Voice Acting

How to Get Into Character: A Comprehensive Guide to Acting in 2024

Tara Parachuk | October 19, 2023

An asian man smiles during a sunny day.

Before you get on stage or in front of the mic, do you have anything special that you do to get in the ‘zone’?

In this article

  1. How Do You Get Into (and Stay) in Character?
  2. Short Summary
  3. Acting Techniques for Character Immersion
  4. Preparing Before the Scene Begins
  5. Working with Casting Directors
  6. Creating a Fictional Character’s Life
  7. Embracing Character Behaviors
  8. Enhancing Physical Appearance
  9. Mastering Your Character’s Walk
  10. Collaborating with Fellow Actors
  11. Interacting with Other Characters
  12. Adapting to the Entertainment Industry in 2024
  13. Summary
  14. Frequently Asked Questions
  15. How do method actors get into character?
  16. What does it mean to get into character?
  17. How do you stay in character acting?
  18. How can costumes, makeup, and props enhance an actor’s performance?
  19. Why is collaborating with fellow actors important?

I thought of writing this post a couple of months ago when we started the our podcast (100+ episodes and counting – yippee!) because at that time, I had instituted a recording session ritual for myself. 

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Before I recorded every episode, I would do all of the usual things (do vocal warm ups, drink water, eat an apple, rehearse, etc.), but to me at the time, the real clincher for a great session character-wise was all in the footwear.

The routine was simple. Put on my boots, sit down, pick up the microphone, hit record, and click back to my Word doc with the show notes. For a number of episodes, I recorded wearing my podcast boots (don’t laugh, that’s what I called them!), and found that they helped me to ease into hosting the podcast on psychological and artistic levels.

The boots also gave me:
• A mix of inspiration and extra confidence
• Something unique that I only associated with recording
• Artificial height. When you’re 5’2″, you’ll take whatever you can get!

Regardless of what I thought the boots did for me, I realize now that everything that I had inside me was there already, and not because of the boots.  Let’s break down how you can get into character for auditions, recording session and on-camera shoots.

How Do You Get Into (and Stay) in Character?

Do you ever wonder how actors can completely transform themselves into the characters they portray? From Daniel Day-Lewis to Natalie Portman, the ability to get into character is a vital skill for any actor. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of character immersion and provide a comprehensive guide on how to get into character, acting in 2024. Learn about various acting techniques, connecting with casting directors, and collaborating with fellow actors to create a believable and engaging performance. Are you ready to dive deep into character development and master the art of acting? Let’s begin!

Short Summary

  • Explore acting techniques to immerse in a character
  • Prepare for scenes with warm-ups and rituals
  • Collaborate with other actors & stay informed of industry trends

Acting Techniques for Character Immersion

To immerse yourself in a character, it’s important to explore various acting techniques that can help you connect with the fictional character you’re portraying. Method acting, popularized by greats like Marlon Brando, encourages actors to draw from their own emotions and experiences to bring authenticity to their role. The Meisner technique, on the other hand, focuses on reacting to external stimuli and allowing your character’s responses to emerge organically.

Understanding your character’s physicality is a crucial aspect of getting into character. Practicing character walks can help you get a feel for their unique movement style, while adopting their body language and facial expressions can provide valuable insights into their emotional state. Working closely with the casting director can also help actors better understand their character’s motivations and backstory.

Appearance and voice are essential tools for an actor to help them find a character and make the transition into and out of character. These elements contribute to the overall authenticity of the performance. For example, a well-crafted costume, makeup, and props can completely transform an actor’s look, allowing them to dive into the scene without any extra weight.

Preparing Before the Scene Begins

Developing a pre-performance routine is vital to ensure you are fully in character before stepping on stage or in front of the camera. Warm-ups, rituals, and mental exercises can help you focus and avoid distractions, allowing you to deliver a captivating performance. One effective way to get into character quickly is to adopt the character’s physicality. For example, if you’re playing a character who is nervous or anxious, you might incorporate fidgeting or rapid speech into your performance. Additionally, practicing the “moment before” technique in method acting can help you understand what happened to the character just before the scene begins, enabling you to get into their headspace.

When preparing for a scene, it’s important to plan ahead and give yourself extra time to get ready. Arriving early to the set or waking up earlier can help you avoid potential distractions and ensure you have enough time to establish your character’s emotional state before the scene begins.

Working with Casting Directors

Communication and collaboration with casting directors are crucial to ensuring a smooth audition process and character development. By staying in contact and working together, you can gain valuable insights into your character’s motivations and backstory.

During auditions, it’s essential to stay focused and present in the moment. One way to maintain focus is to find a quiet spot to practice your scene by yourself before the audition. Also, remember the advice of the late Alan Rickman: listen and respond genuinely to other actors’ lines, as this can create a more authentic interaction between characters.

Working with casting directors can also help you refine your acting techniques and adapt to the ever-evolving world of film, television, and theater. Staying informed about industry trends and attending workshops and seminars can keep your skills sharp and relevant in the entertainment industry of 2024.

