Performers always need to be on the lookout for moments they may need to recreate. Now I want to be clear here, I don't want you to distance yourself from actually living your life, too many people go through their lives as just casual observers of themselves. No, I am a firm believer in living a passionate, active life, staying mindful and engaged every moment you can.
But as an actor, you will also be called upon to create an image of life in front of people. And to do that, we often need to borrow things that have occurred to us or that we have observed.Any kind of life experience can benefit your acting talent as long as you learn from it. Don't get me wrong, an actor needs as much stage time as they can get, there is nothing like it, not even training. But in the meantime, don't place your life on hold waiting for the perfect part. Use time to engage and live as full a life as you possibly can.
I love to play chess. I am not very good at it, I am not even ranked but I do have fun. And the game teaches me a lot about life, relationships, and people.(There will be an upcoming blog about chess here at Advice to the Players).
I was directing a show, and it struck me that the actors lines to each other was very much like a chess game. So I actually added the action of a chess game to the scene, which brought the scene to a new level.
So even playing a simple game, I am observing, noting, and gathering information. Maybe none of the things I see and experience will ever wind up on stage, but surprisingly, they very often do. I was a Resident Assistant at a dorm in college, and one evening a homeless woman came in, and asked to sleep in the lobby. This was a big no-no, but I agreed to let her stay till the next shift, it was the most I could do. When I woke her up to leave, I watched as she stood, adjusted her clothes, straightened her shoulders, and walked out to face the world. I have never forgotten that moment, and used that physical adjustment years later in a play, where my character was being released from jail.
Living your life fully and with open eyes will make any role you play richer and more real
The Actors Sensei