills, and speaking skills.
Physical Stamina and Fitness
Although it may not be what you first think of when considering the needs of the job, actors and actresses have to have good physical stamina. They often have to withstand the heat of strong stage lights or those in a studio, so they can’t let the intensity of the heat throw them off or tire them out. This discomfort may be amplified by warm costumes or thick makeup that makes them sweat. Actors also sometimes have to wear heavy or awkward costumes that can be tiresome when worn for long hours. And even in the absence of high temperatures or uncomfortable stage attire, they often have to work many hours a day. This is true of people working in the film industry, as rehearsals take a long time, and then shooting the actual show can be time-consuming as well. And people who work in the theater industry often perform several times a day, sometimes one right after the other. If you want to be an actress it is important that you stay in good shape so that your job doesn’t exhaust you. It is also important to be in good shape because the industry often calls for people, especially women, to look really good physically in order to get a job. This is not universally true, as some character roles specifically call for actors to be overweight or out of shape, but it often helps in obtaining work to be physically fit.
This refers not just to the ability to read, but the ability to understand and interpret what you have read. Because you will most likely have to go out for many, many auditions, you will spend a lot of your time reading potential scripts. Even if it is a small part, you can’t just read your own lines. You have to read enough to be able to understand the story, the role your character plays, and her relationship to other characters in the story – and especially the scene(s) in which you appear. As you read you should be able to think about what your character is feeling in that moment and how you best want to portray that on screen or stage.
This may seem like an obvious point, but it is very important that potential actors remember how essential their speaking ability is to their success. Actresses need to be able to say their lines clearly, not stumble over words, and enunciate enough that the audience understands what they are saying. This is particularly important in theater acting, where performers have to project their voices and pronounce words very clearly so that even people in the back of the audience have no trouble deciphering what is being said. You are also more likely to find success as an actress if you can manipulate your voice, such as by speaking in different accents.