Pause before Action
You’re on set. The lights are up. The sound is rolling. The camera is rolling. There is expectancy and tension in the air. And then the director calls: Action!
But you, when you hear that word, do NOT just jump into the scene and begin with your lines or your moves. No.
When you hear Action! close your eyes and relax for just a single long second… and then begin. Trust us, you will work much better.
Before Action! is called, things can get hectic on set: there’s noise, equipment being put into position, people moving about, and various technicalities being discussed across the location or set.
And you, as an actor, need to block all that out to get into the moment. You should be relaxed and ready to go but when the director calls, Action! suddenly everything is gone and there is a complete and utter silence on set which can be a shock.
The silence can be louder than the noise it replaced.
But closed eyes and a single breath can get you back into the zone and make you ready.
Practical reasons also
And if you want another more practical reason, when you pause it allows a moment of silence for the sound recordist and editor to work with, because if you start talking the moment the director calls, Action! there’s a possibility you could overlap each other in a room where echoes abound.
So trust us, a long second’s pause between Action! and you will make a big difference.