Updated: Jan 25
Eyelines seem really simple, but can be tricky in practice!
I've been teaching and coaching actors online since 2020. The skill actors struggle with the most is EYELINES. "Where do I look?", "I'm not connecting while I'm talking", "THIS IS SO AWKWARD!": I get these all the time!
Everyone finds eyelines difficult for different reasons. Below are 3 tips every actor should try if eyelines are the bane of their existence...
Tip #1 - Know how far you can look
In this self-taping era, we're usually filming auditions on our own. It can be annoying to film a KILLER tape and then realize your eyes are too low to the ground or too far to the left! Here's your "play area" for your eyelines...
The red lines above are where you can look and KNOW that your eyes are visible.
Looking at the bottom of your device can look like your looking at a small child, an pet, even the ground
Looking at the top corners looks like you're talking to a reader/other characters
Looking at the top looks like seeing something far away
This help to create your environment. Which helps casting believe you're part of the world you're auditioning for!
Tip #2 - Know who you're talking to
This is something I'm sure everyone's heard in acting class... BUT IT'S THAT IMPORTANT!
You always have specific opinions about the other characters in a scene. You might love someone, hate someone, think that they smell, etc. Know where to look when each character speaks. You can't look in one direction with lovey-dovey eyes and then glare in the same spot! We won't understand who you're talking to!
Tip #3 - Sticky notes are an actor's best friend
We don't want to overthink our eyelines, we have so many other things to worry about! To make this easier, grab sticky notes and a sharpie and stick them to where you're going to look. Write the different character names on them so you always know where to look and when.
Bonus Tip: PRACTICE!
Some actors can figure out eyelines fast, others struggle. The fastest way to master eyelines is to practice. If you're in a class, tell your teacher you want to work on eyelines in your scenes. Ask your reader to be aware of eyelines when auditioning. Practice recording you
For more tips and tricks, check out www.TheDramaClass.com !