How I prepare
On the morning of any shoot that I am to be acting in I like to have a few moments spent in quiet reflection over a coffee, script in hand and my preparatory notes spread out in front of me. This often makes for some very early mornings, but it’s an important part of my process and one that focuses my attentions on what is important - the day’s performance.
Arriving on set half an hour or so before my call time means I’m never flustered or stressed and I’m ready to jump into the make up chair and costume. I know that I have done my preparation and with that I’m all ears for the director, not lost in my script desperately trying to cram last minute lines. There’s nothing worse that an actor who doesn’t know their lines so I am careful to have them drilled into my memory as soon after receiving the script as possible.
Throughout the day I try and make the crew and other cast member’s lives as easy as possible, I find great joy in the collaborative nature of filmmaking and in seeing my performance come to life as I react with other talented people.
The process is what makes acting the foremost love of my life. One of my favourite shoots was on the set of Taz Ayoub’s Speed Dating shot at Pinewood Studios. I was playing a girl who was attending a speed dating event, my character was content and pleased with the men who were presented to me, my scene partner played someone far pickier and critical. It was hugely enjoyable to play off of this and the preparation for the scene took me to meeting with the other actress off set and preparing our monologues together. We prepped our emotional background and forged an intricate backstory that added huge amounts of texture to our characters. I injected a degree of irony into my character but made sure she did not cross over the limits of what might be acceptable.
On set it’s important to be prepared for change, I’m always ready to change and alter my performance and appearance to suit what the director needs. Sometimes this means throwing my preparation out of the window and having to work hard to deliver something completely fresh and new - but this is all part of the exciting world that is film making and having each day being as unpredictable as the last keeps things fresh, it’s one of the things I love most about my career.
Ultimately, I believe that acting is based in understanding, in understanding the script, the characters, the wants and needs of the director, camera department and the actors who play opposite you.
I’m always on the look out the next exciting project and I always look forward to understanding a new vision and bringing to life another creative individual’s script and characters.
- RENEL KIRIAKOS, 2021