News Performing Arts

4 Top Tips On Becoming An Actor In Malaysia

HAVE you ever daydreamed about being famous? Your name in lights, all the dames (or dudes), dollars and dr… recognition you could want? Well, time to stop dreaming and start reaching for the stars!

This special post is dedicated to those looking to get into the bizzo. Take these tips to heart and put in some hard yards, and before you know it, you”ll be speeding towards your dreams so fast it would seem there were rockets in your pockets with their guidance systems locked onto planet Fameytron.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom that will help you help yourself during this turbulent journey to your goals.


Tip 1: Start

Yes, this seems overly stupid simple but it’s one of the hardest steps to tackling anything in life.

Imagine this: you have a creative spurt one day, and this great idea becomes lodged in your noggin. You start speculating on what’s required to realise this idea, and maybe even do a bit of research.

You quickly find there’s more involved than you first thought, and while you may have an idea what needs to be done, you just don’t know where to start. Sounds familiar? 

You’re not alone — the others who’ve been down that road unanimously agree that the best way to tackle this tuffy is to size up your menacing monster of a mission and crack that sucker down to size.

Break the problem down into individual bits on a piece of paper or latest swish app. Keep breaking each chunk down into its bare bones until you have a whole team of teeny-tiny troubles.

By this point your resolve may be melting but beforehand, promise yourself that once that’s done you will focus on obliterating at least the first little piece of the puzzle.

Those head doctors say that once you get this done, your brain has a weird compulsion to carry on. The sheer act of starting to work on a problem instantly reduces its intimidation level and gives it a permanent strength de-buff.

Before you know it, you’d naturally want to keep mowing the little buggers down and find yourself at the end of the trail leading to Famesville.


Tip 2: Do it, then do it again. And then do it some more.

Jump into as many opportunities as you can and flex your acting chops. If you’re worried about your job or other commitments and cannot practice your craft full-time, well don’t.

For starters, those kindly pros running the show are generally well aware that many in the performing arts industry have other jobs to help keep the taxman away. So many classes, workshops and discussions are 925-friendly.

Be sure to like our Facebook page as we do our best to promote these when they come to our attention.

Take this one awesome opportunity for example: Theatrethresixty run the Actor’s Gym program every year and this writer personally knows many who have benefited from their comprehensive guidance.


You would be silly to pass learning programmes tailored around the busy, Kuala Lumpur man/woman’s lifestyle, but do bear in mind that these things require you to be committed, dedicated and most importantly, disciplined.

If you do miss the smaller, more intimate lessons with boutique theatre companies, there are also highly-visible options out there like this one from KLPAC, which also lets you spend a bit of time with Joe Hasham.

At very least, do this at home by looking up activities on Tumblr and YouTube, but remember that two heads are better than one, and a class full of heads is better than two.


Tip 3: Get Your Networking On

Why do it alone — there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Plenty of folks out there have been in the same boat and are capable of showing you some good rowing techniques. There’s also a fair few pirates on these waters, but more on that another time.

If you’ve got the goods, you need to put it out for display, because it’s hard selling something no one knows exists. Most of the time, the goods sell themselves simply by reaching the right person at the right time, so get yourself on social media and start trawling groups, pages and profiles pertaining to your pending profession.

Before you know it those nets you’ve cast will return with bountiful business leads and like-minded individuals willing to engage in some mutual back scratching.

*Spoiler alert*

It’s a rule of thumb that you will get rejected from the majority of your auditions and tryouts and castings. In Malaysia, it usually tends to be a case of “don’t call us, we will call you”, and no news is not good news. This however merely helps the ego get a bit bruised and calloused, and you’ll be back stronger than ever. Which is why this next tip is especially important.


Tip 4: Learn to be thick

That’s thick as in thick-skinned and stupid — an essential trait for anyone seriously-considering getting into acting.

Thick skin helps to deal with rejection. You’ve got to be in it to win it as they say, this means using your spangly new network and resources to help you find and apply for as many potentially suitable jobs you can find.

Learning to be stupid is a bit harder — local directors often request for their actors to be dumber.

While acting, some of us may get caught up in our heads about what we should be doing. Little nagging thoughts tell us things like, don’t do that you will look silly, or not sure that’s a good idea, or even, you are so totally not meant to be here, you suck at acting, look funny and smell bad (some of them can get rather personal, don’t they?).

Trying to maintain a character while this internal monologue is happening is kinda like running through soup. This is a difficult one, so make sure you keep working on it with the exercises you’ll find online as well as through those classes you’re going to be attending soon!

If you think you know someone who may benefit from the above, please do help share it along. We hope that this is the first of many helpful posts to come — be vocal and let us know what you think! PS: Featured image is of Michelle Yeoh from Danny Boyle’s Sunshine.

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