10 Things That Make a Good Actor

‘Tis the season for new television shows and picking up where last season left off! To get in the spirit, students in the Creative Writing class at Globe University in Minneapolis, taught by Ico Ahyicodae, wrote their own scripts for a drama—and acted them out in front of the class!

Globe University in Minneapolis

Bill, Cortez and Gunther acting out their murder mystery

The class was divided into three groups, and each group wrote a script, determined characters and the plot, and acted it out.

Ico said, “There are three things that make for a good play: Dramatic tension, humor, and suspense.” Each play had a different theme and incorporated each of these elements.

Bill Cloak, a student studying business, said, “This project brought our class together and it was something that everyone was interested in.”

As I watched the students act out their plays, I looked for these 10 things that make a good actor. In the process of acting out the plays they wrote, the students learned many of these elements that they can apply in many areas of their lives:

  1. Confidence: It sounds simple but it takes practice. Walk in the door with your held head high. You are being sized up the minute you walk in, so practice good posture and body language before you arrive.
  2. Personality: Let it shine through. Don’t give one-word answers when having a conversation.
  3. Connection: Make one with the audience. Memorize the material or be familiar enough with it to maintain eye contact. Knowing the dialogue is important, but making a connection with the audience is what will make the scene natural and believable.
  4. Character: Know the character. Read the entire script beforehand to pick up as many clues as possible. We know about a character by what he/she says about himself/herself and what other characters say about him/her
  1. Objective: Go underneath the dialogue. What does he/she want from the other characters? What is the character’s purpose in the scene/story?
  2. Obstacle: What’s in the way of the character getting what he/she wants? Acting is what happens to you as you TRY to get your objective met, in spite of the obstacle.
  3. Opposites: Yelling isn’t the only way to show hatred or anger. Sometimes being quiet as you make your point is a powerful display of emotion. Playing opposites is a much more interesting choice than the obvious.
  4. Love: Find the love in the scene. Even nasty characters should be likeable on some level. Find a moment in the scene where the love can show through.
  5. Act: Acting means TO DO, not to talk. Find your actions and play them!
  6. Variety: Feel the levels and dynamic in the scene. Don’t play one emotion. If the character is angry or tough, when might he/she show some vulnerability?


Our rookie student-actors did a great job, and I give them thumbs up for their acting!

To learn more about Globe University in Minneapolis contact college admissions or call us at 1.877.303.6060.