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Body Language For Actors in 2023

acting tips body language body language acting body language examples body language for actors body language in acting body language men body language of actors body language ted talk body language women Mar 06, 2023

Body Language For Actors in 2023

We know now from NeuroScience that human beings communicate predominantly physiologically - with their bodies. And that includes body language for men and body language for women. Below are some body language examples...

Statistically it breaks down like this...

  • Your Body - Body Language - 55%
  • Your Voice - Voice Tonality - 38%
  • Your words -  What you say - 7%

Can you see now why body language fro actors is so important?

So does this affect your acting auditions and more often these days your self taping...?


Think about it...

If we communicate more with our bodies and the tone of our voice than the words themselves...where should your focus be in a scene...?

Get the idea...

(Hint... it's not the words)..:-)

Keep that in mind.

x Nick

There's a fascinating couple of videos from Amy Cuddy and her famous body language ted talk below - check it out! These acting tips really apply if you want to learn more about body language in acting.

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 Body Language In Acting

1. Own The Space. Make It Your Space.

We use space to decide how someone feels about us and we look at space between others to try predicting their relationship. Don't you? Or am I the only guy in the park who is constantly looking at peoples body language?

Space Bubbles

Everyone has a space bubble. We let some people in. We keep some people out. Try it? Who do you let in to your bubble? And how close can they come?

Everyone’s bubble is different:

  • The Intimate bubble is close to the body. People inside here are close enough to reach out and touch us. This should be a decision. Right?
  • The Personal bubble is the most usual bubble we use. Bit wider...We can reach out and shake hands and speak so someone can hear us easily. Think party with good close friends, workmates..etc
  • The Social bubble is about 6 feet from the body. This often is used with people you feel are not a threat, but you do not really want to inteact. It can be at a party or networking event or  large outdoor space.
  • Public space is beyond 7 feet. This gives us enough space to figure out someone’s intentions before we approach them and we can keep an eye on them as well. At this distance you can see an entire body, hand gestures and physical posture. Humans love to size up the other "mammals" don't we? 

2. Use the 7 MicroExpressions


A short, involuntary facial expression that comes up on a person’s face according to the emotions they are feeling. You can't  fake a MicroExpression.

YOu feel the feeling, it shows up. Boom. Great for actors. Keeps you playing  truthfully. Feel the feeling - trust it will be there.

The 7 universal MicroExpressions are: 

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Contempt
  • Disgust
  • Sadness
  • Happiness
  • Surprise

On camera you want to show the emotion of the character on your face - This is NOT an external exercise it's about feeling the genuine emotion and TRUSTING the feeling will appear. If the tone of your scene goes from anger to disgust to sadness. Rehearse these microexpression on camera before you shoot to really get into the mind and body system of the character.

Smile only when you want to show you are happy. 

3. Use a Power Pose

To be confident, your body language must show it.

First, the easiest way to project confidence is to claim territory. Own your body and own the space around you by standing or sitting tall. 

Keep your arms loose by your side or place one or both hands on your hips. Relax your shoulders down your back and open your chest. These expansive postures show others you’re confident and sure of yourself. 

4. Leaning

Leaning allows you to pop into someone elses space bubbles.

When we lean toward someone or lean across to someone, we get closer to their bubble. It is a way to ‘test the waters’ with someone as you get to know them.. 

5. Warmup The Body AND the Voice

Before every audition, self tape or shoot day I always do a few stretches, and relaxation exercises and ALWAYS warm up the voice. Even if it's just a few scales and humming - it makes a massive difference. Enjoy.

Acting Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

This is a cool article from New York Film Academy


Being an actor in New York City (where a constant score is playing) can feel overwhelming for musical theatre performers and actors who need to warm up for their next auditions. While rushing from point A to point B, you may feel self-conscious about exposing your skills or making more noise in an environment that you feel doesn’t allow it. Wrong! No need to feel obligated to book a studio or a room to warm up. Why? Outside, whether on the busy streets of Manhattan or in a quieter borough, whether waiting for your train or commuting in your car, there are acting exercises you can do anywhere. We’ve rounded up some exercises that can help you get the most out of your time by keeping you in shape and warmed up.

Check out these acting exercises that you can do anywhere!

Lip Trills


On your way to the subway, put on some headphones and listen to your favorite music for some lip trills. You don’t even have to stop walking! Simply relax your face muscles and exhale softly through your lips to the beat and tune of your music, letting your lips vibrate and buzz. Fun, right?

All actors and singers know how important it is to be fully relaxed and breathing at all times, and lip trills help you bring that awareness and sensation to your face, lips, mouth, and throat. This easy exercise could become your favorite, and you may just find yourself doing lip trills everywhere. Perfect!


That’s right — a simple yawn is an important vocal warm-up!

After your lip drills, open your mouth wide, imagining that your skull is split in two, lifting your back palate, and yawn once or twice. If more yawning happens naturally, let it come and don’t hold back! Yawning and finishing on an “E” is fun and very relaxing, and a great way to relax your muscles and reset your energy before an audition.

Tongue Twisters


As you know, the New York Film Academy is a unique school that gathers artists from all continents in our world together to learn and create. So celebrate that international diversity in your warm up.

For this tongue twister, make your job easy and fun by doing two tongue twisters in your native language (if you’re an international student) or a friend’s language, and then finish on three English-language versions. You can find some great ones in Speak with Distinction by Edith Skinner.

Whatever language you’re speaking, do your tongue twisters very slowly at first. Articulate carefully to place your tongue and voice properly and, most importantly, to feel the placement of your voice.

Don’t force it! Our muscles have to awaken gently. If you can do your tongue twisters fast, fantastic, but the speed doesn’t matter. The point is to stretch your mouth muscles, wake up your articulators, and find the vibration of your voice. After all, you’ll need them for your monologue or song at your audition.


Here’s an acting warm-up that you can do literally anywhere. Close your mouth, smile without showing your teeth, and hum any song you know — all the way through. If you have time, hum another song or two, and have fun!

If you are a singer, you will know if there is a certain part of your voice you’ll need to focus on warming up for your song or monologue. If you are about to sing from your head, your chest, or your mask, warm that specific part accordingly by placing your hand there while humming. Use your humming to tell your brain that that placement has to wake up so it will be ready during your audition.

Take it easy and be kind to your instrument.


A very important and often-overlooked step in preparing your instrument to perform is staying hydrated! Lots will move as you wake up your instrument with these exercises, so be sure to have a sip of water handy when you need it.

Try to work through these exercises at least three times a week. Used consistently, these tools can help you unlock a deeper understanding of your craft and, most importantly, your technique. With time, you will adapt these exercises and find new ones too — and maybe create some of your own. Who knows?

Ready to learn more about acting technique? Check out Acting for Film and Musical Theatre programs at the New York Film Academy.

                          Acting Exercises You Can Do Anywhere by Ludovic Coutaud

 Your Body Language May Shape Who Your Are

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