Creating a Fictional Character’s Life

To create a believable and engaging performance, it’s essential to build a rich backstory and inner life for your character. This includes their personal history, relationships, and motivations. Crafting a backstory not only helps you make informed decisions about your character, but also gives you the assurance that you are the perfect fit for the role.

Understanding your character’s physiology, psychology, and sociology can provide valuable insights into their motivations, actions, and feelings. By studying these aspects and internalizing them, you can let go of the literal research you did and trust that it will influence your acting in an authentic way thanks to the proper knowledge you’ve gained.

Worksheets like “100 Questions To Build A Character” can help you dive deeper into your character’s background and personality, as well as their character’s world. This exercise encourages you to explore your character’s Physiology, Psychology, Sociology, and History, allowing you to create a fully realized and three-dimensional character that resonates with the intended audience.

Embracing Character Behaviors

An essential aspect of getting into character is embracing their unique behaviors and traits. By studying how your character behaves, their mannerisms, speech patterns, and body language, you can accurately portray their personality and create a deeper connection with your audience. Self-awareness plays a crucial role in embracing character behaviors. By understanding your own personality traits and those of your character, you can develop a better portrayal and create a more genuine performance. However, it’s important not to break character during the performance, as it can disrupt the connection with the audience.

Accepting imperfections and diversity in both yourself and your character can also lead to a more authentic and convincing portrayal, allowing for a stronger connection with your audience. Remember that each actor may have their own methods for getting into character, but the key is to be open to exploration and growth. By continually expanding your understanding of your character and their behaviors, you can create a performance that is both captivating and true to the character’s essence.

Enhancing Physical Appearance

Utilizing costumes, makeup, and props can significantly impact your ability to immerse yourself in your character’s world. These visual elements can totally transform your appearance, allowing you to embody your character more effectively.

Not only do costumes, makeup, and props help bring your character to life, but they also contribute to creating a more realistic and believable transformation. When using these elements, it’s vital to ensure they are suitable for your character and the environment in which they exist.

Practicing with costumes, makeup, and props before your performance is essential for building confidence. Familiarizing yourself with these elements will ensure you’re comfortable and able to use them effectively during your performance, further enhancing your character’s physical appearance and overall portrayal.

Mastering Your Character’s Walk

A character’s walk can be a defining aspect of their character’s physicality and personality. By practicing walking and moving like your character, you can embody their unique physical presence and enhance your performance. Getting a handle on your character’s physicality can be achieved by studying their movements and rehearsing them until they become second nature.

This process will allow you to express your character’s emotions and intentions more effectively through their walk and movements. Using your character’s walk as a foundation, you can bring your performance to life by getting into their physicality and using it to express their emotions and intentions.

Mastering your character’s walk can be a powerful tool in creating a believable, engaging performance that resonates with your audience.

Collaborating with Fellow Actors

Building chemistry and creating a cohesive ensemble with your fellow actors is crucial for authentic interactions between characters. Connecting with your fellow actors can help foster a unified cast, leading to more genuine character dynamics. Physical connection with other actors can also kickstart character immersion, allowing you to truly embody your character and enhance your performance.

Working with other actors can help build chemistry and create a more believable and connected cast, resulting in more authentic interactions between characters. Embracing teamwork, understanding, and empathy with your fellow actors can lead to stronger connections on stage or screen. By truly listening and responding to your fellow actors, you can create a more captivating and engaging performance that resonates with your audience.

Interacting with Other Characters

Understanding the dynamics between your character and others in the scene is crucial for driving the story forward. Focusing on their relationships, conflicts, and objectives can help create engaging and believable interactions between characters. Comprehending the relationship between characters and the impact they have on one another can aid in creating a more captivating performance.

By truly connecting with the other characters in the scene, you can bring the story to life and create a performance that resonates with your audience. In summary, interacting with other characters is an essential aspect of getting into character and delivering a captivating performance. By understanding the dynamics between characters, focusing on their relationships, and embracing the connection between your character and others, you can create a truly engaging and authentic performance.

Adapting to the Entertainment Industry in 2024

The entertainment industry is constantly evolving, and actors must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and adapt their acting techniques accordingly. Keeping informed about industry trends and attending workshops and seminars can keep your skills sharp and relevant in the entertainment industry of 2024. Improvisation, physicality, and character development are some of the techniques actors can use to stay current in the ever-changing world of film, television, and theater. By continually refining and updating your acting skills, you can ensure that you remain competitive and in demand as an actor in 2024 and beyond.

In addition to honing your acting skills, it’s essential to build your online presence as an actor. Websites like Voices.com for voice actors Backstage and CastingNetworks for on-camera actors can help you showcase your portfolio and stay connected with industry professionals, further enhancing your career prospects in the entertainment industry of 2024.


