The personality of the actor makes up almost the majority of the performance. By bringing yourselves to the role, you eliminate the chances of another actor playing your parts as interesting as you can. Many actors have the ability to bring depth to a character, sometimes even more than you can, but they will NEVER be able to do it as interesting as you can.
I’d like to think that as humans, we all have a personality that makes us stand out from others. Heck, even identical twins do not have the same personality. As an actor, you need to give people a reason to keep coming back to see you on stage or screen. Bring your unique and original self to everything you do.
I have seen a number of plays and films and I promise you; it doesn’t help forcing yourself to tap into emotion. It just really looks sad and cringeworthy. I have met many Namibian actors personally and to see them on stage/screen making the mistake of believing that they have to fake a performance in order to create a character, is painful to watch. These people simply hide behind their character and let their own true personality fade into the background.
As an actor, it is vital to be yourself. Of course, it is not an easy process to bare your authentic self during your performances. However, it helps to know what you would do if you were in the shoes of the character you are portraying. No amount of character-building exercises will save your performance. I promise you.
I say, don’t be afraid to be one-dimensional, especially when you are starting out. Many typecast actors can pull off many different characters, mainly because of their outstanding personalities. I still fail to understand what the big deal is with one-dimensional actors.
The other day I saw Tiffany Haddish being dragged for ‘falling victim to typecasting.’ She still lands major roles, and I believe it’s because writers and directors can spot her in the character. It has to do with personality, dear thespian friends.
Also, Directors are not that difficult. Find your personality and explore it.