In conclusion, getting into character is an essential skill for any actor looking to deliver a captivating and engaging performance. By exploring various acting techniques, understanding your character’s backstory, and collaborating with fellow actors, you can create a believable and immersive portrayal that resonates with your audience.

As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial for actors to stay current and adapt their skills accordingly. By staying informed, embracing new techniques, and building a strong online presence, you can ensure that you remain competitive and in demand as an actor in 2024 and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do method actors get into character?

Method actors use conscious thought, emotional recall, and sense memory to draw from their personal experiences and get into character.

They use these techniques to create a believable character and bring the script to life. They must be able to access their own emotions and experiences to make the character believable and relatable.


What does it mean to get into character?

Getting into character means that an actor is immersing themselves in the mindset of the character they’re about to play, understanding their personality and behaviour.

How do you stay in character acting?

Staying in character is all about suspending the audience’s disbelief and extending the moment. One way to do this is to have a secret for your character – something they know, an object they’re concealing, or a desire they have.

This helps to immerse both you and the audience in your performance.

How can costumes, makeup, and props enhance an actor’s performance?

Costumes, makeup, and props can help actors embody their characters and make their performances more believable. They can even change an actor’s physical appearance to better reflect the role.

Costumes can be used to create a certain look or feel for a character. Makeup can be used to enhance features or create a certain look. Props can be used to add to the composition.

Why is collaborating with fellow actors important?

Collaborating with fellow actors helps build chemistry and create a cohesive ensemble, which leads to more believable and enjoyable performances. Through collaboration, actors can ensure they bring their best to the screen.

Final Thoughts

Until now, only a handful of people were privy to the fact that I was wearing the boots to get into character. Now, it’s out in the open! I’m hoping that my story will encourage you to share any silly or meaningful recording session preparations or rituals you observe.

What do you do that makes a recording session special for you?

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  • Avatar for Kara Edwards
    Kara Edwards
    March 6, 2007, 4:03 pm

    Kudos for being able to talk and wear heels at the same time! (Seriously!) I despise any shoe or boot with any ‘rise’, so it’s slippers or bare feet for me (even in other studios- if its a new producer, I am kind enough to wear my Uggs). A heel would distract me to the point of not being able to utter a word! I have to be comfortable in my clothes as well.
    A ritual I have with the characters I record on a regular basis is to recite one line that reminds me of that character just before I begin. For some, it’s an actual line from a show, for others it’s a line I imagine the character saying.
    Even when I am asked at conventions, etc to ‘do the voice’- I revert back to the same lines. After that- I can have an entire conversation in character.
    Body language also plays a part- if the character is upset, I get upset- if they are young, my posture is ‘small’. I like to ‘get in character’ just like I would when filming a movie.
    Finally, I never go to a session without my Arizona green tea (although I have been able to use lipton on occassion). It’s just superstitious… I’m sure any tea would do.

  • Avatar for Stephanie Ciccarelli
    Stephanie Ciccarelli
    March 6, 2007, 4:06 pm

    Hi Kara,
    You’re in good company among the Green Tea drinkers of voice over.
    Rodney Saulsberry also favors Green Tea before recording. Maybe we could have a tea session at the conference 😉
    Keep the stories coming!

  • Avatar for Bryan Cox
    Bryan Cox
    March 6, 2007, 4:22 pm

    It’s those heels I can’t get over. Dan-ger-oussss.
    There is no way I’d ever tell anyone what I wear while recording… oh no did I leave that darn webcam on again???

  • Avatar for Brian Hart
    Brian Hart
    March 6, 2007, 6:16 pm

    Anytime I need to project attitude, I find I do better if I’m wearing a ballcap low over my eyes. I guess like we used to do in college when we thought we were so cool.

  • Avatar for Sanda Allyson
    Sanda Allyson
    March 7, 2007, 11:32 am

    While heels can be helpful recording anything needing real diaphragm power, as with singing, I go for comfortable as well. I often favor dim or dark studios whenever possible.
    I am a fan of Tazo ‘Calm’ tea, or simply warm water, but I never eat anything for at least 2 hours before. And, I do what Kara does for Character. There’s always a line or two that helps me step inside that character’s skin.
    Thanks to everyone for their contributions!
    I love hearing about the tips that work for you.

  • Avatar for Elaine Singer
    Elaine Singer
    March 7, 2007, 2:39 pm

    I agree physicality is important and I too often have a lead in line to get in character. But I find the laugh to be the key. I once had a role in a play that was the complete opposite of me. Just before going on stage each night, I would have a good laugh as the character in the wings and that would set the tone for the show.

  • Avatar for Michelle Armeneau
    Michelle Armeneau
    March 17, 2007, 1:51 pm

    I usually sing on the way to the studio. Not all out… just as a warm up. I seldom ‘rehearse’ a script. I usually just become familiar with the words and then drop into the style or character on the spot. I find, the spontaneity really works. Sometimes I have to imagine a picture of the character and the setting. If it’s a repeat character, I, too, say a certain phrase to fall into it.